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Nara 奈良

Nara is both the name of a city located in the Yamato plain in Kansai roughly 30mins by train from Osaka and one hour from Kyōto as well as a political prefecture.


In Japanese history, Nara (city) holds the place as Japan's first "permanent" capital after repeated moving of the capital in the centuries before. From 710 to 794, Nara was the seat of political power, this period is referred to in national history as the Nara period. At that time, Buddhism was heavily promoted as a state religion, leading to the construction of massive temples in the city, of which the Tōdai-ji (東大寺), the "great eastern temple," still bears witness.

Today, what remains of old Nara is mostly its eastern parts, in what is now called Nara Park (奈良公園). Kasuga Shrine (春日大社) is located there, as are Isui-en (依水園) and Yoshimi-en (吉見園) as two examples of Japanese garden design.

South of Nara city, other temples and areas wait to be discovered in the prefecture, So far, I have only been able to visit Hase-dera (長谷寺) in

Todai-ji title.jpg

The Main Hall with the Great Buddha of Tōdai-ji in Nara.

Sakura City, the Yamanobe Trail (山の辺の道) and Chōgaku-ji (長岳寺) in Tenri City, and Kōriyama Castle (郡山城跡).


Places still on my "to-go" list include, among others, the Asuka Plain in the south, Kashihara Shrine, Yata-dera, Yakushi-ji, Jikō-in, and many more.

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