1. Japan
  2. Kansai
  3. Nara
  4. Tōdai-ji

Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

Product ID: 124784
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Explore the ancient capital of Japan and discover a peaceful city, brimming with dazzling temples, shrines, imperial tombs and machiya houses built in the traditional style. Meet divine deer roaming the streets and grab tasty street food.
About this activity
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Mobile ticketing
Duration 3.5 hours
Starting time 9:00 AM
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Live tour guide

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  • Explore Buddhist temples that once held enough power to influence the emperor himself
  • Stroll the beautiful backstreets of the old town and discover handcraft havens, quirky shops and traditional machiya houses
  • Watch the turtles at the picturesque Sarusawa pond
  • Go close to the fabled, holy deer of Nara
  • Taste some of the best street food delights in the city
Full description
Accompanied by your tour guide, 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-meter bronze statue of the Great Buddha, Vairocana. On our way, you will be greeted by the friendly deer of Nara. The deer are divine protectors of the ancient capital living in perfect harmony with the locals. Next stop is the second of the seven great temples of Nara, Kofukuji.

Make a brief stop at the Sarusawa pond, well known for its turtles and the pretty scenery surrounding it; this is considered a perfect spot for a romantic evening walk in Nara. Move forward into the quiet alleys and backstreets of Nara-machi, the well preserved former merchant's district, where you will be able to see and experience unique traditional arts and crafts.

As the best way to experience a city is through its food, you will get the chance to test some of our favorite local delights. The last stop of your journey will take you to a shopping street, where you can find colorful and diverse shops, perfect for souvenir hunting. 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. Do not forget to ask for more hints and tips on what else there is to do in Nara during your time here. 
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Local snacks
  • Entrance fees for all the sites mentioned
What’s Not Included
  • Additional food and drinks
  • Souvenirs and personal shopping
  • Tips or gratuities

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

At the fountain in front of the exit at Kintetsu Nara station. From the train platform go through the east gates to street level, via the staircase, where you will see the fountain with a statue of a monk, on your right-hand side.

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Important information
What to bring
  • Comfortable shoes
Know before you go
Some of the places in Nara-machi vary on each tour as they have irregular opening and closing days. In case of unexpected closure of the Todaiji temple, the tour will either be rescheduled or canceled. If the cancellation is caused by an unexpected reason, you will receive a full refund.
Only children between the ages of 6 and 11 are allowed on this tour.
Some dietary restrictions can be accommodated. Please notify us in advance if you have any dietary requests. The snacks included on the tour are not substantial so if your dietary requirements cannot be met, a liquid refreshment will instead be provided.
The tour group can include a maximum of 12 people.

From US$ 97.66 per person

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based on 11 reviews
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Organized by

Urban Adventures Japan

Product ID: 124784