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Best trails in Nara

22 Reviews
Looking for a great trail near Nara, Nara? AllTrails has 7 great hiking trails, walking trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails in Setonaikai National Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Osaka Castle Park or Minoo Park. Ready for some activity? There are 4 moderate trails in Nara ranging from 1.8 to 7.3 miles and from 180 to 1,601 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Nara
Top trails (7)
#1 - Hōryū-ji - Mount Matsuo Temples/Shrines Walking Tour
Nara, Nara, Japan
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Length: 7.3 mi • Est. 3 h 36 m
Horyu-ji Temple - the world's oldest surviving wooden structures. Once departing the JR Yamato-Koizumi Station, you will find your way through narrow streets to your first destination - Koizumi-jinja (Shrine). From here, you will head to Route-123 and start making an ascent to Matsuo-dera Temple. Matsuo-dera Temple is nestled amongst the forest of Matsuo-yama (Mount Matsuo) and overlooks the Yamato district and offers great views of the surrounding the area, including Nara. After a stroll through the complex, you begin your descent through the forest exiting via a local golf-course where you will be greeted by some very-nice picturesque of Japanese countryside. Soon you will exit this road, in favor of a cycle/pedestrian way that will take you to Horin-ji Temple. This is an ideal spot to take a bite-to-eat, but the caretakers of the complex have asked that you don't consume your lunch within the complex. Not to worry, a hundred meters down the road is a sheltered seating area for you take your break. To get here you again have to weave your way through some narrow streets and some quaint Japanese houses. Adjacent to Chugu-ji is Horyu-ji Temple. After exiting Horyu-ji, you join a short boulevard (Route-146) lined with many Sakura (Cherry blossom trees) and willow, the perfect end (almost) to your day. A 20-minute walk from here takes you to the JR Horyu-ji Station and it is a time to say good bye to Yamato.Show more
#2 - Yamatokoriyama and Yamatokoizumi Castles Walking Tour
Nara, Nara, Japan
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Length: 6.3 mi • Est. 2 h 50 m
Yamatokoriyama, home of the Japanese Carp. Just a stones-throw from down-town Nara lies Yamatokoriyama-shi (Yamatokoriyama City) with, as it's centerpiece, Yamatokoriyama-jo (Yamatokoriyama Castle). The area is also famous for the "Yamatokoriyama Goldfish", so much so that the city is often associated with the species. As you follow this course you will be taken by some of the many goldfish-ponds that dot the area. In 1576 Tsutsui Junkei (1549 to 1584), one of the most powerful warriors of the region in feudal Japan at the time, united the Yamato Province by overcoming the rising local Samurais.In recognition of his accomplishment, Junkei was appointed to the position of Lord of Yamato by Oda Nobunaga (1534 to 1582), a Daimyo or powerful territorial lord and in 1580, he moved to Koriyama where he strengthened the existing fortifications and built Yamatokoriyama-jo. Four years later Junkei would pass-away and occupancy of the castle would be transferred to Hashiba Hidenaga (1540 to 1591)a chief retainer,who made some improvements to the castle, as well as instituting many local reforms. In 1595,Mashita Nagamori (1545 to 1615), a Daimyo,moved-into the castle, but soon abandoned it when he lost at the "Battle of Sekigahara" (a decisive battle on October 21st 1600 which cleared the path to the Shogunate for Tokugawa Ieyasu). The castle soon fell into disrepair, but, in 1615,Mizuno Katsushige (1564 to 1651), a Daimyo, was commissioned by Ieyasu to reconstruct the castle. From 1619,when the Mizuno Clan were transferred to Fukuyama,until it's final abandonment in 1873, Yamatokoriyama-jo would be occupied by four different Clans. In 1983 the Otemon, a gate or entrance, was reconstructed followed a year later in 1984,with the reconstruction of the Ote Higashisumi Turret. The final piece to be reconstructed was the Otemon Watari Turret in 1987. The Moat, Towering Stonework and overall Rustic Charm, are all that really remain of the original castle. But the grounds are quite extensive,and,during "Cherry Blossom Season" (April/May)and Autumn(October/November) the colors are abound and along with the many historical buildings, Yamatokoriyama-jo is a very-picturesque sight to behold. From the top of the castle's foundation, you can see the "Five Story Pagoda" in Nara Park. Very little information exists regarding Yamatokoizumi-jo, just that it is believed that construction commenced sometime between 1332 and 1391.In 1623 the castle was modernized into a fortified residence by the Katagiri Clan,then,in 1673,the inner moat was completed along with further enhancements to the fortifications.But,unfortunately,in 1873 the castle was abandoned then demolished, as was decreed. Today, very little remains of Yamatokoizumi-jo. The area around Yamatokoriyama station and Yamatokoriyama-jo are well signposted as well as markings on the footpath.Show more
#3 - Takisaka-No-Michi Path: Nebotoke - Yabashira Shrine
Nara, Nara, Japan
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Length: 4.4 mi • Est. 2 h 32 m
Takisaka-No-Michi Path is the first half of Yagyu Kaido which is a historic old road. It is know as a stones paved road with natural shaped stones and there are many stone Buddha statues, which were the object of the belief in mountain Buddhism and remain in the path. You can enjoy walking through the nature of the area while listening to the sound of the river and the trees, and the opportunity to see the history of Takisaka-No-Michi Path. Show more
#4 - Mount Wakakusa
Nara, Nara, Japan
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Length: 3.3 mi • Est. 1 h 20 m
Mount Wakakusa is also called "Mt. Mikasa". The entire mountain is covered with grass and you can see deer everywhere on this mountain. This is a nice short hike which offers you a beautiful view from the top of the mountain.Show more
#5 - Yagyu Kaido (Enjoji to Nara)
Nara, Nara, Japan
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Length: 5.8 mi • Est. 2 h 20 m
#6 - Mount Wakakusa Trail
Nara, Nara, Japan
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Length: 1.8 mi • Est. 1 h 7 m
The entire mountain is covered with grass, and it looks like three shades are piled up, so it is also called "Mikasayama". You can see deer here and there in the mountains. This is a short hiking trail which offers you a nice scenery of the mountain.Show more
#7 - Mount Wakakusa - Kasugataisha Shrine
Nara, Nara, Japan
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Length: 3.4 mi • Est. 1 h 55 m