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Things to do in Nara

Our most recommended things to do in Nara

Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour from Osaka/Kyoto

1. Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour from Osaka/Kyoto

Depart from the exclusive VIP waiting rooms of Osaka or Kyoto, heading to Fushimi Inari Taisha. Designated as an Important Cultural Property, the main shrine building contains five shrines together, these five pillars of Fushimi Inari Taisha are named for the great virtues of Inari Okami that they embody. Inari Okami is known as a deity of business prosperity, the prosperity of industries, the safety of households, safety in traffic and improvement in the performing arts. The 'Senbon Torii' or 1000 torii gates are donations by individuals and companies, and you will find the donator's name and the date of the donation inscribed on the back of each gate. Then you will head to Arashiyama, which changes with the seasons and you can enjoy the scenery any time of year, with cherry blossoms in the spring, boat festivals in the Summer, red leaves in Autumn and snow white mountains in the winter. Arashiyama is also filled with temples and shrines including the match-making Shrine you can visit, during your walk through the famed Bamboo grove. There are a variety of restaurants to choose right near the Togetsukyo bridge, including vegan and Halal. Proceed to the symbol of Kyoto, Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, also named Rakuon-ji: one of the most popular buildings in Japan. Finally, move on to Japan’s old capital, Nara: you will have the time to explore its park, cuddle the worldwide famous deer and enter the biggest wooden building of the planet, Todai-ji Temple, another UNESCO world heritage site. Here you will find yourself in front of Japan’s biggest Buddha statue, 15 meters tall.

Nara: Private Tour with Private Guide

2. Nara: Private Tour with Private Guide

Discover Nara on a fully customizable tour. Nara is in close proximity to Kyoto and Osaka, and its rich collection of traditional sites make it an ideal destination for a day trip from either of its larger neighbours. Start your day by meeting your guide at your hotel or chosen location, then choose sites you wish to visit depending on your interests. Example 6-hour Itinerary: Meet your guide at the designated meeting point you chose and let the tour begin. First visit Kofuku-Ji temple, a historic site that has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover several designated National Treasures here including the Buddhist sculpture masterpiece, the Statue of Ashura. Next, head for Todai-Ji temple, a World Heritage Site that is Nara’s most famous landmark. Admire the statue of Kongo Rikishi at Nandaimon Gate and Japan’s largest Great Buddha statue. Stroll through Nara Park which is famous for its wild deer species. Enjoy the verdant natural setting of Nara while taking part in the popular activity of feeding the deer inside the park. Then discover Kasuga Taisha temple, another World Heritage Site with an impressive red main shrine. Explore the Kasuga-Taisha National Treasure Hall which contains valuable works of Buddhist art.

Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

3. Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

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. 

Nara - Craft Beer, Sake, and Food Walking Tour

4. Nara - Craft Beer, Sake, and Food Walking Tour

Explore the Naramachi district. Attend a mochi-pounding performance and have a mochi freshly made to get the best quality ever. Then, have a taste of the authentic sushis from Nara called "Kaki no Ha Zushi" (A special sushi, rolled in a persimmon fruit leaf). The real fun starts with a Sake distillery, where you will learn a lot about sake, its history, and its manufacturing, all with a delicious tasting session. Then, the next stop will be at a local craft beer microbrewery with a drink included. You will then finish with food, at a ramen restaurant and then a 65 years old traditional sushi restaurant from Nara. What a great way to start the evening!

Nara Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour

5. Nara Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour

Your guide will meet you at your accommodation and help you get familiar with the neighborhood, show you the best places to eat and shop and tell you about the easiest ways to get around. Choose a 2, 3 or 4-hour tour, and by the end you’ll have all the information you need to make the most of your stay. After booking you’ll be sent some questions so that you’re paired with a local guide based on your interests. The tour is completely customized so you can choose the meeting location and the starting time. During the walking tour you’ll have the option of taking public transportation or a taxi to get around the city (at your expense). Hear what it’s like to live in Nara, learn about cultural differences, local events and politics and get to know your guide on a personal level.

Kyoto: Bus Day Trip Through Kyoto and Nara with Lunch

6. Kyoto: Bus Day Trip Through Kyoto and Nara with Lunch

Start your journey with a train ride from JR Kyoto Station to Arashiyama, accompanied by your expert guide. The bamboo grove of Arashiyama has been a popular nature-viewing destination since the Heian Period. Take a stroll through the cool Sagano Bamboo Forest and listen to the distinct rustle of bamboo leaves as you walk. Later, drive through Kyoto proper and arrive at Kinkaku-ji: the Golden Pavilion. Admire picturesque views of the grand temple reflected in the mirror-like pond it overlooks, and then wander through the sprawling garden that has retained its original design from the 14th century. After Kinkaku-ji, board your bus again and head south to Nara. Take a short walk through Nara Park, famous for the 1,200 or so wild deer that live freely within the park. These deer are famously very friendly, and allow visitors to feed them by hand. Within Nara Park you will find the Todai-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Your tour guide will give you your train ticket to then go back to Kyoto Station.

Haneda Airport: Pocket WiFi 4G LTE Router Rental

7. Haneda Airport: Pocket WiFi 4G LTE Router Rental

Access the internet any time in Japan with 4G LTE pocket WiFi. Avoid the hassle of looking for free public WiFi spots or staying out of the internet connection. Enjoy safe access, simple to use, and easy pick-up/return at Haneda Airport. You can connect five devices at the same time. Share it with people you are traveling with and your multiple devices. Make your experience in Japan much more convenient with WiFi on the go. Get a plan that suits you; the choices of flexible plans from 5 to 30 days. Pick up your pocket WiFi at the counter located at Haneda Airport. You can access the internet as soon as you arrive in Japan. Return is also easy. You can drop it off at a counter at major international airports in Japan.

From Osaka: Day Trip by Bus to Kyoto and Nara

8. From Osaka: Day Trip by Bus to Kyoto and Nara

Leave Osaka in the morning aboard a bus, heading inland toward Kyoto. Before arriving in the city itself, stop in the beautiful district of Arashiyama, which has been a popular nature-viewing destination since the Heian Period. Take a stroll through the cool Sagano Bamboo Forest and listen to the distinct rustle of bamboo leaves as you walk. Later, drive through Kyoto proper and arrive at Kinkaku-ji, or the Golden Pavilion. Admire postcard-perfect views of the illustrious temple reflected in the mirror-like pond it overlooks, and then wander through the sprawling garden that retains its original design from the 14th century. After Kinkaku-ji, board your bus again and head south to Nara. Take a short walk through Nara Park, famous for the 1,200 or so wild deer that live freely within the park. Within Nara Park you will find the Todai-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Following your time in the historic temple, hop aboard your bus again and make the trip back to Osaka-Namba OCAT.

Nara: City Highlights Shared Group or Private Bike Tour

9. Nara: City Highlights Shared Group or Private Bike Tour

Embark on a guided cycling tour around the city of Nara. Discover some of its significant landmarks including Nara Park, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Tōdai-ji, and the Oshikien Garden. Meet your guide in Nara and after a short introduction and safety briefing, you will be ready to set off. Put your helmet on, jump on your bike and head off to discover the beauty of the city.  Admire the beautiful scenery of Nara Park as you ride along at a relaxed pace. See the friendly deer who roam freely within the park and take in the views of the beautifully maintained surroundings. Stop at the Todai-ji Temple and learn more about Buddhism and Shinto culture with your guide. Stroll through its grounds and gaze in awe at the 15-meter-tall giant Buddha statue. Next, head to the Kasuga Taisha Shrine to see its thousand lanterns. Then, continue to the Kikuichi store, a high-end Japanese cooking knife retailer, before heading back to the starting point.

Nara: Walking Tour for English-Speaking & Japanese Culture

10. Nara: Walking Tour for English-Speaking & Japanese Culture

An activity to enjoy with a team An innovative, challenging way to study and practice English outdoor and learn about Japan, its culture, and history. This activity was created for two types of people: - Foreign tourists who do not speak Japanese, but want to enjoy exploring the city on their own. They learn about new places, Japanese culture, history, and meet selected locals who can speak English and interact with them at a comfortable level. All combined with a ''Quiz Rally'' concept, to make it more interesting and fun. - Japanese people who wish to spend a day in a fully English-speaking environment without leaving their country. By doing so, they can explore the city and rediscover parts of their culture and history in a different language, and complete challenges in English to have the feeling of visiting a foreign country. This is a great activity to practice English in real-life situations and to challenge yourself before traveling abroad. This is the evolution, and the real life ''英会話'' experience. This experience is a semi-assisted Team English Quiz Rally activity. your guide will not stay with the guests during the activity, but will always be minutes away and ready to meet if a team has any problem.

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What people are saying about Nara

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 96 reviews

We really enjoyed our tour to Nara. Our guide TAKU very professional, knowledgable, friendly, respectful, punctual. he’s awesome tour guide and wish all tour guide like him. Nara park so wonderful specially the closed encounter with deers, temple and big bell.

Our guide Hideo was so friendly, knowledgeable, organized and patient with us. Highly recommend this tour, we learnt so much!

Easy to pick up at HND. Compact router easy to use and carry. Contactless drop off — highly recommended!

Very easy to book and the on-site processing is also quick and easy.

thank you for your flexibility and guidance. much appreciated!