I suggest these places if you have plans to visit Nara.
Nara started to prosper over 1300 years ago when the Imperial Court (Chotei) governing Japan was moved to Nara, establishing the city as the capital. Today, Todaiji Temple, Heijokyo-ato (Nara Palace Site), Toshodaiji Temple and many other places in Nara are registered as World Heritage Sites.
Kintetsu Nara Station
Kintetsu Nara Station near Nara Park is very conveniently located for sightseeing. The tourist information office is on the ground floor. You can get a tourist map near the ticket window on the basement floor.
Sento-kun (see the right photo) is the mascot character of Nara Prefecture. Sento-kun has a clean-shaven head, like Buddhist monks, and deer like horns. Cute Sento-kun can be found in many places throughout Nara.
Nara Park is one of the best known tourist sites in Japan. This extensive park of approximately 660 hectares has many World Heritage registered temples and shrines, including Todaiji Temple, Kofukuji Temple and Kasuga Great Shrine (Kasuga Taisha).
Todaiji is the most famous tourist site in Nara. Todaiji offers many things to see, including the world's largest wooden building, Great Buddha Hall (Daibutsuden), world's largest bronze statue of Buddha (Daibutsu) and many beautiful Buddhist statues in the museum.
Enjoy very big snacks having to do with the Daibutsu
In the Higashimuki Shopping Street near Nara Park, you will find many large snacks having to do with the Daibutsu of Todaiji. Looking for such snacks and eating them are an amusing part of visiting Nara.
In Nara Park, Kofukuji's Five Storied Pagoda is as famous as Todaiji's Great Buddha Hall. The Kofukuji National Treasure Museum, where Buddhist statues designated as national treasures are displayed, is a must-see for Japanese art lovers.
Kasuga Great Shrine (Kasuga Taisha)
The main sanctuary (honden) has four shrines, each with a different god enshrined. Around the beautiful vermillion pillars are approximately 3,000 lanterns donated by worshipers.
Feed the deer
The deer in Nara Park are usually friendly. You can buy deer biscuits at stores in Nara Park and feed the deer.
Heijokyo-ato (Nara Palace Site)
Enjoy walking in Heijokyo in the early morning
Sakurai City is in the eastern part of Nara Prefecture, not far from Nara City. Nara Prefecture has many places to visit and many things to see.
The seven-meter-tall statue of Tokai Monjyu (Monjyu Bosatsu Riding a Lion) standing in the temple building is beautiful and designated as a national treasure. Monjyu Bosatsu, or the Buddha of Wisdom, is holding a sword and riding a lion. Since this temple enshrines the Buddha of Wisdom, many students visit this temple every year to pray for success on their exams.
Hase-dera is located on a quiet mountain, away from the bustle of the streets near Nara Station. One of this temple's treasures is the statue of Juichimen Kanzeon Bosatsu (Eleven-Faced Kannon), which is over ten meters tall and very impressive.