Nara Park (奈良公園) is a massive 660 hectare city park. Home to the big Buddha at Todaji temple, not to forget the countless freely roaming deer. The park is home to some of Nara’s most prestigious attractions, including Todaiji, Kofukuji and the Nara National Museum.
Nara park is a staple on any visit or day trip to Nara and a great spot to spend the afternoon. Visit the exquisite temples and museums, feed the roaming deer and go for beautiful hike, there’s a lot of fun to be had.
What to do in Nara park
Home of Nara’s Big Buddha, Todaji temple is one of Japan’s most famous and historically important temples.
Nara National Museum
One of the oldest museums in Japan, the Nara National Museum tells about the history of Nara, Japan as a nation and the role of Buddhism art within the development of Japan.
Kofukuji was the family temple of the Fujiwara clan, who ruled Japan during the Nara period and was build in the year 710.
Feed the deer
One of the most customary things to do when visiting Nara Park is to feed the deer that can be found anywhere around the park. Specially baked senbei cookies are sold for 200yen per pack by locals, and the deer absolutely love them. They’re actually so good that they are good for human consumption too.
Mt. Wakakusayama is a well recommended visit for those who have a little more time on their hands. Located to the east of Nara Park, Wakakusayama is a beautiful grass covered mountain that features a beautiful panoramic view over Nara and surroundings, including Todaji and Kofukuji temples. The area is also perfect for short and longer hikes.
How to reach Nara using the Japan Rail Pass.
The JR Nara station is directly connected with lines going to Kyoto and Osaka, and can be reached within one hour from either city. Coming from Kyoto station, take the JR Nara line bound for Nara (it’s that simple!) from Osaka take the JR Yamatoji line, also bound for Nara! Both options are covered by the JR Pass.
From Nara station the park can be reached on foot in about 20 minutes and is a pleasant walk. Alternatively the park can be reached by bus in about 5 minutes, costing 100yen.