Information about Nara and local area

Nara originates from arguably one of the oldest capitals of Japan, while the period of Nara-era (710 - 794 A.D.) was very short. The replacement of the capital to Heian-Kyo (Kyoto) resulted in declining its prosperity severely and turning buildings to ruins, agricultural land, or just wastelands. However, most of the large temples and shrines, notably Todaiji, Kofukuji, and Kasuga-taisha, were left almost untouched, enabling Nara to continue to be the spiritual home of Japanese people for over 12 centuries until today. It is, therefore, not surprising that a majority of those old temples and shrines in the city area is registered as World Heritage Site to UNESCO in 1998.
Nara Women's University is located 1 km, a walking distance of just 10 minutes, of Todaiji-Temple to the east and 0.5 km of Kofukuji-Temple to the southeast. Students can enjoy strolling around deer parks belonging to these historical properties or public space such as that of National Museum of Nara for refreshing thought, playing with deer (they are usually quite tame and held sacred, so do not eat!), or for exercising. A long view of sunset from Nigatsu-do, built at the edge of Wakakusa-Yama (a hill) as a division of Todaiji, is highly recommendable.

Nara attracts tourists internationally, taking advantage of its historical background with the tamed beauty of landscape. In addition, nearly 3,000 people live in Nara City as registered foreigners. For the convenience of these people from overseas, websites served by Prefecture (English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German: and City (English: of Nara provide information in other languages than Japanese. Major railway stations and bus stations of Kintetsu (railways), JR (railways), and Nara Kotsu (bus service) have either tourist information desks or panel displays (usually in English, Chinese, and Korean) to show the way to sightseeing spots and major venues such as hotels, hospitals, offices of public organizations, and Nara Women's University, of course.
Nara Women's University provides students from overseas with a dormitory (International Student House), which is annexed to the dormitory for domestic undergraduate students. For more information, please contact us at The university offers foreign students several special events such as a short trip and Japanese speech contest. Some additional events may also be offered from certain local communities of foreigners.
Living expenses in Nara are generally low compared with those in Osaka or Kyoto. Furthermore, a peaceful environment is enriched with historical monuments and probably with a variety of traditional and cultural events of particular communities. Throughout the year, there are many special festivals associated with the activity of temples, shrines, and public organizations. Several ten thousands or more of tourists and visitors come together to attend these festivals, which are certainly the envy of other cities in Japan. These make many people prefer to live in Nara.

One of the advantageous features of Nara as a city to live and to travel is that train and bus services make it easy to connect the city center with Osaka and Kyoto within 1 hour of time, and even with Kansai International Airport in 2.5 hours by airport limousine bus. Access to the main gate of Nara Women's University from the Kintetsu Nara station and bus station is a walking distance of just 5 minutes or less if you are in a hurry. Employing these transportation systems effectively, you may find no difficulty in visiting any part of Japan (except for some mountain area) within a day from Nara.

Useful links

Nara Women's University (English Homepage)

Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)

Prefecture of Nara

City of Nara

Nara City Tourist Section