Many historical buildings and streets remain in Nara, where in the year 710 A.D., the capital was built. Heijo Palace, which was the location of the Emperor’s residence and the workplace of government officials, is now open to the public as Heijo-kyu historical sites. The area surround Heijo Palace was developed into a city and the old residences of artisans and merchants remain as “Naramachi District”, a tourist destination.
Nara is deeply connected to Buddhism and Todai-ji Temple, Horyu-ji Temple, and Yakushi-ji Temple have been registered as World Heritage Sites and are famous tourist destinations representative of Nara. There are places where visitors can also learn about the history of Nara such as Nara National Museum where art related to Buddhism is on exhibit, as well as the Nara Prefectural Museum of Folklore / Yamato Folklore Park. The Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography Nara City features photographs of Nara city and cultural assets such as Buddhist statues, and is a recommended stop.
Along with historical buildings, Nara deer are a symbol of Nara. Nara Park, adjacent to Kasuga-taisha Shrine, which has been designated as an important cultural property of the nation, is inhabited by approximately 1,500 wild deer (as of 2015). Snacks for the deer are sold within the park and allows visitors to come in close contact with the deer.
Nara Station is the central train station to each of the tourist destinations. There are tourist spots which are in walking distance to Nara Station and others which must be accessed via train. From other major cities, use a train or plane to arrive in Nara. From Kyoto and Osaka, it is 50 minutes by train to Nara. From Kansai International Airport or Osaka International Airport, visitors can use a bus to arrive in Nara, which takes 1 ~ 1.5 hours.