When you get to the ancient city of Nara-shi, things are different from the Japanese megacities like Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka. Here everything runs more quietly, without so much hurry or stress. Time here moves slowly, and is very easy to catch the antique spirit of the city.
Once you arrive at the train station of Nara (Nara Station) you realize that Nara is a unique city in the Kansai region, and in its train station, run by the JR Company as almost all of the Kansai area, things happen much more slowly. There are no people running everywhere, no queues to get train tickets at the electronic ticket expenders.
Here people live much more relaxed, and only lost tourists trying to realize how to reach some of the many temples you can visit in this small and ancient city make you think that this city one day was so important during the Nara era.
Neither the streets are crowded, there are no large buildings surrounding your or cars everywhere trying to move in the traffic, not even illuminated signs of hundreds of advertising companies like in other cities.
Especially if you have the chance of visiting Nara out of the tourist season, you will get the pleasure of enjoying a quiet city with a vast culture, antique temples, and great nature as few others city can be found in Japan.
With very many local businesses, especially on main roads that towards to Todai-ji (Eastern 東大寺 Great Temple), you’ll find great variety of local crafts, delicious traditional food and all kinds of accessories for clothing or home ornaments. Do not miss the chance of visiting every shop here, the stuff here is very friendly and always smiling looking for you to buy with no matter of time.
Nara is primarily a city for tourists, it is their main source of income and that makes the city very easy for visiting even if you do not understand Japanese language. Back to when I say city for tourists I do not mean to foreign tourists.
Even if the city receives many foreign tourist throughout the year, here domestic tourist are the most important for the city.
Nara is probably the most authentic city of Ancient Japan with all its splendor in the year 800 AD and therefore part of the national large-scale tourism where you can enjoy its landscapes, ancient temples and where its characteristic Todai-ji harboring deers in the open as if a natural reserve was where children and adults enjoy feed and play them.