Thinking about living in Nara? There are a ton of fun things in Nara! Here is a guide to help you decide if this cultural Kansai prefecture is right for you.
Living in Nara City
Nara City is the largest city in Nara Prefecture. If you want convenient shopping centers and public transportation, living in Nara City is probably for you. While it is the capital of the prefecture, Nara City has a population of less than 400,000. However, it does get crowded sometimes, as Nara City is a popular location for tourists to visit. Accordingly, Nara City is where the bulk of cultural institutions in the prefecture are located. There are several museums, botanical gardens, and many temple sites to visit. It is because of these that tourists love Nara City. Moreover, Nara City is where the famous Nara Park filled with deer is located. Animal lovers will enjoy living in a city with these magnificent creatures. If you are looking for a quieter pace of life and enjoy being in a place with a rich cultural heritage, Nara City will be perfect for you.
Living in Ikoma
Living in Ikoma is great for those who need to commute daily to Osaka for work. Rental apartments in Ikoma are a little cheaper than rental apartments in Osaka. There are many fun things to do in Ikoma both for nature lovers and city explorers. Some hiking trails around Mount Ikoma will take you to Higashi Osaka. Like Kashihara, it has a fairly small population. Part of Kansai Science City is located in Ikoma, making it a good place for students at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology to live. While it’s not a very popular tourist destination, there is an amusement park known as Skyland Ikoma, so the city gets some visitors. Overall, living in Ikoma is cheap, quiet and it is not too far from Osaka, a big major city in Japan.
Living in Kashihara
If Nara City doesn’t feel like the right place for you, consider living in Kashihara. It’s a pretty small city, with a population of around 130,000 people. Despite being a fairly rural city with a small population, Kashihara has a long history. It is said that Emperor Jimmu ascended to the imperial throne in the imperial capital known as Fujiwara-kyo. The area is now known as Kashihara. During the 16th century, it was one of the richest autonomous cities in Japan. Now, it is a rural area with a rich history and culture, which makes living in Kashihara interesting. It is still home to several Japanese temples and shrines and is close to the Yamato Sanzan mountains.
Nara Prefecture Nature
As it is a rural prefecture, there’s lots of nature that you can enjoy in Nara. The mountains on the border of Osaka and Nara offer many beautiful hiking trails and camping grounds. One of the most famous mountains in this range is Mount Ikoma, which is the tallest one. The Kasugayama Primeval Forest in Nara City is also a wonderful location. Hunting and cutting down trees have been prohibited since AD 841, so the forest has remained untouched for centuries. Nara is also home to Mount Yoshino, which is gorgeous during any season but is especially well known for being an amazing cherry blossom viewing spot.
Nara Prefecture Economy
If you’re looking to get a job in Nara, don’t get your hopes up too high. About half of working residents in Nara commute to Osaka for their jobs. Like in many other rural areas in Japan, the number of local job opportunities isn’t very high. However, since Osaka is a short commute away, living in Nara great for many working people. In addition, rental apartments in Nara are much cheaper than in Osaka. And since most companies pay transportation costs for their employees, you most likely won’t have to worry about covering the cost of a longer commute.
Nara Prefecture Religion and Culture
Nara is home to many Japanese shrines and temples. If you’re interested in traditional Japanese culture and religion, there are many fun things to do in Nara. You can visit the many temples and shrines to learn about religion. In addition, the Nara National Museum is a great place to view artwork, historical documents, and other things related to Buddhism. You can also hang out with the deer in Nara Park and check out local volunteer groups that help care for them. There aren’t a lot of things to do in the way of shopping and nightlife, so if that’s the sort of fun you’re looking for, it’s best to hop on the train to Osaka.