Relax in Nara: Deer Park, Todai-ji Temple and Merchants' Town

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.
* Duration: 6 hours
* Starts: Nara, Japan
* Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Cultural Tours




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.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Kasuga Grand Shrine, 160 Kasuganocho, Nara 630-8212 Nara Prefecture

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.

Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Todai-ji Temple, 406-1 Zoushi-cho, Nara 630-8587 Nara Prefecture

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.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Naramachi Koshino Ie, 44 Gangojicho, Nara 630-8332 Nara Prefecture

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.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Naramachi, Nara Nara Prefecture

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.

Duration: 45 minutes