Nara

The capital of Japan from 710 to 784, Nara was built on a grid pattern, influenced by T’ang Chinese cities of the time. The first written records date from this period, and Nara is generally regarded as the birthplace of Japanese civilisation. The town’s greatest legacy for the visitor, however, is the collection of ancient temples and shrines spread throughout a vast park – though the area around Nara is also thick with important historical and archaeological sights.

The most famous is the impressive Todaiji temple, home to a Japan’s largest Buddha statue. Though the current temple structure is only two thirds the size of the original, Todaiji remains the largest free-standing wooden structure in the world. From here you can take the meandering paths through the park to the temples and shrines in the foothills of the neighbouring mountains.

Accommodation in Nara

Noborioji Hotel

The newly luxurious Noborioji hotel is nestled at the foot of Kofukuji temple, and the beauty of the surroundings is reflected by the masterful use of wood for the interior design of the hotel. Large windows also provide wide views...

Nara Hotel

Founded in 1909, The Nara hotel first served as the premier guesthouse in the Kansai area for visiting dignitaries from Japan and abroad. It’s one of the oldest hotels in Japan, with most of its 129 rooms keeping their ancient...

Kanponoyado Nara

Kanponoyado is a quiet and comfortable inn on the western side of Nara, offering a base from which to explore the ancient capital. The elegantly decorated guest rooms and indoor and outdoor natural hot-spring baths provide a tranquil and relaxing...

Edosan

Not overlooking but actually inside Nara Park, the picturesque cottages that comprise this 100 year old ryokan are as close to Nara’s main attractions as you can possibly stay. This is not a five-star luxury hotel, but the traditional cottages...