Shinto Shrine in Nara

Kasuga Taisha

This sprawling shrine lies at the foot of a hill in a deeply wooded setting with herds of sacred deer awaiting handouts. Its pathways are lined with hundreds of lanterns, with many hundreds more in the shrine itself…
Museum in Nara

Nara National Museum

This museum is devoted to Buddhist art and is divided into two sections. Built in 1894, the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall & Ritual Bronzes Gallery contains a fine collection of butsu-zō (statues of Buddhas and Bo…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Nara


Nara's star attraction is the famous Daibutsu (Great Buddha), housed in the Daibutsu-den Hall of this grand temple. Though Tōdai-ji is often packed with tour groups and schoolchildren from across the country, it's b…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Nara


Hōryū-ji was founded in 607 by Prince Shōtoku, considered by many to be the patron saint of Japanese Buddhism. Hōryū-ji is a veritable shrine to Shōtoku and is renowned not only as the oldest temple in Japan, but al…
Top Choice Gardens in Nara

Isui-en & Neiraku Art Museum

This exquisite, contemplative Meiji-era garden features abundant greenery, ponds and walkways with stepping stones designed for you to observe each one as you walk, to appreciate their individual beauty. For ¥850 yo…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Nara

Daibutsu-den Hall

Tōdai-ji's Daibutsu-den is the largest wooden building in the world. Incredibly, the present structure, rebuilt in 1709, is a mere two-thirds of the size of the original. The Daibutsu (Great Buddha) inside is one of…
Buddhist Temple in Nara


This temple was transferred here from Kyoto in 710. Although the original temple complex had 175 buildings, fires and destruction as a result of power struggles have left only a dozen standing. There are two pagodas…
Historic Building in Nara

Naramachi Kōshi-no-Ie

This well-preserved merchant's house is an excellent place to observe architectural details: beamed ceilings, old kitchen, tansu stairs and inner garden. Follow signs to 'Naramachi Lattice House'.
Gallery in Nara

Naramachi Monogatari-kan

This interesting little gallery holds some worthwhile art and craft exhibitions, ranging from traditional to modern.
Gardens in Nara


This garden, located next door to Isui-en (to the right as you enter), is a stunner. Originally a residence of the high priest of Tōdai-ji, the present garden was laid out in 1918 and contains a lovely thatch-roof c…