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The Essence of Nara Cultural Tour: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets

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    What to Expect
    After meeting your tour guide, we’ll head straight to one of Nara’s top historical sites and one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, the Todaiji temple. Its famous centerpiece is the 15-metre bronze statue of the Great Buddha, Vairocana. 
    On our way to and from the temple you will be greeted by the super-friendly deer of Nara. The deer are seen as heavenly animals and as such are the divine protectors of the ancient capital, living in perfect harmony with the local population. 
    Our next stop is the second of the seven great temples of Nara, Kofukuji. Although much has been lost throughout the ages, this proud and powerful temple has stood against the tides of time and kept a great degree of its power, even after the capital of Japan moved to Kyoto and most of its contemporaries lost their influence. 
    The path then takes us south towards the heart of the old town but we’ll make a brief stop at the Sarusawa pond first. A tranquil stretch of water, well known for its turtles and the pretty scenery surrounding it, if you are staying in Nara for longer, this is a perfect spot for a romantic evening walk. 
    Finally, our journey will take us into the quiet alleys and backstreets of Nara-machi, the well preserved former merchants district where we will be able to see and experience traditional arts and crafts unique to Nara. 
    We always say that the best way to experience a city is through its food, so our penultimate stop will be to sample some of our favourite local delights, giving you a flavour of our beloved city. 
    The last stop on our journey will take us to a shopping street beset with an exciting array of colourful and diverse shops, perfect for souvenir hunting and that exceptional gift for someone special back home. 
    Both the JR Nara station and the Kintetsu station are within comfortable walking distance from the finishing point of the tour. Your guide will be happy to help you with directions to your hotel or to provide a restaurant recommendation for lunch. Don’t forget to ask for more hints and tips on what else there is to do in Nara during your time here. 
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    Reviews (8)
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    Reviewed July 11, 2019

    Although the walk was long, it was worth it. Even our 9 years olds maintained momentum on this 4hr+ walk, such was the beauty around the walk. Walking up to the Todaiji temple was a real treat with the number of deers roaming around. There...More

    Date of experience: July 2019
    Thank Wanderer516187
    Reviewed June 14, 2019 via mobile

    We did this tour in the absolute belting rain, I got soaked to the bone... and I would do it again in a heart beat. Fumiko our guide was so great in showing us around Nara despite the conditions. My personal highlight being the traditional...More

    Thank craigbov
    Reviewed June 5, 2019 via mobile

    Our tour guide, Nobumasa Miyake, showed us the cultural areas of Nara whilst giving great detail about its history. His knowledge of the area was impeccable and he made us feel very comfortable throughout the tour. Perfect for people who cannot speak or read Japanese...More

    Date of experience: June 2019
    Thank shannontaylorstone
    Reviewed April 2, 2019

    I was fortunate enough to be the only person on this tour, as it was off-peak season. The guide, Miyake-san, was a true gentleman and had a wealth of knowledge about the region - great sense of humour too! Such a great experience in a...More

    Date of experience: March 2019
    Thank thekylefurness
    Reviewed March 23, 2019

    Excellent tour with a very informative and friendly Miyake! Highly recommend to all wanting to do Nara.

    Date of experience: March 2019
    Thank Pembo87
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    Key Details
    • Kyoto Urban Adventures
    • Duration: 3h 30m
    • Mobile Ticket Accepted
    • Instant confirmation
    • Languages Offered: English
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