Take one hour drive south from Kyoto and you’ll reach Nara. It had been briefly an ancient capital of Japan from 710 prior to the long reign of Kyoto. Nevertheless, the historical heritages of what had been the political and cultural center of the country have remained clearly to be seen as well as good old Japanese townscape. One day excursion would give you enough time to get a big picture of the city.
Be sure to visit the UNESCO listed Todaiji Temple, in which houses the 15m high Great Buddha. Feel an awe-inspiring power folks relied on when times were rough. Surrounding the temple precinct is Nara Park, home to some 1200 deer regarded sacred. See the city’s most celebrated shrine in Kasuga Taisha Shrine, built at the time of the capital establishment. Look up the 50m high five story pagoda in Kofukuji Temple. Walk around Naramachi, or Nara town, the former merchant district.