Best places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary. Day trip from Kyoto. Day trip from Osaka. Backpacking Japan

 

One of the big reasons that Nara is on the list of top places to visit in Japan is because of the deer.

There are lots and lots of deer in Nara.

And, it’s an ancient capital of Japan.

This means that there are many UNESCO world heritage sites to be visited in Nara.

Places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Todaiji Temple with Great Buddha Hall. UNESCO world heritage site. Backpacking Japan

It would be nice if you had a couple of nights in Nara.

But if you have just one day, you can go to the top spots and there’s a good chance that you’ll feel like you had a good day.

It’s an easy day trip to Nara from Kyoto, and it’s an easy trip to make from Osaka too.

So if you’ll be visiting Kyoto or Osaka, Nara deserves a consideration for your Japan itinerary.

 

Now…

First, the quick list of the best places to visit in Nara.

Then, a more detailed look into how you can fit these things into your one day Nara itinerary.

 

Watch the video on youtube about the best things to do in Nara.

 

5 best places to visit in Nara in one day

If you’re in Nara for the deer, part of the excitement will be walking from place to place!

Follow this path by walking, and you are sure to see lots of deer along the way!

 

1. Nara Park

Best places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Nara park for deer. Backpacking Japan

 

2. Kasuga Taisha shrine

Best places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Kasuga taisha shrine. Backpacking Japan

 

3. Todaiji Temple with Great Buddha

Best places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Great Buddha at Todaiji Temple. Backpacking Japan

 

4. Nigatsudo Temple (and Sangatsudo Temple)

Best places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Sangatsudo temple and Nigatsudo temple. Backpacking Japan

 

5. Kofukuji Temple

Best places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Kofukuji temple and wooden pagoda. Backpacking Japan

 

And…

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Now…

How to put these into a one day Nara itinerary?

 

Now, here are some details about this itinerary to see if it’s something you want to follow!

 

Best things to do in Nara in a one day trip

Best things to do in Nara in one day itinerary. Day trip from Kyoto. Day trip from Osaka. Backpacking Japan

 

Start the walk towards Nara Park

Cost: FREE!

For this itinerary, we’re making it a day trip.

So we’re going to start your day in Nara at the train station.

Basically, the walk to get to Nara Park is an activity on its own.

If you walk it straight from the Kintetsu train station to Nara Park, it’ll take about 20 minutes. (It’s about 30 minutes from the JR station.)

But if you’re visiting Nara in part for the deer, it’ll probably take you a lot longer as you stop and take pictures of the deer.

You can just start walking along the main road from the Kintetsu Nara train station, and within 5-10 minutes… deer!

Things to do in Nara in one day itinerary: Kintetsu station or JR train station to Nara deer park. Are deer friendly in Nara? Backpacking Japan

And more deer.

Things to do in Nara in one day itinerary: Nara bus stop deer. Backpacking Japan

They will even wait at the bus stop with you.

 

Feed the deer some special deer snacks

Cost: 150 yen (US$1)

Don’t feed the deer your own food, but instead, go with what’s provided.

You’ll find deer snacks being sold here and there.

Things to do in Nara in one day itinerary: Can you feed deer snacks? Are deer friendly in Nara? Backpacking Japan

And yeah, don’t leave your bag unattended… behind you is unattended! 😉

And if you find yourself with deer seemingly bothering you to give you food when you have none to give them…

Open up your hands and put up 10 fingers. This will show them that you have no food for them and is said to be a good way to get them to go away.

 

Walk around the grounds of Nara Park

Cost: FREE!

So you finally will make it to Nara Park, where you will see even more deer!

And more opportunity to feed the deer.

Things to do in Nara in one day itinerary: Nara Park deer. Can you feed deer snacks? Are deer friendly in Nara? Backpacking Japan

Be warned, that as soon as you have the deer snacks exposed, you might be swarmed!

Nara Park can also be a good place to take a rest or relax. There are also a few restaurants nearby, or shops for some snacks too.

 

Start walking towards Kasuga Taisha shrine

Cost: FREE!

Things to do in Nara in one day itinerary: Nara Park to Kasuga taisha shrine hike. Nara deer at shrine gate. Backpacking Japan

Your deer adventures aren’t over!

Things to do in Nara in one day itinerary: Nara Park to Kasuga taisha shrine hike. Are deer friendly in Nara? Can you feed the deer? Backpacking Japan

Once again, the walk to the Kasuga Taisha shrine can be an activity on its own with all the deer.

Things to do in Nara in one day itinerary: Nara Park to Kasuga taisha shrine hike. Deer. Backpacking Japan

 

Visit Kasuga Taisha shrine

Cost: 500 yen (US$4)

Places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Kasuga taisha shrine. UNESCO world heritage site. Backpacking Japan

So eventually, you’ll make it to the shrine.

From the open area of Nara Park to the Kasuga Taisha shrine is about a 10 minute walk.

Being built in the 8th century when Nara was the capital of Japan, the shrine just celebrated 1,250 years of existence.

This is also a UNESCO world heritage site.

Places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Kasuga taisha shrine with hanging lanterns. UNESCO world heritage site. Backpacking Japan

It is said to have 1,000 hanging lanterns.

 

Start walking towards the Great Buddha

Cost: FREE!

Things to do in Nara in one day itinerary: Kasuga taisha shrine to Todaiji temple. Deer. Backpacking Japan

More deer!

Things to do in Nara in one day itinerary: Kasuga taisha shrine to Todaiji temple. Deer at Nandaimon great south gate. Backpacking Japan

And more deer!

Things to do in Nara in one day itinerary: Kasuga taisha shrine to Todaiji Temple, Great Buddha. Deer. Backpacking Japan

 

Visit Todaiji Temple and the Great Buddha

Cost: 600 yen (US$5)

This is another major thing to see that Nara is known for.

The Great Buddha Hall of the Todaiji Temple is said to be the largest wooden structure in the world.

Places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Todaiji Temple with Great Buddha Hall. UNESCO world heritage site. Backpacking Japan

Inside, the Great Buddha is said to be the largest bronze statue of Buddha in Japan.

Places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Great Buddha at Todaiji Temple. UNESCO world heritage site. Backpacking Japan

The Todaiji Temple was also built in the 8th century, and it’s another one of the many UNESCO world heritage sites in Nara.

 

Squeeze through the hole in the pillar for enlightenment

Cost: FREE!

Or rather, there’s no additional cost on top of the Todaiji Temple admission fee. 

You can find this in the Great Buddha Hall.

Things to do in Nara in one day itinerary: Great Buddha nostrils. Hole in wooden pillar column. Todaiji Temple. Backpacking Japan

It’s said that the hole in the wooden pillar is the size of the Great Buddha’s nostril. And it’s also said that if you make it through the hole that your life will be blessed.

Things to do in Nara in one day itinerary: Great Buddha nostrils. Hole in wooden pillar column. Todaiji Temple. Backpacking Japan

 

Walk around temple grounds of Nigatsudo and Sangatsudo

Cost: FREE!

Next up: Amazing views!

Places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Nigatsudo temple and sangatsudo temple. Backpacking Japan

Head on over to Nigatsudo and Sangatsudo, which are right near one another.

Places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Sangatsudo temple with Nara city views. Backpacking Japan

There is an entry fee of 600 yen (US$5) to actually visit inside Sangatsudo, but walking around the temple grounds is free.

Places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Sangatsudo temple with Nara city views. Backpacking Japan

After climbing a few stairs, you’ll be afforded with a great view of Nara! This part is free too.

Places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Sangatsudo temple with Nara city views. Backpacking Japan

 

Walk around Kofukuji Temple grounds

Cost: FREE!

Places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Kofukuji Temple. UNESCO world heritage site. Backpacking Japan

There is a fee to enter, but you can also just walk around the temple grounds for free.

The Kofukuji Temple is also one of the UNESCO world heritage site in Nara.

Places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Wooden pagoda and Kofukuji Temple. UNESCO world heritage site. Backpacking Japan

 

Rest at Sarusawa Pond

Cost: FREE!

Places to visit in Nara in one day itinerary: Sarusawa pond. Backpacking Japan

The pond itself isn’t anything special, but it could be a nice way to end your day before you head back!

 

HAPPY NARA ITINERARY PLANNING!

 

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