Before you continue, check this link out – http://www3.pref.nara.jp/kankou/secure/2296/EN_P8.pdf. Now, if this doesn’t convince you to place Nara on your “Must See” list when planning your Japan vacation, maybe what I am about to tell you will. The majority of sights in Nara are an easy stroll from the CBD or both J.R. & Kintetsu Rail-stations. But, what if you want to explore outside the inner area but don’t want to walk it. Well read on.
Some years ago the nice people down at the Nara Prefectural office created the “Nara Mahoroba Cycle Ring”, a combination of some 39-paths that cover a distance of 372-miles (600km) that take you to such places as Asuka (the ancient capitol), Yamatokoriyama Castle, Horyu-ji Temple (the home of Buddhism in Japan) and much-much more.
In some places your course is signposted, some with notice-boards explaining the history and sights in the area, and, in some areas the footpath has been painted green to help guide you. A map (sorry only composed in Japanese) is available from all information centers.
To answer your next question,”When is a good time of year to come to Japan”, I always say “anytime of year is a good time, but some times are better than others” – Spring & Autumn.
As the transportation system in Japan is second-to-none, getting here is a piece-of-cake. There is even a direct bus-service from Kansai Airport. Osaka and Kyoto cities are only an hour away by rail, if you want to put Nara on your day-trip list. But hey, why don’t you stay a few nights. It’s a great city.
So why are you waiting? Read further for more information and links.
Suggested LodgingI'll let the guys at "tripadvisor" advise you on that matter.
It's all here, from the typical Japanese establishment, to fast-food and takeaway. About every second building is an eating establishment, so you won't go hungry.
Suggested Bike Rental / Repair
This is the best of the cycle rental, it is only a few minutes walk from the Kintetsu Nara Station - http://nara-rent-a-cycle.com/english.html