Top Things to Do in Nara This Summer
If you are visiting Nara this summer, you are in for a treat; because temperatures are high and the sun is out! Whether you are looking to soak up the sun in Nara Park, go local at a colourful summer festival or simply find some shade, we have you covered with our list of the top Nara picks this summer.
One of the more unusual sights you can expect to see in Dorogawa during summer is the Shugendo practioner. They dress from head to toe in white, wear bags made from animal skins around their waists and sound conch shells from time to time. They come to Dorogawa in large numbers in summer to practice Shugendo, a form of ascetic mountain Buddhism, and make pilgrimages in the surrounding mountains. Despite their rather unique appearance, they are all very friendly. To book accommodation in Dorogawa during the peak summer season, pay a visit to Nara Visitor Center & Inn where English-speaking staff can call around and check vacancies.
If you don’t want to venture as far south as Dorogawa and Mitarai Valley, there is some excellent hiking to be had along the Yamanobe-no-Michi, a scenic trail leading through the Japanese countryside. It’s a great way to experience traditional Japan and meet the locals. We recommend starting at Tenri Station where there is clear signage and ending at Ohmiwa Jinja Shrine, in Miwa, Sakurai. The walk usually takes three to four hours, but may take a little longer in summer with more frequent breaks to rest and rehydrate.
- The Yamanobe-no-Michi trail, a section of Japan's oldest road, runs through villages and farms.
- The area around Ohmiwa Jinja Shrine isn't just famous for its sake, its also the home of ultra-fine somen noodles. Seved chilled with ice, they are amzing in summer!
Either before or after exploring some of the more further afield areas like Dorogawa and Sakurai, make sure to set aside some time for Nara Park. It’s the best place to spend a leisurely day soaking up the sun. If it gets too hot, you can always cool down at Kasugataisha Shrine. The grounds are huge and offer plenty of shade.
- Katsuragi Imasuhono Ikazuchi Shrine Summer Festival
- Japan is known for its gorgeous lantern festivals. Find out what all the fuss is about at this one in Katsuragi. Cultural Events Katsuragi
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