Walking Tour of Nara, Japan


   Walking Tour of Nara, Japan


Nara, Japan, founded in 710 A.D, is another ancient Japanese capital. Nara Park (Nara Koen) contains many of the city’s most significant sights. The city makes a convenient excursion from Kyoto (see above) and its sights can be visited in one day.


My walk begins at the Tourist Information Center, near the Kintatsu Train Station, on Omiya-Dori. Enter Nara Park by walking eastward. Ahead, on your left, is the Isui-en Garden, a tranquil, lovely place to wander.

Exit the garden and continue eastward, then turn left, through the Nandai-mon Gate, to access the most important attraction in the park, the Todaiji Temple Complex, with its Daibutsu-den (Hall of the Great Buddha), the largest wooden building in the world, that houses the Daibutsu, a huge (18 meter/53 feet tall) bronze statue of the Buddha.

After your visit, walk east to find Nigatsu-do and Sangatsu-do, two minor temples, then turn southward to find the Kasuga Taisha (Kasuga Grand Shrine), nestled in the woods, with several thousand stone lanterns leading to it.

From here, walk west to see the Nara National Museum, which contains many Buddhist artifacts from over the ages. Now, continue west, through the Ichino-torii Gate, and past the five-story pagoda, to Kofuku-ji Temple, on your right. Its Treasure House is replete with significant Buddhist Art.             Before returning to your starting point, several blocks to the west and north of here, explore the Naramachi District, the Old City, to your left, beyond Sarusawa Pond.


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