destinations

To get an idea of where you can go when you visit Japan, please take some time to browse our destinations pages. Click on any of the links below for a short description of the destination's location, history and characteristics.

Nara

Nara

Nara is located in the central west of Honshu, the Japanese main island. Formerly known as Heijo-kyo, this city occupies an important position in the history of Japan as the first capital from 710 until 784. During this period, a large number of shrines and temples were erected under the protection of the imperial family and aristocrats. However, when the monks in the surrounding hills started gaining too much influence and eventually tried to seize power, it was decided to move the capital to Heian-kyo, nowadays known as Kyoto.

Many of the temples built at the height of Heijo-kyo, like the Todai-ji and Horyuji temples, are currently registered as World Heritage Sites. Both Japanese and foreign tourists visit the city to see these temples, to walk among the free-roaming deer of Nara park or to visit some of the beautiful scenic mountains surrounding the city.

Tours that Visit Nara:

Cultural Diversity Tour

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Classical Japan Tour

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Shoguns and Samurai

Our journey takes us through Japanese history from modern Tokyo to end near Kyoto, Japan’s capital for 400 years.

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Nakasendo Trail

Walk along the ancient route as it passes through beautifully-preserved villages.

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Golden Route Japan

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Additional Resources

Sightseeing in Nara by the JNTO
What's On in Nara by the Nara Prefectural Government

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