Top Reasons to Go to Nara

Architecture: Nara's wealth of classical temples, pagodas, and shrines includes some of the world's oldest wooden structures. Crafted in the Chinese style, they evoke the vision of a new political order and a nation's religious and imperial odyssey.

Hospitality: The famously unaffected hospitality of Nara's citizens can best be experienced in a traditional, family-run inn.

Shopping: Locals in old wooden shops sell Nara's famous crafts: sumi (ink sticks) for calligraphy and ink painting, Nara sarashi (fine handwoven, sun-bleached linen), and akahadayaki pottery.

Local Eats: Renowned dishes include kaiseki; cha-gayu, green-tea-flavored rice porridge served with seasonal vegetables; and tangy nara-zuke, vegetables pickled in sake.

Todai-ji Temple Complex: The complex includes the Daibutsu-den (Hall of the Great Buddha), home to the monumental Great Buddha. The 8th-century San-gatsu-do houses Tenpyo-era statues.

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