Rediscovering Nara, Japan's old capital city
When I was visiting Kyoto, Japan I decided to spent an afternoon in Nara which is a short train ride away from there. This city is home to eight sites that are recognized collectively by UNESCO as the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara.” You can spend time exploring these eight sites and learn a great deal about the history of this ancient city. Modern Nara is the capital of its prefecture, so now the city has its own centers of commerce.
The city of Nara in Japan functioned as the capital city from 710 to 784. During this time period, Nara grew because of Buddhism’s influence and popularity. This explains why there are many Buddhist temples in this city which are still preserved to this day. Unfortunately, Nara is not as well-known as Japan’s other ancient capital, Kyoto, so many tourists do not pay a visit to this wonderful historic city.
The biggest and most popular site is Todai-ji temple, which is home to the Daibutsu, the biggest Buddha statue in Japan. This temple is located in the Nara park famous for its large deer population (they roam the grounds freely and there is a lot of them everywhere you go). The temple grounds as well as other shrines and temples near by are beautiful, I really enjoyed the scenery while taking a walk around.