By Bryan Baier
If Nara is not part of your itinerary when visiting Japan, you may want to reconsider. Not only is Nara considered the birthplace of Japan, it is home to the most World Heritage Sites in the country, and includes historic temples, scenic landscapes and fine cuisine. Find yourself immersed in a cultural and historical journey you will never forget where people and deer coexist in harmony. Begin this beautiful journey of Nara at the NARA Visitor Center & Inn, located in Nara City.
The NARA Visitor Center & Inn had its grand opening on July 23. Located by the Sarusawa Pond in Nara City, a short walking distance from Kintetsu Nara station and Nara station, it is the hub for all travel resources when visiting Nara. If you have any questions, need travel recommendations, or are looking for transportation guidance this is the stop to make.
The visitor center offers services that will ease your travels in Nara. Find an ATM serving overseas cards and foreign currency exchange at the service counter. Drop your bags off at the baggage storage to rid the excessive weight off your shoulders as you explore the nearby areas. The travelers lounge is equipped with computers and i-pads available for use free of charge. If they are taken, use the free Wi-Fi, to start planning your adventure on your own devices. Find pamphlets and maps for basic information and tips on where to go. The multilingual staff are also extremely helpful and are happy to share the must-see sights and eats that you will not find in travel pamphlets.
In addition to the many services offered here, you will find daily walking tours and free cultural activities to participate in. This is a great chance to learn and experience the art of Ikebana (flower arranging), dress in a Tempyo gown, or challenge yourself with Japanese calligraphy. Take the free excursion buses available every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until October 31st, for a ride to either Asuka Village or Mount Yoshino. The famous sights and activities are not limited to Nara City so don't miss out on this opportunity to explore all the beauty Nara Prefecture has to offer!
For updates on events at the NARA Visitor Center & Inn, check out their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/naravisitorcenterandinn
Also take a look at the Nara Japan - Past and Present, the official Facebook page for visiting and living in Nara Prefecture: https://www.facebook.com/naratourism/
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