Located in the city of Nara, a day trip’s distance from Osaka, the Kasuga Shrine dates back to the year 768, when its construction was ordered by Emperor Shotoku. In the centuries since, it has been rebuilt several times.
This celebrated Nara shrine is most famous for the series of giant stone lanterns that line the paths toward its entrance. They are lit twice each year during the biannual lantern festivals in early spring and early autumn. Hundreds more bronze lanterns, many donated by temple worshippers, hang within the buildings of the complex.
The Shinto shrine complex is part of the UNESCO-listed Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara, and the path leading up to it winds through Nara Park, where it’s sometimes possible to spot deer roaming freely.
Kasuga Shrine is located on the eastern end of Nara Park, about 30 minutes on foot from Kintetsu Nara Station. You can also catch a bus from JR Nara Station.