Wear comfortable shoes.
Let me first mention that a tourist visiting Japan from a foreign country can buy the Japan Rail Pass, a special fare ticket for using the Japan Rail (JR) system. For about $300.00 I purchased a 7-day pass. There are also 14- and 21-day pass options. The pass holder does not have to worry about buying tickets at the station because the pass is the ticket. The pass saved me money. By the way, it would be a really, really good deal if you wanted to do a sightseeing train trip all over the country—you would really get your money’s worth! Fantastic train system, I might add.
Having said that, once you reach your destination by train, naturally you still have to get around, and this is often accomplished on foot or sometimes by city bus or more trains. Getting around once you “get there” seems quite convenient, though, but will inevitably involve a healthy amount of walking. In Nara, we figured out which city bus to take about half way across town to the Todaiji Temple area; the rest of the day was on foot.
The way I figured from the tourist map scale, we walked from the bus stop to the temple, about .4 km; from the Temple through the deer park (home of the famous Nara free-roaming deer plus other temple locations) another 1.5 km; and instead of the bus, we decided to walk back to Nara train station so we could squeeze in a few other sights (beautiful Nara Park, Kofukuji Temple and the 5-story pagoda) and shopping, another 2 km. So, we probably walked about 4 kilometers. At one kilometer equaling about ½ mile, we trekked about 2 miles; not a bad day’s stroll. I will share more info on the interesting sights later, just letting you know to wear some comfortable walking shoes when you visit Japan!