Japan’s first permanent capital from AD 710 to 794 (known then as Heijo), as well as the site of the ancient capitals of Asuka and Fujiwara, it goes without saying that Nara Prefecture (奈良県, Nara-ken) is filled with history and culture.
Nara is renowned for its many prestigious temples, led by Todai-ji (home of the Nara Great Buddha) and Horyu-ji, the oldest wooden building in the world. The lesser-known Asuka Temple is considered to be the oldest temple in Japan, constructed in AD 588. The traditional performing art of Daimokutate is performed every October 12th and is a sight to behold.
One of the most iconic sights of Nara is Nara Park; in addition to it containing Todai-ji, Kofuku-ji, and Kasuga Shrine, it is famous for its roaming deer - visitors can even feed them! The town of Yoshino is arguably the best spot in Japan for cherry blossom viewing.