A quick an easy train ride from Osaka, Nara is a popular day trip from the city and it has a lot to offer. Here are 7 things to do – and eat – in this quaint city.
1 – TRY A DIFFERENT KIND OF SUSHI
This little restaurant serves sushi with a twist – everything is wrapped or flavoured with Persimmon leaves. Persimmon is a (seriously tasty) fruit native to Japan with a mildly rich and sweet flavour. And perfect for Instagrammers, it’s presented beautifully.
2 – TAKE 700 PHOTOS OF DEER
Probably Nara’s biggest selling point is Nara Park, which is home to over 1200 deer that are so used to humans that not only will they eat out of your hand (deer cookies are for sale at $2USd a pack), they will even bow their heads to try to convince you to hand them over.
3 – GRAB A (MARGINALLY) HEALTHIER SNACK
Like every city in Japan, Nara is a haven for foodies. The walk from the station to the park will take you through an awesome area with lots of little shops selling all kinds of snacks. Try one of the tasty (low calorie) flavoured rice crackers. You’ll feel less guilty when you get onto the sweet treats later…
4 – ADMIRE THE WORLD’S (SECOND) LARGEST WOODEN STRUCTURE
Until it was pipped by the Spaniards in 1998, this enormous building (built around 1300 years ago) was the world’s largest wooden structure and quite an incredible architectural feat given its age. It’s also home to a humungous Buddha statue.
5 – TRY THE UNBELIEVABLE HONEYCOMB ICE CREAM
Now, the good stuff. It ain’t cheap (nearly $10 USD!) but Sugi’s incredibly light soft-serve ice cream with a big-ass block of raw honeycomb, drizzled with fresh honey is nothing short of a taste sensation. Definitely a worthy investment.
6 – GET A SAKURA SELFIE
Between April and June, Japan’s gardens come alive with colour, and Nara’s gardens are no different. Nara Park is quite a sight, with deer running around amongst the bright pink Sakura blossom.
7- MUNCH A WARM CHOCOLATE BUN FILLED WITH ICE CREAM
Melon de Melon is admittedly a national chain in Japan but this was the first time I came across a branch so in the spirit of having to try every sweet delicacy available, I had to try. Imagine a warm, soft, bready, chocolatey brownie with creamy, super-milky and slightly salty ice cream inside. In your mouth. Go on, do it.
If you know of any other awesome things to do and/or eat in Nara, make a comment below!