About Nara

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Nara 奈良

Nara TodaijiOnce the ancient capital of Heijokyo (710-784), today's Nara abounds with a fistful of treasure troves and book length historical data. It was here where the Buddhism culture flourished during the era of temples and statues. The ancient capital was then the end-point of the famous Silk Road meandering from Rome through China. Many of its treasures are still stored in the Shosoin today! The highest concentration of designated national treasure in Japan is here in Nara city. The city has many ancient tombs of emperors and aristocrats within its surrounding area. Nara today continues to be a unique town with a unique history all its own; a town where spotting wild deer walking through town is common, and where many traditional city events center around and focused on its shrines and temples of antiquity. Many traditional events are scheduled. Please check Nara Yamato-ji Festivals and Events Calendar.

Todaiji Temple 東大寺: Once the ancient center of Nara Buddhism established in the 8th century, this temple is famous for its Big Buddha statue measuring 15 meters high and 12 meters wide (approximately 50 ft x 40 ft). Surrounding it are many more national treasure buildings and Buddha statues. Seasonal events are held regularly. Studying this ancient background is recommended before visiting.

Kasuga Taisha 春日大社: This shrine was build with the Hejiokyo as the city guardian. It is said four Gods are worshipped here. Legend has it one of the four gods came on a white deer and is today regarded as god's messenger.

Kohukkuji 興福寺: Build in AD 710, this temple has experienced many fire disasters over the centuries, but still houses many treasures such as structures and Buddha statues, the most famous being the five stories Stupa and the magnificently handsome Asura statue.

Shosoin 正倉院: Located inside Todaiji Temple, many treasures dedicated by emperors are stored here, much as they have been since the 8th century. The Annual Shosin Exhibition at the National Nara Museum offers the best opportunity to explore its wonders.

Horyuji 法隆寺: Known as the oldest wooden structure in the world, this treasure has been designated as World Heritage by UNESCO. This is a treasure house of Buddhism culture.

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Recommended souvenirs from Nara
Narazuke 奈良漬け: Nara souvenir is synonimous with Narazuke, 1300 year old traditional pickles. Also available are vegetables and fruits pickled into a sake cake, a by-product of sake brewing. It contains alcohol so children and low alcohol tolerance persons should be careful.
Mori Narazuketen -23, Kasugano-cho, Nara-shi, Nara 630-8212
TEL: 0742-27-3148


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