Nara is one of Japan's friendliest places, characterised by sprawling green parks full of sociable deer. It has a long and ancient history, including being the capital of Japan in the 8th Century, and the town recently celebrated its 1300th year anniversary.
The Todai-ji Temple of Nara is reputedly the world's largest wooden temple and houses a vast Buddha statue. These were built in the 8th Century, during its heyday as the Japanese capital. The temple and town have a serene aurora, perhaps due to the deer that are prolific here, and are protected by the town. You can either choose to stay in Nara itself or visit on an easy day trip from Kyoto.