What Not to Miss in Nara, May 2017

With warm weather, sunshine and blue skies, May is undoubtedly one of the best times to visit Nara. Although a little too late to catch the cherry blossoms, you can find many other spectacular floral displays in the parks, gardens and temple grounds of the region. Alternatively, stretch your legs and walk one of Nara's ancient paths or explore the sights of Nara Park. If lucky, you may stumble across a colourful spring festival or some super-cute baby deer!

To plan your visit or for information on making Nara a day trip from either Kyoto or Osaka, check out our Travel to Nara page.

The Wisteria in Kasugataisha Shrine

In the heart of Nara Park, this impressive shrine should definitely be on your list of places to visit this May. The wisteria is beautiful as it flowers, draping the grounds and gardens in purple. | History & Culture | Nara Park

Man'yo Botanical Garden

For the best show of wisteria, head to the Man'yo Botanical Garden, a beautiful strolling garden on the approach to Kasugataisha Shrine. | Nature & The Outdoors | Nara Park

Manyo Gagaku Festival

Get your fill of Japanese culture at this colourful May festival, where tradtional dance and other performances take place on a waterside stage. It is worth it just to see the costumes the performers wear. | Cultural Events | Nara Park

Katsuragi Kodo

This ancient path runs between Katsuragi and Gose and passes Mt. Katsuragi. In May, the azaleas that bloom on the mountaintop are stunning. There is even a ropeway to the top if you don't feel like walking. Find out more about the Katsuragi Kodo Path in our hiking story. | Nature & The Outdoors | Katsuragi

Murouji Rhododendron Festival

Murouji Temple makes for a pleasant excursion from Nara City in any season, but the rhododendrons that bloom in May make it extra worthy of a visit. Combined with the Murou Art Forest and other nearby attractions, you could easily spend a whole day here. Find out more about the area in our Murou destination guide. | Nature Events | Murouji Temple

Kohfukuji Temple

With a history dating back 1300 years, the shrines and temples of Nara display some amazing artworks. World Heritage Kohfukuji Temple is currently holding a temporary exhibition, showcasing some of its most precious Buddhist carvings. | History & Culture | Nara Park

Nara Park

Dotted with attractions and less than an hour from Kyoto and Osaka, Nara Park makes for an fun-filled day trip. The friendly deer that roam the park are one of the major draws and towards the end of May, you may spot some new-born fawns. To plan your Nara Park day trip check our guide to the park. | Nature & The Outdoors | Nara Park


Japanese food and the seasons are inextricably linked. One of the popular treats in spring is Yomogi Mochi, a delicate treat made with mugwort leaves. Try one of these for a taste of spring! | Edible Gifts | Nara Park

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