Temples Of Japan

Temples and Shrines of Nara Prefecture

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Kofukuji Temple Pagoda
Kofukuji Temple Pagoda in Nara City

Nara Prefecture is located in the mid-western part of Japan and is part of the Kansai Region.  Nara area is where the Japanese civilization has
originated and evolved.  That is why Nara area is called as "The Origin of Japan" or "The Cradle of Japan".  The Nara area is where the Japanese Buddhism has first took it's roots and spread to the rest of the country.  

That is why the temples of Nara are some of the oldest in Japan and directly connected to originators of Japanese Buddhism like Prince Shotoku Taishi.  Like the Neighboring Kyoto and Wakayama Prefectures, many sites in Nara are designated as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites.  Nara gets thousands of visitors every year and it can be easily reached from major cities in the Western Japan like Osaka and Kyoto.

The most accessible area in the Nara Prefecture is the Nara City area, which can be reached either by the JR Kyoto Line or the Kintentsu Lines.  Once you are in Nara City, you can take buses to reach the Ikaruga and Nishinokyo areas.  Some of the areas like Askuka and Kashihara areas (like Sakurai and Uda cities) are considered remote parts of Nara Prefectures and need trains to get there.  Kintetsu Railways provides trains to many of these areas including the Yoshino Yama area. 

The Yoshino Yama area is one of the three sacred sites of Kii Peninsula and World Heritage Kumano Kodo (Kumano Ancient Road) Pilgrimage.  It is also one of the best places to see Cherry Blossoms in the spring season. 

As mentioned before, the Nara City area is the probably most accessible of all the Nara Prefecture sites.  The central Nara City contains Nara Park, which one of the most beautiful areas to visit.  You can see many deer walking around in the Park area.

Here is a video of the Nara Park area:

Great temples like Kofukuji and Todaiji are located right in the Nara Park area.  Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine is a place to visit during the New Year's eve celebrations.  Click the link below to further explore the temples and shrines of the Nara Prefecture.

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