TRAVELING IN JAPAN: NARA
Whether you are planning your first trip to Japan or not, you may find this general overview helpful for your journey.
Enjoy Free Wi-Fi
To enjoy free Wi-Fi around Japan, we suggest you to download TRAVEL JAPAN Wi-Fi (TJW), an App that provides you free connection to more than 200.000 hotspots in the country. On your visit to Nara, enjoy free Wi-Fi hotspots at both JR Nara and Kintetsu Nara Stations (or by the main touristic attractions).
ATMs and currency exchange
If you are running out of cash, you can easily find ATMs at convenience stores chains as 7-Eleven, FamilyMart and Lawson. It is also possible to withdraw money from post offices’ ATMs. Banks tend to be for domestic use only, but there you can easily exchange your currency. Other money exchange facilities are available at both Nara City Tourist Information Centers near the two main train stations.
Stay comfortable: use coin-lockers
To make your stay easier, you can store unnecessary luggage inside coin lockers, available at both JR Nara and Kintetsu Nara Stations. Small, medium and big size are available. The price for a big locker is around 600 yen. To store your luggage, just find an empty one, put your belongings in, insert the coins (100 yen only accepted) and close it. Turn the key and take it with you to pick up your luggage up later.
Benefit from luggage forwarding
Yamato Transport offers a fast, efficient and inexpensive service to deliver luggage to your next destination. You can send your bag or suitcase to hotels, home addresses or even airports. A pick up service is also available. You will find an office close to Kintetsu Nara Station, on Sanjō-dori (just a few steps away from the Kofukuji Temple). Look for a black and yellow sign with a cat carrying a kitten.
SIGHTSEEING IN NARA: FOUR SEASONS
You may be asking yourself which season would be the best to enjoy your trip. The answer depends on your preferences, of course!
Spring is a popular season among visitors thanks to the beautiful cherry blossom taking place all around Japan from the end of March to late April. Nara Park is a great place to enjoy this incredible event. However, the most popular cherry blossom spot around Nara is Mt. Yoshino, where 30.000 cherry trees gradually bloom and create a breathtaking natural landscape. Spring is also characterized by mild temperatures, encouraging outdoor activities or visits to rural areas.
Summer is known for its torrid heat. It can be easily avoided by visiting mountain areas, characterized by plenty of luxuriant forests, fresh rivers and lakes. Outdoor activities like hiking, camping or water sports are highly recommended. Many traditional festivals, name matsuri, are held during summer period.
Autumn is famous for its beautiful colors. The Japanese maple trees start to turn into bright yellow, orange and red, creating colorful carpets of autumn leaves as they fall on the ground. The fields lose their vibrant green color and gently turn into golden vastness. Nara Park is surrounded by a romantic atmosphere during these months, when the heat is fortunately just a past memory. Temperature are still mild, therefore it’s ideal to organize outdoor activities.
You may find winter an ideal season to travel to Japan if you do not mind cold temperatures and you want to escape from the peak travel season, where prices are higher and places are crowded. You can enjoy a slow-paced visit to the main sightseeing spots or reach alternative destinations. If case of snow, taking a relaxing bath in the hot springs of a traditional Japanese ryokan can be a unique experience.
Find out more things to do around Nara.
- Alice Meniconi
I am an italian designer in love with Japanese culture and Studio Ghibli's movies. In 2015, I moved to Nara for my academic internship. Since then, this city became my second home. After I graduated at ISIA Firenze in 2016, I came back to my beloved Nara to enjoy a three months working experience.