A large ceremonial Shintō shrine gate within the shrine precincts of Kasuga Taisha.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Nara attractions

1. Kasuga Taisha

0.11 MILES

Founded in the 8th century, this sprawling shrine at the foot of Mikasa-yama was created to protect the new capital, Nara. It was ritually rebuilt every…

2. Wakamiya-jinja

0.14 MILES

A subshrine of Kasuga Taisha, founded in 1135 and reconstructed in 1863.

3. Tamukeyama-hachimangū

0.53 MILES

South of Nigatsu-dō and Sangatsu-dō is this historic shrine dedicated to the Shintō god of war and protector of Japan.

4. Tōdai-ji Nandai-mon

0.57 MILES

The great south gate of Tōdai-ji contains two fierce-looking Niō (guardians). These recently restored wooden images, carved in the 13th century by famed…

5. Hokke-dō


Also known as Sangatsu-dō (三月堂), this is the oldest building in the Tōdai-ji complex, dating to the mid-8th century. Inside are 10 statues from the Nara…

6. Tōdai-ji Museum


The most recent building on the grounds of Tōdai-ji is the contemporary museum built to display more of the temple's important artwork and relics.

7. Isui-en & Neiraku Art Museum

0.63 MILES

Isui-en is an elegant garden in two parts: one created in the 17th century, in the style of an Edo-period (1603–1868) strolling garden, and another added…

8. Nigatsu-dō

0.64 MILES

Climb the lantern-lined staircase to Nigatsu-dō, a National Treasure from 1669 (originally built c 750). Though the interior is private, the verandah has…