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Just Chill: Sunday in Nara Park

You’re on holiday with no plans and the whole day ahead of you. How do you want to spend your Sunday? A stroll through the park? Brunch with the deer? Hiking to a great picnic spot, or a leisurely afternoon tea… Nara Park is the perfect place to chill out on your day off.

a great way to start the day

If you’re an early riser, head down to Ukimido, the classical hexagonal wooden pavilion that appears to float on Sagiike Pond. With no one but deer for company, the pavilion, often misty at sunrise, looks magical. A brisk walk through the park without the crowds is a great way to start the day.

the morning views over the temple roofs from its stone steps are beautiful

You can grab a coffee or juice at Cafe Nagood on Sanjo-dori Street, which opens from 8am and head up to Nigatsudo, one of the smaller halls of Todaiji Temple. The morning views over the temple roofs from its stone steps are beautiful. Get there early before the tour buses arrive.

a good choice for a relaxed brunch

On the edge of Nara Park, Monsieur Pepe is a good choice for a relaxed brunch from 11am. Try to get a table out back near the garden or relax under the market umbrellas at the front. The restaurant specialises in casual French dishes and offers free WI-Fi.

a relaxing way to explore contemporary art

The quiet historic streets around Shinyakushiji Temple feel like Sunday every day. A visit to the nearby Nara City Museum of Photography is a relaxing way to explore contemporary art. There is a small cafe and a library of art books, so you can take your time.

beautiful any day

Nara Hotel is beautiful any day, but an indulgent pot of tea or bowl of matcha with cakes in the Tea Lounge is one of the best ways to enjoy it. If your afternoon goes well, you might even decide to stay through the evening to enjoy The Bar.

be rewarded with beautiful views across Nara

If your Sunday so far has involved a lot of eating, you might feel the need to burn off some calories. There’s no need for a gym when you can hike up Mt. Wakakusa. After a short, steep incline which takes around 30 minutes, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views across Nara.

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