Japan is a beautiful country who's cities of culture, energy and pace intrigue the visitor, but none is so captivating as the small city of Nara. Our daughter took us to this quaint city to experience staying at a Ryokan -- traditional Japanese lodging. The proprietor was warm and gracious. The name of her place is Ryokan Matsumae [--]. There is a small lake in the middle of the city surrounded by a walkway and benches where you can sit and watch the birds, turtles, tourists and locals. There are many walking tours taking you to a park which is home to 1200 deer, many Pagodas, one of which is the second tallest in Japan, and beautiful shrines where the cherry blossoms are magnificent (depending on the time of year). We were there the end of March and they were beautiful. Another walk took us to the Kasuga Taisha Shrine with millions of stone lanterns along the walkway. We ate dinner at Tempura Asuka which I would highly recommend. While my husband and daughter went to the local bar for drinks and karaoke, I took advantage of a traditional Japanese bath. The morning brought a choice of a traditional Japanese breakfast or a western breakfast. We had both -- the food was excellent. I will never forget Nara, I loved it. It is also close to Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto all of which are highlights of Japan.