Nara city is rapidly gaining popularity as a tourist destination. As the capital of Japan in the 8th century, it can offer a variety of old temples and shrines, but also the charm of its former merchants’ quarter with quaint old houses serving as shops or restaurants. In this tour we will visit the biggest and most famous temple and shrine dating back to the 8th century as well as the old townscape.
Bus fares in Nara city, entrance fee to Todaiji Temple, Shaved Ice Dessert or Sake Tasting
Meeting And Pickup
Nara Station1 Sanjohonmachi, Nara, 630-8122, Japan
Open in Google Maps
Just outside the ticket gates
This activity ends back at the meeting point.
What To Expect
Kasuga Grand Shrine
The large and peaceful forest around Kasuga Grand Shrine is very relaxing, and it is fun observing the deer peeking from behind the many stone lanterns. The vermillion of the shrine pillars and the green of the surrounding forest make a great combination. The numerous lanterns hanging from the shrine eaves are a great spot to take a picture.
Although they can be seen anywhere in Nara, the area around Todaiji Temple is where you can definitely meet with the famous Nara deer. They can be fed with special deer crackers, but don’t forget that these are semi-wild animals. Your guide can also tell you why there are so many free-roaming deer in Nara.
Todai-ji Temple is a must when in Nara. The long approach to the main hall with the 800-year-old Southern Gate and the deer waiting to be fed can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Once inside the temple walls, the huge main hall comes into view. Its sheer size is awe inspiring, although it’s said to be only two thirds of the original building. The Great Buddha flanked by two attendants has also enormous dimensions and almost bankrupted the state when it was made.
In the hot summer days the nobles used to eat shaved ice to cool down as far back as the 8th century! There is even a shrine dedicated to the deity of ice in Nara city. The shaved ice desserts are a feast. Of course there also other delicious sweets, and for those preferring to taste some local sake, there is a great sake brewery in the old part of town.
Naramachi Koshino Ie
Situated in Naramachi, a historic district within Nara, is this merchant’s house. Built in the traditional Japanese style it gives you an idea of what daily life was like back then. Besides the gorgeous tatami mat rooms you can also have a look at the earthen cooking stoves and the bath.
Enjoy some sake tasting or a traditional Japanese sweet while taking in the sights of the old merchant town.
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Near public transportation
- Infants must sit on laps
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- Most travelers can participate
- This is a private tour/activity.
- Only your group will participate
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund. For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time. If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded. Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted. Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time. This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.