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5 Most Popular Tourist Spots in Nara

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informationEvents in Nara Prefecture

Note:
The following is described in order of date, event name in Japanese, summary, location.
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June 30, 2019
Shinken-togyo-sai(Commonly known as Denden-sai) [Isonokami Jingu Shrine in Tenri City
June 30, 2019
Nagoshi-ooharaeshikiThis ritual is held at many shrines such as Kasuga Taisha Shrine(Nara City), Isonokami Jingu Shrine (Tenri City), Ooyamato Shrine (Tenri City), Kashihara Jingu Shrine (Kashihara City), Ikoma Taisha Shrine(Ikoma City), and Muraya Jinja Shrine (Tahara Honcho). This a ritual to exorcise yourself evil spirits.

Nara Prefecture

Nara Prefecture where cultural Japan started

Nara Prefecture is one of the most popular tourist destinations visited by many foreign tourists in Japan.
That is because Japan as a cultural nation started from current Nara Prefecture and has many historic and historical attractions.
From around the 4th century, Yamato's government in current Nara Prefecture put the surrounding countries under control gradually.
The capital was moved to Nagaokakyo in 784, and the capital was moved to Kyoto in 794.
Until then, current Nara Prefecture has been the center of politics and culture.
In the meantime, cultures called Asuka culture, Hakuho culture, and Tenpyo culture have blossomed.
As a result, many wonderful sculptures, paintings and structures were created.
Although many of these were lost by the movement to abolish Buddhism called Haibutsu-kishaku-undo of the Meiji era, there are still many historic and traditional attractions in Nara Prefecture.
Three properties in Nara Prefecture have been inscribed on the World Cultural Heritage Sites as of May 2019.
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1. Todaiji Temple

Todaiji Temple

Temple with a big image and a big gate

Todaiji Temple is a very celebrated temple in Japan.
There are various tourist information websites, in which Todaiji Temple is usually one of the top five popular tourist destinations.
Todaiji Temple was founded 1300 years ago.
The Great Buddha is in the Great Buddha Hall (officially Kondo Hall ).
The Big Buddha sits down in there and its height is about 15 meters.
And the Great Buddha Hall is about 49 meters high.
These days, large wooden buildings have been built by the development of construction materials and technology, but the Great Buddha Hall was famous as the world's largest wooden construction in the not so distant past.
There is the Nandaimon Gate to the south of the Great Buddha Hall.
The gate is the largest gate of temple in Japan.
In addition, Todaiji Temple has Nigatsudo Hall, where the ritual called Omizutori to be held in March is very famous and great.
Furthermore, Todaiji Temple has a bell, which is said to be one of the three great bells.
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2. Nara Park and Deer

Nara Park and Deer

Park with wild deer that you can enjoy

Nara Park consists of the following seven parks.
(1)Noborioji-enchi
(2)Asajigahara-enchi
(3)Araike-enchi
(4)Ukigumo-enchi
(5)Kasugano-enchi
(6)Sarusawaike-enchi
(7)Chayama-enchi
Each park has its own good, but what is common is that there are many wild deer in every park.
Because these deer are used to people, they are less likely to harm people.
So many tourists are having fun with deer.
However, deer in estrus and mother deer taking care of her infants are dangerous.
Also, if you irritate or harm deer, they fight back you.
When you can notice them, you can have a great time with the deer.
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3. Kofukuji Temple

Kofukuji Temple

Temple with a tall pagoda and a pilgrimage site

The main hall of Kofukuji Temple is Chukondo Hall, and after it was destroyed in 1717, it was not rebuilt in earnest and only a small hall was built.
However, reconstruction was finally started from 2010 and completed in 2018.
The revived Chukondo Hall is very great.
The origin of the pagoda is the mound where the ashes of Buddha as the founder of Buddhism were buried.
It became a shape of a tower, and in Japan it became like a five-story pagoda and a three-story pagoda.
The Gojunoto ( five-storied pagoda ) of Kofukuji Temple is the second highest pagoda in Japan.
In addition to the Gojunoto, there is the Sanjunoto ( three-storied pagoda ) in Kofukuji Temple.
The Sanjunoto is the oldest building in Kofukuji temple along with Hokuendo Hall.
Kofukuji Temple has the Nanen-do Hall, which is one of the place of the pilgrimage called saigoku-sanjusansho-junrei.
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4. Kasugataisha Shrine

Kasugataisha Shrine

Shrine in front of a holy primeval forest and with many lanterns

Kasuga Taisha shrine was created around the time when the capital was built in Nara about 1,300 years ago.
Kasuga Taisha is the most celebrated shrine in Nara.
There is a custom in Japan to visit shrines and temples at the beginning of the year.
About a million people have been visited Kasugataisha Shrine in three days from January 1st every year.
The approach to Kasugataisha Shrine is quite long.
The approach is surrounded by large trees, and on both sides there are many traditional and historical lanterns.
(There are about 3000 lanterns.)
The primeval forest behind the shrinehas been banned from entering and logging basically as a mountain where God has descended.
The structures of Kasugataisha shrine is basically red, white and green.
The main hall and gate in front of the green grass, leaves of trees and blue sky are very strict and beautiful.
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5. Naramachi area

Naramachi area

Area with traditional houses and customs

Hokoji Temple, which was built in the current Asuka village in around year 600, is the first full-scale temple in Japan.
When the capital changed to Hirajokyo, Hokoji moved to the current Nara City and renamed as Gangoji.
A town built around the temple is Naramachi.
After that, although Gangoji Temple declined and became small, Naramachi developed as a town around Kofukuji Temple and Kasugataisha Shrine.
Several traditional buildings are preserved and open to the public.
You can see traditional Japanese houses and living tools there.
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