Nara Park is an impressively large park in Nara, home to over a thousand deer and to a number of striking temples and gardens.
If in Kyoto, it is definitely worth a visit.
A train from JR Kyoto will get you to Nara between 45 and 60 mins (depending on the train) and you can use your JR Pass. The train passes through nice countryside and you expect Nara to be a backwater. It isn't!
There is a tourist information bureau in the impressive station concourse itself where the helpful staff will give you an English language map and instructions on how to get there.
It is an easy place to get to: You just get on bus number 2 outside the station, pay a flat Y200 fee and you can get off anywhere.
The bus goes around in a circle and back to the station.
Once in the park you have several choices to visit. I first visited Todaiji Temple, home to the biggest wooden Buddha statue.
As soon as you get to the park the first thing that you notice are the tame "wild" deer and lots of school kids. I was accosted by the latter who asked me a few questions about myself and seriously wrote them down in their books.
As for the former they would come after you for food. Official Deer Biscuits are sold and it is best not to feed them anything else.The gardens are lovely and the temples have a lot of history behind them,.
There is of course a shopping and eating street and vending machines. I spent the whole day there and got back to Kyoto. Apparently, most people do this as a day trip with not many stay overnight.
If you have time on your hands, on your way back, do relax at Nara JR Station!
A not to be missed day out from Kyoto!
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