Less than an hour from Kyoto and Osaka, Nara was once the ancient capital called Heijo-kyo, which celebrated its 1300th anniversary in 2010. Nara attracts countless tourists every year. It is a relatively small city, known for the Todai-ji temple complex and its Daibutsu, a large statue of the Buddha. The temple sits in the center of the spacious Nara Park where numerous deers, who are regarded as messengers of gods, roam freely.
As an ancient capital, Nara undoubtedly houses a number of historic buildings and art pieces, many of which are designated as World Cultural Heritage sites, including Horyu-ji temple and Yakushiji-temple.