Experience Nara Time in Japan

NARA Travelers Guide

Experience Nara Time in Japan

Visit Nagato Yamaguchi Japan

Around Nara

Course 05

A Fresh Morning in Nara to Clear Your Mind

Enjoy Nara before the rush of tourists and other visitors. Feel yourself slowly become lighter, too with a walk through the ancient city as it gradual appears through the morning mist. See some of Nara’s famous sites in a new light, too.

  • Himuro Shrine

  • Nara Park & Tobihino

  • Kasuga Taisha Shrine

  • Ukimido Pavilion

Approx. 3.39 km
58 min (Not including time spent at locations)

Kintetsu Nara Station

1.2 km: Approx. 14 minute walk

Himuro Shrine

A shrine which houses the guardian of ice god

The name of this shrine, “Himuro,” literally means “ice room,” a reference to the god enshrined therein: the guardian protector of man-made ice and refrigeration. On the first of each month, “ice lanterns” (koori kentou) are lit: votive candels are lit within ice vessels, which shine exquisitely around the shrine. Visitors in the springtime can also see an extraordinary weeping cherry tree reknowned as the most beautiful cherry blossom tree in Nara. In recent years, an event called “Himuro Shirayuki Festival” has brought together many varieties of shaved ice from around Nara and Japan.

  • Address:1-4 Kasugano-cho, Nara
  • Tel:+81-0742-23-7297
  • Closing days:Open 365 days a year
  • Opening hours:April to October: 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    November to March: 6:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Parking lot:Available (Paid parking space for 24 vehicles, 500 yen/hour *500 yen/30 minutes from Mid-March to Mid-April)
  • Admission fees:Free admission
  • Himuro Shrine
550 m: Approx. 7 minute walk

Nara Park & Tobihino

Enjoy the beautiful green of this large park

Located within the grounds of Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Tobihino is the name given to this wide, grassy expanse. In the days of the capital, this area was used for signalling with sparks and smoke, which could be seen from far away. The name Tobihino is apt for a place for signal fires, because it translates to, “field of soaring fire.”

  • Address:160 Kasugano-cho, Nara
  • Tel:+81-742-22-7788 (Kasuga Taisha Shrine)
  • Closing days:Open all week
  • Parking lot:None
  • Admission fees:Free admission
  • Nara Park
850 m: Approx. 10 minute walk

Kasuga Taisha Shrine

See the palace corridor shine scarlet in the dawn light

Built nearly 1,300 years ago, Kasuga Taisha Shrine represented a prayer for the prosperity of the kingdom and the happiness of its people.
The lanterns hanging within the red main hall and along the pathway leading to the shrine have been funded by donations from the 10th century until the present day. The faith of the many donors can be seen by looking at the number of lanterns alone.
*Visits to the shrine early in the morning are led by Shinto priests. For more on specific times during different days and months, please check the site below.

  • Address:160 Kasugano-cho, Nara
  • Tel:+81-0742-22-7788
  • Closing days:Open all week
  • Opening hours:6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (April-September), 6:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (October-March)
  • Parking lot:Paid parking available
  • Admission fees:Special Entry to the Inner Cloister Ceremonial Fee: 500 yen /
    Entry to the National Treasure Hall:
    Adults: 500 yen
    University & High School Students: 300 yen
    Junior High & Elementary School Students: 200 yen
    Manyo Botanical Gardens:
    High School Age & Above: 500 yen
    Junior High & Elementary School Students: 250 yen
  • Website:Kasuga Taisha Shrine
650 m: Approx. 10 minute walk

Ukimido Pavilion

A gazebo shrouded in fog

This wooden rest spot floats on the Heron Pond (Sagi Ike) with its thatched cypress roof in the center of Nara Park. It’s a wondrous sight to catch it early in the morning, as it appears to rise from the pond, wrapped in curls of mist. Visitors can also enjoy the nearby flora as they change throughout the seasons.

  • Address:Takabatake-cho, Nara
  • Closing days:Open all week
  • Parking lot:Not available
  • Admission fees:Free admission
1.4 km: Approx. 17 minute walk

Kintetsu Nara Station


Related Information

Nara-machi South Information Center, “Shika-no-Fune”

Stretch your legs a bit for an exquisite breakfast!
This information center is located on the southern edge of Nara-machi. The building was constructed in the 1910s, resulting in its eclectic blend of Western and Japanese aesthetics. At its attached cafeteria, “Kamado,” visitors can enjoy Nara-style foods cooked over a traditional cooking hearth. The attached cafe, “Saezuri” is recommended for visitors looking for tasty Western fare.

  • Address:11 Inoue-cho, Nara
  • Nara-machi South Information Center “Mayu”: +81-742-94-3500
    Cafeteria “Kamado”: +81-742-94-5520
    Cafe & Gallery “Saezuri”: +81-742-94-9700
  • Nara-machi South Information Center “Mayu”: Open all year
    Cafeteria “Kamado”: Closed on Wednesdays
    Cafe & Gallery “Saezuri”: Closed on Wednesdays
  • Nara-machi South Information Center “Mayu”: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Open all year)
    Cafeteria “Kamado”: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Cafe & Gallery “Saezuri”: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Paid parking available in the adjacent “Nara-machi South Information Center;” space for 20 vehicles
  • Website:http://www.kuruminoki.co.jp/shikanofune/en/