Nara on a Budget: 5 Affordable Experiences

You don't have to spend much to have an amazing experience in Nara and get a real sense of the history and culture. Many venues also offer discounted or free entry if you show your passport.


You can have great fun and pick up a few pro tips for scooping goldfish, that you can use at a Japanese summer festival. It costs about 100 yen to try scooping goldfish, but if he's not busy, the owner, who trains the best (there's a league), may give you a free lesson. | Souvenirs | Yamato Koriyama

Former Site of Heijokyu Imperial Palace

The rebuilt palace and its grounds are free to enter, and walking through the site gives you a real sense of life in the Nara period. Download the free audio app using the QR codes on display, for a guided commentary. | History & Culture | Nishinokyo

Yoshikien Garden

Next door to Isuien Garden, the slightly smaller Yoshikien Garden is free if you show your passport. | Nature & The Outdoors | Nara Park

Kometani Residence

There are several historic houses in Imaicho that are free to enter, and this is the most impressive. There are volunteer guides to show you around and answer questions. | History & Culture | Imaicho

Nara Visitor Center & Inn

This excellent tourist information centre offers free cultural activities each day, such as calligraphy, origami, dressing in kimono and tea ceremony. Drop in to see what's on. | Tourist Information | Nara Park

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