My one and only trip to Nara was back in 2009, even though I lived in Tokyo for many years, Nara was one of those sightseeing spots I’ve always wanted to go back, but never found the time, or I prefered to keep exploring more locations around Japan. Another of those hard level one-day trip, wake up early, get on the first train from Tokyo, and make sure you don’t lose any of the connections on your way back to Tokyo back at night. It’s hard, but possible, we did it. Another option is to go from Kyoto or Osaka, less hard day trip. The main spot to visit, or the main spot we wanted to visit was the Todaiji shrine, and of course, feed and play with the deers of the city of Nara all the way long.
The Todaiji shrine, listed as World Heritage, is a Buddhist temple complex, one of the ancient temples of Nara, and has the World’s largest Buddha bronze statue, named simply Daibutsu “big Buddha” in japanese.
Inside the shrine you can try to squeeze through a hole in one of the wooden columns. Popular saying is that, if you can make it through, you’ll reach enlightenment, so I did it twice, just to be sure.
Then, after realizing such a great performance and reached enlightenment, you can walk around Nara Park and the shrine gardens.