Nara is located less than one hour by train from Kyoto and Osaka. In times gone by Nara was the first permanent capital, and as such it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples. Nara was established in 710 at Heijo, the city now known as Nara. As the influence and political ambitions of the city's powerful Buddhist monasteries grew to become a serious threat to the government, the capital was moved to Nagaoka in 784. There are lots of splendid temples to visit as well as gardens and great park land where you will find Nara’s most infamous inhabitants, namely the 1,200 shika (deer), once believed to be messengers of the gods. You can to buy food for them at kiosks in the park but be warned, although not dangerous, the deer can be quite “playful” and frequently attempt to nibble items of clothing.