Experience Nara Time in Japan

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Experience Nara Time in Japan

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Join Us on the “Nara-Nishinokyo Lotus Road” to Enjoy the Breathtaking Lotus Flowers!

2019/5/31

Early summer is the time to see lotuses in flower.
Opening in the early morning and closing in the afternoon, the transience of the wondrous lotus has always fascinated people. The simple purity of the lotus has an important symbolic quality in Buddhism, being associated with the idea of the ‘unsullied heart’.

 

If you’re here in summer, and manage to get up a little earlier than usual, you could get out, enjoy the fresh morning air, and see graceful lotuses in bloom.

 

 

 

喜光寺の蓮

 

 

List of contents

 

 Where and when to see lotuses in bloom in Nara City

 

 ・What’s the best way to get around? Access via the Lotus Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographs (clockwise from top left) – Lotuses at Saidaiji Temple, Kikōji Temple,  Yakushiji Temple and Tōshōdaiji Temple. 

 

Where and when to see lotuses in bloom in Nara

 

 

The lotus has great symbolic importance in Buddhism. There are four temples in Nara famous for their lotuses: Saidaiji Temple, Kikōji Temple, Tōshōdaiji Temple, and Yakushiji Temple.

The temples are located in the west or Nishinokyō part (to the west of the main street, Suzakuōji, of the old capital Heijōkyō) of Nara City.

 

Countless lotuses bloom from early summer, approx. mid June to mid August, in large lotus containers placed in the temple precincts.
The route connecting these four temples is known as the Lotus Road. Many visitors come to visit the temples to admire the lotuses every year.

 

 

 

 

 

Essential information about the four temples famous for lotuses

 

 

Temple name

 

Saidaiji Kikōji Tōshōdaiji Yakushiji
Opening times

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 

Usually 9 a.m. -4:30 p.m.
*July -Saturdays, Sundays, holidays 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 

8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Entry fees
※1 adult

 

800 yen
*You can enter the following halls with one ticket- Main Hall (本堂), Shitenno Hall (四王堂) and Aizendo Hall (愛染堂).
Please pay the entrance fee at the first hall you visit.

 

 

500 yen

 

1,000 yen

 

1,100 yen

Entry to: Kondō hall, Daikōdō hall, Tōindō hall and Genjo-sanzoin Garan
*Price and locations are subject to change depending on the occasions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best ways to get here. Lotus Road access

 

 

The usual way to get to the four temples on the Lotus Road are, from Osaka, Kyoto, Kansai Airport, or from elsewhere in the prefecture, by the comprehensive Kintetsu Railway network to Yamato Saidaiji Station, and on the Kintetsu Kashihara Line Amagasuji or Nishinokyō stations.

 

There are a number of ways to do the route.
A good way, starting from Saidaiji Temple to the north, is traveling south aiming for Yakushiji Temple. Alternatively, starting at Nishinokyō Station, Yakushiji and Tōshōdaiji, aiming for Saidaiji.

If you then extend your route and visit the Heijō Palace remains and then Nara Park, you’ll have more or less done some of the best of Nara in a day!

 

Below, we’ve suggested four routes you could follow by train and bus, on foot, cycling, and by car.

The suggested routes are designed to allow you to view the early flowering lotuses and see the four temples in a day. The first route ends with Saidaiji, traveling from north to south.

 

 

Train From Osaka Kaisoku Kyukō Express from Kintetsu Osaka Namba Station to Yamato Saidaiji Station. About 30 minutes (to Nishinokyō add about 5 minutes).
From Kyōto By Kyukō Express from Kyōto Station to Yamato Saidaiji Station. About 40 minutes (to Nishinokyō add about 5 minutes).
Car From Osaka About 7 minutes to Saidaiji from the Daini Keinawa Expressway Hōrai interchange.
From Kyōto About 14 minutes to Saidaiji from the Keinawa Expressway Kizu interchange.

 

 

 

Route list

 

 ・Using train, bus, taxi.

 

 ・Walking route enjoying local spots en route.

 

 ・Cycling route with the wind in your hair!

 

 ・Driving route. Take it easy by car.

 

 

 

 

 

Route by train, bus, taxi
※ The following times are based on those indicated by Google Maps, on a normal day.
Please confirm the times before you set out.
8:20 a.m. Start from Yamato Saidaiji Station South Exit

Walk about 5 minutes
8:30 a.m. Saidaiji Temple (about 35 minutes)

Walk about 5 minutes
9:10 a.m. Bus (Stand 12) for Kintetsu Nara Station from Yamato Saidaiji Station South Exit.

About 1 to 2 minutes, alighting at Sugawara Higashi (菅原東).
(Or, take the bus for Gakuenmae-eki (South)  (学園前駅(南)) from Stand 13. Alight at Hanna Sugawara (阪奈菅原), or walk about 15 minutes to Kikōji from Saidaiji.)
※ The closest bus stop is Hanna Sugawara.
9:25 a.m. Kikōji (about 35 minutes)

About 8 minutes by taxi
(or about 21 minutes walk)
10:15 a.m. Tōshōdaiji (about 45 minutes)

Walk about 8 minutes
11:15 a.m. Yakushiji (about 45 minutes)
12:00 noon You’ve done the four temple mini-pilgrimage!
Onward, from Kintetsu Nishinokyō Station, to Nara Park via Yamato Saidaiji

 

 

 

 


Walking route enjoying local spots en route

※ The walking route assumes stops of about 45 minutes at each temple.

 

08:20 Meet and start from Yamato Saidaiji Station South Exit

Walk about 5 minutes (350m)
08:30 Saidaiji Temple (about 35 minutes)

Walk about 17 minutes (1.4km)

… brief detour to Sugawara Tenmangu (+10 minutes)
|
09:40 Kikōji (about 35 minutes)

 About 21 minutes (1.7km)

… brief detour to Mausoleum of Suinin (+10 minutes)
10:45 Tōshōdaiji (about 45 minutes)

Walk about 8 minutes (600m)
11:40 Yakushiji (about 45 minutes)
12:30 You’ve done the four temple mini-pilgrimage!
Onward, from Kintetsu Nishinokyō Station, to Nara Park via Yamato Saidaiji

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cycling route with the wind in your hair!

※ The travel times, other than cycling, indicated, are all the same as for the times for cycling

 

08:50 Meet and start from Yamato Saidaiji Station South Exit

Walk about 1 minute
|
09:00 Hire bicycle from Nakō Rentacycle Saidaiji (normal opening hours 09:00 -19:00. Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 11 June – 15 August 2021: 08:00 – 19:00)

About 1 minute
|
09:05 Saidaiji (about 45 minutes)

About 5 minute

… brief detour to Sugawara Tenmangu (+10 minutes)
|
About 1 minute/span>
|
09:50 Kikōji (about 45 minutes)

About 8 minutes
10:45 Tōshōdaiji (about 45 minutes)

About 3 minutes
11:30 Yakushiji (about 45 minutes)
12:15 You’ve done the four temple mini-pilgrimage!

About 25 minutes
12:40 Return bicycle to Nakō Rentacycle Saidaiji
Onward, from Kintetsu Yamato Saidaiji Station, to Nara Park

 

 

 

 

 

 


Driving route. Take it easy by car.

※The travel times indicated assume travel by car
※ The following times are based on those indicated by Google Maps, on a normal day.
Please confirm the times before you set out.

08:30 Saidaiji (about 45 minutes)
(Car park for 60 vehicles, cars 300 yen/hour)


about 10 minutes
|
09:25 Kikōji (about 45 minutes)
(Car park 20 vehicles, free)

About 10 minutes
10:20 Tōshōdaiji (about 45 minutes)
(Car park for 150 vehicles, cars 550 yen/hour)

About 10 minutes
11:15 Yakushiji (about 45 minutes)
(Ordinary cars 500 yen)
12:00 You’ve done the four temple mini-pilgrimage!
Extend the route and head either forHeian Palace Remainsor Nara Park