Ikaruga 斑鳩エリア

horyu-ji temple
horyu-ji temple

An area worth taking your time to explore

The Ikaruga area in the northwestern part of Nara is a popular place for visitors willing to travel a short distance outside the central city.

Famous for Horyuji , the best part is the natural locale, with a beautiful river, mountain backdrop, and rice paddies. The Ikaruga area truly is the perfect blend of natural and cultural attractions.

Don't Miss

  • Horyuji, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Seeing all the pagodas
  • Taking a relaxing walk following the Tatsuta River

How to Get There

The best station to access the area is Nara Station.

Take the bus from Nara Station to Horyuji Station for 10-15 minutes and then walk from the station.

A township of temples

The most important sights in the area are the diverse temples. Of these, Horyuji , home to some of the oldest wooden buildings in the world, is the most famous. Horyuji is also renowned for the five-story pagoda on its grounds. This pagoda is the oldest of its kind in Japan.

Perfect pagoda

Although lacking the scale of the five-story pagoda, the three-story pagodas at Horinji and Hokkiji temples are worth visiting.

While the pagodas and Horyuji are the most famous sights, visitors who want to see some lesser-known sights should not overlook Chuguji Temple and its fantastic mandala art.

Natural setting

After you have experienced all the temples in the area, take some time to appreciate the natural setting. Walking along the Tatsuta River is a popular option, especially during the fall when the region is awash with color.

Nature lovers will also appreciate how the mountains complement the temples. Lining up both the temples and the natural attractions for a perfect shot is a great way to spend time in the Ikaruga area.

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