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Nara

For almost a thousand years Nara was Japan’s Imperial capital, it was only during the Meiji Restoration that the capital was moved to Tokyo. Nara is one of the country's most rewarding destinationswith some of its most fascinating cultural treasures. It is also characterised by the sprawling green parks full of very sociable and hungry deer in Nara-kōen.
Nara's main attraction is the beautiful and soaring Todai-ji Temple, one of Nara’s landmarks. This is reputedly the world's largest wooden temple; it houses a vast Buddha statue, which was built during the 8th Century when Nara was at its zenith as the Imperial Capital of Japan. The temple has a very serene aurora about it, perhaps due to the deer that are quite prolific here.

You also have the Daibutsu (Great Buddha), which rivals Mt Fuji and Kyoto's Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji) as Japan's single most impressive sight.

Nara is also compact: it's quite possible to fit everything into one full day. Most visitor’s spend a day here from Kyoto as it is only a 45 minute train journey away, but with an overnight stay you can visit more of this cultural heritage.

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