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


Activity Schedule

  • When does it run?


  • Duration

    3.5 to 4 hours

  • Start time


  • Meeting Point

    Make your way to 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’ll see the fountain with a statue of a monk, on your right-hand side.

  • Ending Point

    Tour ends at the intersection of Sanjo dori street and Higashimuki Shopping Arcade.

Key Highlights

  • Embark on a spiritual journey and visit Buddhist temples
  • Stroll through the charming backstreets of the old town
  • Discover handcraft havens, unique shops and traditional machiya houses
  • Observe the playful turtles at the beautiful Sarusawa pond
  • Go close to the fabled, holy deer of Nara known as divine protectors of the ancient capital
  • Savour some of the best street food in the city
  • Smartphone voucher accepted – no need to print!


Explore Nara, Japan’s ancient capital and discover its temples, shrines, traditional houses and divine deer. Stroll through the backstreets and alleys of the merchants’ district and relish some authentic street food.

Discover Nara’s best-known historical sites and one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, the Todaiji temple. Its famous highlight is the 15-meter bronze statue of the Great Buddha, Vairocana. Catch a glimpse of the friendly deer of Nara. The deer, as believed by locals, are divine protectors of the ancient capital living in perfect harmony. Visit the magnificent Kofukuji temple, which is the second of the seven great temples of Nara.

Enjoy nature at the Sarusawa pond, famous for its turtles and the picturesque surroundings; a perfect spot for a romantic evening walk in Nara. If traditional arts and crafts appeal to you, then 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 it to your hearts content.

The best way to experience a city is through its local and traditional food. Relish the favorite local delights to enjoy a taste and flavor of this beautiful city. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the shopping street, where you can find interesting and diverse shops, best for souvenir hunting.


  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Local snacks
  • Entrance fees


  • Additional food and drink
  • Souvenirs
  • Personal shopping
  • Gratuities

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