Any area of Japan can be enjoyed any time of the year, but each passing month brings seasonally specific activities and natural phenomena, that mean different places reach their full potential at different times.

All things considered, we've come to the conclusion that Nara is the place to be during Japan's most loved season, spring.

Number 1 Springtime Destination: Nara

Here's why. Starting with the obvious; cherry blossom viewing (hanami). Nara is home to what is called the best cherry blossom view in Japan, Mount Yoshino has 30,000 cherry blossom trees of different varieties, densely packed into the mountainside. The Japanese say ‘hitome senbon’, meaning you can see 1000 trees in one glance.

*sigh #spring #sakura #mountyoshino #cherryblossom #japan #landscape #landscapephotography #photography

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For those wanting to stay closer to the centre, and perhaps have a more leisurely hanami, Nara Park itself will also be in bloom. The falling blossoms along with Nara Park’s usual suspects, the roaming deer, should make for a magical sight and plenty of Ghibli-esque photo opportunities.

Speaking of Nara’s famous four-legged inhabitants, if you’re lucky enough to be in the area for June, the Roku-en deer centre is open to the public where you can see the deer born that year, before they are old enough to be released into the park. Nothing says spring like baby animals!

Bambi is waiting for you at Nara Rokuen! ??? #bambi #fawn #deer #rokuen #nara #japan #奈良 #奈良公園 #鹿苑 #子鹿 #バンビ

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Nara is the ancient capital of Japan meaning cultural and historic activities are an easy find. Shunie (commonly known as just 'Omizutori' which means drawing out the water) is an ancient ritual to bring in the springtime. It spans March 1st to 14th and takes place at Nigatsudo Hall, not far from the famous Todaiji Temple. The Shunie ceremonies contain two particularly spectacular sights that can't be missed.

First of these is Otaimatsu. Giant torches are carried up to the balcony of the hall and lit, allowing the sparks to rain down on onlookers. Second is the ritual of Omizutori, which takes place from about 1.30am, priests descend repeatedly from the hall to collect water from a well at the base. Then the atmospheric ceremony of Dattan is performed within the hall, including burning torches and ringing bells.

There are many other attractions to explore, but these ones make Nara truly special in springtime.

By - Jess.