Nara is a refreshing little town, famous for cute little deer which strop around the temples. It’s a perfect destination for a day trip from Osaka/ Kyoto. Plan around half a day to explore the main temples (if you have more time it’s a nice place to do walks in the nature). There are plenty of temples, I just headed for the main temple: Todaiji Temple. From the station there is a bus which leaves you right in front of the temple. You’ll find many little cute deer around the temples – make sure they don’t eat your map or JR pass (the love paper!). If you want to feed them buy deer crackers from the numerous stands, but be aware that they’ll follow you for a while.. The temple is a world heritage side and has a huge buddha inside (almost 15m high).From the temple walk to the Nigatsudo Hall for a nice view of the city (which won’t seem so small anymore). For original souvenir ideas try lucky charms for students or a hand-painted temple journal (at every temple you can pay to get something written into your journal, I guess it’s about good luck or something similar).
Getting there: Umeda – Nara (810 Yen)/ Nara – Namba (560 Yen)