What to visit in Nara (what you can't miss)


Nara It is the capital of the prefecture of the same name and one of the most traditional complexes in all of Japan. During this period Nara (710-784) was the first great capital of the Japanese country, where most of its great temples were built. Osaka is the antithesis of Nara with its almost 3 million people, the third city of Japan and one of the most futuristic, although what to see in Osaka We will not check until the afternoon. Where we start the day is in that utopian path of Toris, icon for many photos, in Fushimi Inari. We are going to enjoy the main attractionswhat to visit in Nara and Fushimi Inari (before leaving for Osaka). REMASTERIZED 2017

We have slept little but well (which is often said). There is no complaint about this sleeping on the floor in the Tour Club (You can read our Tour Club review) Although you will see it throughout the trip as we have chosen ryokans with a lot of charm. IMPORTANT NOTE: This day we recommend dividing it into 2 full days to enjoy it more

Fushimi Inari, the toris trail icon

At 5:32 our JR leaves for Inari and we take breakfast in a bag as a long, long day awaits us. There is movement at the station at this time and many people go on the trains. Also! WE ALREADY ACTIVATE THE NIGHT Japan Rail Pass!! so the next 14 days with JR are "free" of charges. We leave all the details in.


Although we always give you all the information to organize the trip on your own, if you have little time or prefer to forget about preparations, you have the following option COMPLETELY IN SPANISH and with VERY GOOD OPINIONS from other travelers. This is a private guide who will accompany you all day for Fushimi Inari and later for Nara. The price is per group, not per person. Book in advance because it is usually quite demanded and with limited availability of dates

Excursion to Nara and Inari from Kyoto

Our first destination is the Fushimi Inari-Taisha, belonging to Kyoto although somewhat away from the capital (5 min in the JR). Do you sound the toris set one after another on a path ?. Well it is here, in this Shinto temple dedicated to the spirit of Inari, considered one of the most famous icons in Japan. A real beauty.

Japan is mostly Shinto and Buddhist (Many Japanese people consider both religions using Shintoism for birth and marriage and Buddhism for funeral rites) although every day there are more agnostics and atheists. Sometimes you think that the more advanced a country is, the more it tends to lose beliefs. Will religion be the opium of the people? We are not going to fool ourselves, it always has been. Shinto speaks of divinities and beings of nature or higher levels of existence and Buddhism, as we all know, is not theistic either and its origin is Buddha.

In any case, we talk about travel again and it doesn't take long to get out of the JR so, going up a bit, we will find the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, as beautiful as expected.

From here comes the best (for our liking), a path in the style of the game Flabe (if you have played you will understand what we mean), with small farollillos and where only the sound of nature and the greeting of all the local people who, politely, revere themselves as we go up and say good morning.

At this time, there between the forest and the set of red toris generating a nice climb pathIn the atmosphere there is a touch between mystic and mysterious difficult to explain. It is a feeling that to live it you have to be there but it is possibly one of the best moments of a trip. You also have to take into account the time, of course, later it may be filled with people.

Our little Ixus 75 does not honor the place, it barely manages to capture a bit of what that represents. The Sembon Torii (Shrine Gates) it's a ride !!! awesome !!!

It is not even 7 in the morning and the heat begins to tighten (how can it be ?, without reaching the top of everything and they have 4km of trails) we head to the JR back, taking advantage to go eating breakfast cookies and juice that We have brought. Ah, we are not talking about greaves... Japan must be the only place on this planet where more rinds are concentrated per m2, and as they "scream". It's a concert wherever we go.

What to visit in Nara, the park of the sacred deer

The JR Nara Line on the way to Nara has an hour's journey for a nod or to observe the curious customs of the Japanese when they arrive on the train. Either they sleep (and fall round) or they don't stop with the mobile. Will we end up the same in the future? (UPDATE 2017: YES… and worse)

Just arrived double breakfast and Spanish! Creamy donut and churros !! (who didn't know churros, for 273 Y) and a water (110 Y)

We start up the street to the heritage area of ​​Nara. It was 8:30 and the heat is already unbearable. What surprises us is that the Japanese also sweat a lot (we thought they would be more accustomed to the weather). It took us a while to be located although we entertained ourselves by buying some gifts (2,555 Y), with the billboard of Japanese cinemas (how will Indiana Jones be in this language?) And some contradictory arrows ...  

Nara is a natural park where deer live freely in a huge complex with majestic temples and, although at the beginning with so much poster it is difficult for us to orient ourselves a little, in the end it is very simple (like everything in Japan).

The route of what to see in Nara is started with the Kofuku-ji Temple, the temple of the Fujiwara family (after dosing more water for 110 Y).

Possibly the most beautiful of the complex was the great pagoda very similar to the one seen the day before in Ninja-ji. They want to take one!

Climbing the park we began to find the first deer that came for you to give them cookies (for sale in small towns).

One of the most beautiful temples we have seen so far was the next one we met, Todai-ji Temple. The entrance is covered with deer, which made a beautiful photo.

We encourage you in the end to buy cookies (150 Y) and what happened we already imagined. Come on, like the ad, friends appear under the stones. Even a special one that kept pulling the shirt. What a stress !! Of course, the deer they are considered national treasures and messengers of the gods according to Shintoism, so if animals have to be treated with respect, they are even more treated.

Returning to the temple, there are plenty of words to describe it (entry for 500 AND each one), possibly the most imposing we will see in the whole trip. It houses an image of the Vairocana Buddha

The main entrance we have passed is Nandaimon but what is really impressive is the large wooden structure of 56 x 50 x 50 m that houses the great Buddha inside. It is taken care of to the last detail and no less despicable are the surrounding gardens. We take this opportunity to take some souvenir coins (800 Y)

Inside, the Buddha statue that awaits us inside is also considerable. It seems that this temple is Buddhist and, according to legend, about 2,600,000 people in total helped in its construction (420,000 with contributions and 2,180,000 working to build it). This number equals half the population of Japan at that time.

Leaving the temple we get one of the curious anecdotes of the trip, on the bridge of the next photo while watching the landscape and buying two Coca Colas (260 and two), two Spaniards appear (Elisabeth and Sergio, great travelers who have been all over the world) who greeted us and even recognized us by the Keys blog! It seems incredible that on the other side of the world you can pass such a coincidence and more for having read a blog as small as this one. Greetings from here for Elisabeth and Sergio and you will tell us how was your trip

UPDATE 2017: 7 years later, in 2015, Elisabeth and Sergio would set up a blog with their trips around the world that you can see

Upon leaving Todai-ji we visited the Kasuga Taisha Shrine It enjoys a harmony like none in the whole complex. Your ticket is worth 500 Y per person. We hardly find tourists today although it is also true that Nara is a very very large complex.

The sanctuary is famous for its bronze and stone lanterns, the latter finding all the way to the southern exit of it.

From there we decided to furrow the farollillos and the nature that surrounds us heading towards the entrance since the hunger begins to tighten.

Even on the way we took the opportunity to buy a beautiful wooden pagoda in small (10,500 Y)

Gango-ji Temple, the first temple in Japan to visit in Nara

Time to eat and look what art !! We go back to one of Japanese style where we choose the dishes in the window because! if there was no one who understood the letter (article with ideas of). What a good invention these shop windows! hehehehe. The food hardly costs us 2770 Y. We begin to verify that eating is VERY CHEAP in Japan contrary to what our prejudices transmitted to us before the trip.

The return to the JR Station has a must-stop that perhaps should have been even the first, the last of the great temples that Nara hides even if it is located just outside the park, the Gango-ji Temple (400 And each one). And why is it so important? It seems that it is the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan (dated 600) previously called Asuka-dera, moved and changed its name when the capital passed to Heijo-kyo

On a visual level it is very small and simple so it is quick to see, it is more what it represents in itself, so here we conclude the day for the main attractions to see in Nara (and Fushimi Inari) heading to the station around 3pm (previous beverage charge for 280 Y). Japan has something that will continue to surprise us in the coming days, it is the only country in the world that allows time travel from a bygone era to a futuristic city in just a small train ride

(Continue on DAY 4 (II): What to visit in Osaka in 1 day (essential with map))