I hit the jackpot when I exited Nara Station, having arrived from Kyoto on the JR Line, when just before 10.00am I was asked if I'd like to join a walking tour of Nara - I had initially thought I'd explore Nara on my own but the thought of being shown around -and being the only person on the tour - was too irresistible! Reiko Imayoshi was the perfect host showing me the shrines, temples and gardens of Nara. Being the first organised tour I'd been on on my solo holiday of Japan Reiko filled in a lot of the gaps about Japanese society, the social mores and the history and meaning of the symbols of Japan. With the price of the bus fare and entry included the tour was remarkably good value and having the sole attention of Reiko made the morning so enjoyable.
I then opted to join the afternoon walk of the historical parts of Nara, again with Reiko, and I'm so pleased I did - the five people on the tour were the perfect companions and we all enjoyed seeing the alleyways and hidden shops of Nara.
Thank you again to Reiko and the people at the Nara tourist bureau who were all really helpful. Totally recommend Nara and the guided tours.