Nara, Japan

Nara Park and ‘Runseeing’ Tour

Wikimedia Commons: panoramio
Kōfuku-ji Temple. Flickr: Andrea Schaffer

This is a scenic running tour of Nara’s principle sites, including Nara Park, iconic gardens, and numerous shrines and temples. Use our mapped route as an outline to create your own route on the paths and grounds around these sites.

Start with a ~1 km tour of Nara Park, which is a beautifully landscaped public park with ancient temples, Great Buddha Hall, Tōdai-ji Temple, the Nara National Museum of Art, and tame deer. Just east of there, check out the scenic path that leads to Kasuga Shrine.  Just south of the museum, there are additional paths around the Kasugataishashinen Manyo Botanical Gardens, a wildlife park, Kataoka Bairin Arboretum, and the scenic Ukimi-do Hall on Sagiike Pond. Head back north, around the grounds and paths

Yoshikien Garden. Wikimedia, Panoramio

of Noborioji Park and the iconic Kōfuku-ji Temple just west of the 169 Road. Then, cross back east of 169 Road to the beautiful Yoshikien Garden and adjacent Isuien Garden. The final section of the route is a ~2 km north of Noborioji Rd. , by the National Treasure Octagonal Lantern, and paths heading all the way up to the Shōsōin Shoso Repository.


  • 6.5 km (4 mile) loop
  • 54m (179 feet)
  • Nara Garden is a good anchor point
  • Kintetsu-Nara Train Station is just west of there