Nara - Places to Visit

A perfect day trip from Osaka or Kyoto. It is especially famous for its wild, free-roaming deer in Nara Park. The deer are surprisingly nice and mild-mannered, and are loads of fun to take photos with. If you're looking for a portrait photoshoot in nature, try a visit to Nara. It's a beautiful place.


There are many deer in Nara Park — Photo by Hayashi Photo Works

There are many deer in Nara Park — Photo by Hayashi Photo Works

Nara is located just a short hour away from Osaka or Kyoto. With so many places to visit in Nara, you'll have plenty to explore throughout the day.

Nara Park is a popular location for photo shoots—usually because they want photos with the deer. But Nara isn’t just a deer pen-- it has amazing scenery and nature that’ll be sure to knock your socks off. You won’t be disappointed by its cherry blossoms and autumn leaves, which look phenomenal with the temples in the backdrop. And if you have kids, don’t worry! The deer are friendly enough to feel safe around. A perfect place for couples and families.

Top 5 Popular Photo Spots in Nara

1. Nara Park

The deer will bow for a yummy treat! — Photo by Hayashi Photo WorksThe deer will bow for a yummy treat! — Photo by Hayashi Photo Works

Known for its spacious fields and bowing deer, this park is home to many famous temples and gardens that are treasured photo spots. Did you know the deer from Nara park don't actually live there? The famous deer are wild and live in the mountains, the descend for some yummy deer treats (shika senbei) and leave the park when it gets dark to return to their true homes! The park is full of many great photo opportunities as well as adorable deer, so we highly recommend it! 

2. Isuien Garden

Found within Nara Park! — Photo by B WORKs PHOTOGRAPHYFound within Nara Park! — Photo by B WORKs PHOTOGRAPHY

This Japanese garden is actually divided into two parts a front garden and rear garden. Both gardens offer a long history dating back to the 17th century for the front garden, and a great number of photo spots. The Isuien garden is home to many tea houses scattered about as well as museums and other neat things to see. 

 

3. Todaiji Temple

Autumn leaves in Nara — Photo by Kiki photo works

Autumn leaves in Nara — Photo by Kiki photo works

Known as a landmark to Nara, this temple is one of the oldest and most historically significant temples in the area. First constructed in 752, the temple has since seen many visitors and gone through changes over the years. In and around the temple offer many beautiful backdrops for photos of every type! 


4. Sarusawa Pond

Romantic kiss among the autumn leaves— Photo by Kaoru Photography

Romantic kiss among the autumn leaves— Photo by Kaoru Photography

The beautiful pond is actually a construction as part of the grounds of Kofukuji Temple. A highly recommended spot in the spring for its cherry blossoms and autumn for its leaves. Both seasons provide beautiful sights, and even off-season the pond provides a great background for serene, natural photos. 


5. Mount Wakakusa

Pretty pink cherry blossoms in the spring — Photo by Kaoru Photography

Pretty pink cherry blossoms in the spring — Photo by Kaoru Photography

If you’re not so keen on deer, but are in the Nara area, Yoshikien Garden is the perfect place for a traditional Japanese garden. There is a pond garden, moss garden, an even a tea ceremony garden that you can enjoy for your photo shoot. Please keep in mind that gardens like these often require an application for shooting permission, or could even deny your request depending on the circumstances, so please inquire as soon as possible! (Our photographers help take care of the application, and usually only takes a few hundred yen.)


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