Nara is located less than one hour from Kyoto and Osaka.
Due to its past as the first permanent capital, it remains full of historic
treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples.
Nara is a spectacularly picturesque city which is second only to Kyoto
for the richness and beauty of its temples, shrines and gardens. It’s
possible to visit Nara as a daytrip from Kyoto and Osaka, but its gorgeous
districts and parks are certainly worth a few days of your time.
Japan's first permanent capital was established in the year 710 at Heijo,
the city now known as Nara. As the influence and political ambitions of
the city's powerful Buddhist monasteries grew to become a serious threat
to the government, the capital was moved to Nagaoka in 784.