Woman with deer near Nara cottage

Ditch Tokyo Crowds And Visit This Culture-Rich Japanese City Instead

By Aimee Long


Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto might get all the attention, but Japan has hundreds of equally stunning destinations. One of them is Nara, which is home to over a thousand friendly deer.
Nara has a rich history, famed temples shrouded in mist, intricately curated gardens, and ancient monasteries, making it a great alternative to Japan's increasingly popular cities.
Getting to Nara from Tokyo is as easy as hopping on the Nozomi train from Tokyo to Kyoto, then using a regional train to reach Nara. You can see the main sites within 5-6 hours.
If you're coming for the deer, head straight for Nara Park, where you'll see visitors feeding them crackers, taking pictures, and exchanging bows with these almighty creatures.
The Seven Great Temples of Nara are all UNESCO World Heritage sites. Nara also has foodie specialties like persimmon leaf sushi and locally made sake known for its sweet taste.