While not as world-famous as Kyoto, Nara is one of the most ancient cities in Japan. It is here that the first Emperor of Japan is said to have been crowned.
Nara also became the capital of Japan before the Imperial court moved to Kyoto, making this city one of the most ancient and prestigious in Japan.
It is also in Nara that Buddhism, after arriving in Japan from China and Korea, started flourishing and found new and unique ways of intermixing with the pre-existing Shinto religion, creating syncretic Buddhist schools unique to Japan.
Much of the historical heritage of Nara’s glorious past is still preserved nowadays.
Many pilgrimage roads that for centuries brought worshippers to one of the spiritual hearts of Japan also remain.
By many visitors, Nara is often seen as a charming one-day destination to visit quickly on the way between Kyoto and Osaka.
However, Nara offers way more than its city center and main highlights: at Bespoke Japan Travel we encourage our guests to go beyond the main tourist spots and see more of this city as well as its sacred and mysterious mountainous areas to the South.