Known as a city that houses the second largest collection of traditional sites in Japan, Nara is a truly heavenly destination. Some of Japan’s finest temples, shrines, gardens, traditional neighborhoods, and museums can be found in this compact city that’s not only rich in culture but in life, as well.
The Isui-en Garden
Japan is packed with almost magical-looking gardens that take your breath away with their beauty, but one particular garden in Nara could easily be considered as one of the best in the world.
The Isui-en Garden amazes one’s mind just by glancing at it, as your eyes and soul soak in all of the stunning features that this place has to offer.
Isui-en is located on the way from the train stations to Todai-ji Temple, which makes a stroll through it really convenient and a treat in the same time.
The lovely garden is rich in stunning trees, flowers, and shrubbery, and any time of the year there’s something in bloom.
The garden, which also features a pond, was created in the technique of sakkei (borrowed scenery) to incorporate the roof of Todai-ji Temple into the background.
The Todai-ji Temple
A must see for everyone that comes even remotely close to Japan, the Todai-ji Temple is home of the world famous Great Buddha (Daibutsu). The Hall of the Great Buddha (which contains the mentioned grandiose 16-meter-high statue) is the focal point of the site, but also check out the Nandai-mon Gate and the fan-favorite pillar with a hole in the middle. Legend has it that children who can squeeze through the hole will be enlightened.
The most important shrine in Nara is the Kasuga-taisha Shrine which will give you much more than your typical shrine experience. The shrine is centered around the main hall and the worshippers hall, but apart from that, there’s not much similarity between this shrine and others. The Kasuga-taisha shrine offers a magical out-of-this-world experience of mysterious pathways, wandering deer, stone lanterns, etc.