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Japan's ancient capital delivers on culture

Top attractions in nara.

Nara Park

Horyuji Temple


Kasuga Taisha

Around nara.

Nara City

Nara City (奈良市) is the capital of Nara Prefecture located in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture. Geogr..


Sakurai city is located in a fairly rural part of Nara prefecture, in the central east near Mie Prefecture, and is famous for being in the center of political and economic life in ancient Japan...


Kashihara is located in the middle of the prefecture, directly south of Nara city, and is the second largest city in the prefecture. Kashihara is known as the location of the original Imperial..

Japan’s first permanent capital from AD 710 to 794 (known then as Heijo), as well as the site of the ancient capitals of Asuka and Fujiwara, it goes without saying that Nara Prefecture (奈良県, Nara - ken ) is filled with history and culture.

Nara is renowned for its many prestigious temples, led by Todai-ji (home of the Nara Great Buddha) and Horyu-ji , the oldest wooden building in the world. The lesser-known Asuka Temple is considered to be the oldest temple in Japan, constructed in AD 588. The traditional performing art of Daimokutate is performed every October 12th and is a sight to behold.

One of the most iconic sights of Nara is Nara Park ; in addition to it containing Todai-ji , Kofuku-ji, and Kasuga Shrine , it is famous for its roaming deer - visitors can even feed them! The town of Yoshino is arguably the best spot in Japan for cherry blossom viewing. 

  • Things to Do in Nara

Nara Top 10

  • Recommended

Nara Ikimono Museum

Nara Ikimono Museum

Mount Yoshino Sakura Festival

Mount Yoshino Sakura Festival

A Rabbit’s Wisdom in Nara

A Rabbit’s Wisdom in Nara

The First Emperor of Japan

The First Emperor of Japan

Maximizing the Fun in Ikaruga-Cho

Maximizing the Fun in Ikaruga-Cho

A Journey to West Nara

A Journey to West Nara

Mount Shigi and Chogosonshi-ji Temple

Mount Shigi and Chogosonshi-ji Temple

NIPPONIA Tawaramoto Maruto Shoyu

NIPPONIA Tawaramoto Maruto Shoyu

Discovering the Charms of Ikaruga, Nara

Nara Kingyo Museum

Mochi Pounding at Nakatanidou

Mochi Pounding at Nakatanidou

Nara Tokae Lantern Festival

Nara Tokae Lantern Festival

Nara's Tsubosaka Temple

Nara's Tsubosaka Temple

Nara Deer Antler-Cutting Ceremony

Nara Deer Antler-Cutting Ceremony

The Stone Lanterns of Kasuga Shrine

The Stone Lanterns of Kasuga Shrine

Tōdai-ji, Deer, and Gardens in Nara

Tōdai-ji, Deer, and Gardens in Nara

Todaiji Temple in Nara

Todaiji Temple in Nara

Cosmos at Hannyaji Temple

Cosmos at Hannyaji Temple

Upcoming nara events.

Nyaramachi Neko Art Festival 2024

Nyaramachi Neko Art Festival 2024

Nyaramachi Neko Art Festival celebrates cats and cat-inspired artwork throughout June.

Hydrangea Season at Yatadera Temple 2024

Hydrangea Season at Yatadera Temple 2024

From June 1st until July 10th each year, Nara's Yatadera Temple opens its hydrangea garden for the public to enjoy. The hydrangeas..

Where to eat in Nara

Mochi Pounding at Nakatanidou

Have your mochi pounded at breakneck speed by champion mochi-making experts before eating it fresh and warm on the spot.

Kakinohazushi Hyotaro

Kakinohazushi Hyotaro

Kudzu Sweets at Nakai Shunpudo

Kudzu Sweets at Nakai Shunpudo

Places to stay in Nara

Rice Terrace Villa Sasayuri-ann

Rice Terrace Villa Sasayuri-ann

An ancient paradise beyond memory, Sasayuri-Ann in Nara Prefecture is the perfect combination of Japaneses style and luxurious..

Hourai Onsen in Nara

Hourai Onsen in Nara

Enjoy a mineral hot spring bath in central Nara

Omori no Sato Country House

Omori no Sato Country House

Latest Nara Reports

A Journey to West Nara

The Japanese word ikimono translates to living creatures in English, and the soon-to-open Nara Ikimono Museum will allow visit..

Neold in Yoshino, Nara

Neold in Yoshino, Nara

A collection of photos and my personal reflection from my visit to the Neold estate.

Let us know how we can help.

walk with a local Guide

Let us take you on a tour to Ancient Japan. With us, you will see the beauty of our history, our culture, and ingenuity of our ancestors.

Experience Nara, the first capital of Japan with NaraWalk! We also offer tours in Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji and more!

japan nara tour

Disponible en français

japan nara tour

NaraWalk started in 2009 in Nara. Our value is  “to make your day with us the best day in Japan!”

All our guides are nationally licensed professionals from Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe. From the major tourist attractions to a rural village, from taxi tours to walking tours, we are ready and happy to be a part of your Japan Trip!

featured Tour

japan nara tour

Be a Potter in Rural Nara!

There are places that locals know but are not visited by foreign tourists. Muro is one such area. It takes longer to get here than tourist populated destinations, but still we wish if you could be here!  <LEARN MORE>


This tour comes with a pottery lesson at a local potter’s private studio., painting plan 1000 yen~, pottery plan 1500 yen ~., <see details>, private tours, enjoy nara at your own pace, customize a tour just for your family or group., whether to make a tour easier for grandparents or to make the most of the time available, private tour is here to meet your needs., we have also worked with schools taking our tour as a part of an academic curriculum or as an excursion..

Private Tour Page

Going to Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji, or even Hiroshima?

Narawalk goes beyond nara, we offer private tours to nara’s neighboring cities, and to cities good for a day trip from kansai region such as hiroshima..

japan nara tour

[email protected]

090-6609-0130 090-1158-2638

GROUP Walking Tours in Nara

All group walking tours are available for private tours!

All tours including Nara Park Classic Tour requires a reservation 2 days in advance.


Book these tours private for your family, group, or school excursion. We can customize all these tours according to your needs.Private tour fee applies.


japan nara tour

Nara Park Classic Tour


All-time-favorite tour covering World Heritage Sites to popular Deer Park!  Enjoy must-sees of Nara through the eyes of our local guides!  <READ MORE>


MON. WED. FRI.  10 a.m. ~ 1 p.m.

japan nara tour

Afternoon Old Town Stroll

Visit traditional townhouses, taste rice syrup, drink sake etc. – see how people live and lived in the small old town Naramachi. Good to go on after Nara Park Classic Tour.   READ MORE


japan nara tour

Toshodaiji/Yakushiji Half-Day

Forget the bustle of everyday life and soak yourself in the 8th-century religious world. Visit less touristy and quiet area.  <READ MORE>


  1:30 p.m. ~ 4:30 p.m.

japan nara tour

Horyuji Todaiji One-day Tour

Be amazed by the world’s oldest and biggest wooden structures! Highly recommended for architecture lovers!  <READ MORE>


  10 a.m. ~ 4:30 p.m.

japan nara tour

Half-Day Horyuji Tour

Walk around a group of the 7th-century original structures. Historical, educational and marvelous!  <READ MORE>

français: Promenade Classique à Nara

Voulez-vous faire une visite guidée en français au cœur de Nara avec un guide agréé ?  <Lisez la suite>

  10 a.m. ~ 1 p.m.


Tours in Kyoto

Details of tours in this section are in our Kyoto website – KYOTO PREMIUM TOURS .

japan nara tour

Hired Car Tour

Hired car tour escorted by a guide with national licence Not only relaxing and comfortable,[…]

japan nara tour

The World of Grace and Elegance – Northern-Higashiyama

Escape the bustling crowds and enjoy a relaxing walk to the typically elegant and graceful[…]

japan nara tour

Wonders of Mixed Treasures – Arashiyama Walk

Visit a beautiful resort area of ancient court nobles in western Kyoto and enjoy the[…]

japan nara tour

A Journey of Spiritual Quest – Southern Higashiyama

Start with a secret temple, follow the labyrinth of alleys clearing your mind, reaching one[…]

japan nara tour

Fully Customizable VIP Tour

Premium Fully Customized Private Tour – Something More Special, More Unique and More Enjoyable! Experience[…]

Why tour with Nara Walk

Expert guides.

We are National government licensed guide interpreters with charming personalities!

Satisfy Curiosity

Fun and efficient.

“Amazing tour of Nara” “Our guide was wonderful!” “Nara was the Highlight of our Entire Japan Trip”

Deals of the Week   European Long Weekends   Up to 50% OFF

Nara Tours & Trips

Find the right tour for you through Nara. We've got 159 adventures going to Nara, starting from just 5 days in length, and the longest tour is 27 days. The most popular month to go is October, which has the largest number of tour departures.

159 Nara tour packages with 1,305 reviews

Japan Delight with Hiroshima(private 3 star hotel rooms) Tour

  • In-depth Cultural

Japan Delight with Hiroshima(private 3 star hotel rooms)

It was delightful experience

Essential Japan Tour

  • Christmas & New Year

Essential Japan

I recently booked the 7day Essential tour to Japan. Want to commend 3 tour guides that accompanied my group in those 7 days. First guide MINJI Japanese born but spoke perfect spanish ,english and of course Japenese. She was with us the inicial 6days of the tour. What a fun,knowledgeable, patient,fun,entertaining guide she was. To make our long bus rides less boring,she had us learn to write our name in Japanese , another we had a japanese vocabulary lesson, and last we got to make an origami swan. She was AWESOME. Next David I believe he is from Spain he was with us 1day. Full of energy,humor and music. Last KIKO from Argentina sweet and very patient and helpful. The tour itself was well planned. Loved all the hotels we stayed at. Breakfast was good. All hotels were conviently located across from the train stations except in Osaka. Tours were great wish we had a little more time..but it was really crowded with tourist at most of the places we visited...so understandable. Favorite places for me Mt Fuji,Asakusa, Inari Shrines,Bamboo Forest, Nara. Again it was great thanks Europamundo y TourRadar

9D Splendid Japan with Nagoya (private 3 star hotel rooms) Tour

9D Splendid Japan with Nagoya (private 3 star hotel rooms)

Stunning Tours did an amazing job on our 10-day trip to Japan. We had a fantastic holiday so well organized and were really well looked after. All the transfers were smooth. The accommodation was the best with highly knowledgeable guides. Excellent advice covering all aspects of a trip prior to travel from a specialist who knows the area very well, excellent service in terms of booking travel, hotels, and guides, delivering a wonderful and memorable holiday. Highly recommended

Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka Tour

  • Sightseeing

Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka

The tour with David as our tour guide was very personalised for 2 reasons , 1 David said normally the tour would have up to 40 people the start of the tour in Tokyo their were 5 people , on the Kyoto Osaka part we were joined by by 6 then 4 respectively , David was exceptional over & above , in his time off in Tokyo I had left some Ice packs at home for my insulin we went to 4 places to find some & I also needed to buy a guitar to send to someone for the next part of my Japan solo experience, Francisco very good as well , the main improvement would be that we didn’t get a Sushi or a traditional Japanese selection meal or a small glass of Saki , I know with time constraints I would have liked to have seen more of Osaka , the Hotel accommodation was excellent thanks Roger Evans

All Inclusive Japan Classics- 9 days Tour

All Inclusive Japan Classics- 9 days

Was looked after start to finish. The itinerary was great and the food was excellent. Such a happy experience :-) Love Japan, hope to return soon.

Japan One Life Adventures - 14 Days Tour

Japan One Life Adventures - 14 Days

I had a lot of fun on this tour! They give you time in each location to roam around at your own pace and make sure to carve out appropriate time for all the big attractions. Logistics were well-handled and most of the itinerary was great. The accommodations are decent for the price, although some temples are very poorly insulated, so in the winter it can get awfully cold even with the heater on. One thing they don't really say is just how much walking this is - for Americans, it was between 4 and 8 miles most days, or 20-30k steps per day, often including stairs while carrying your luggage. We packed lightly (no checked luggage) so it was doable, just be prepared. There are opportunities to do laundry, but often the dryers aren't the best, so pack things that'll dry quickly. Sarah was an AMAZING tour guide, she really earned this rating. I would have loved more time with her because she was so fun to talk to and so knowledgeable about the culture and places we visited. She was great at managing expectations, too, so we never felt disappointed or like we got unlucky (particularly with Mt Fuji and the cherry blossoms).

Japan Kansai - 6 Days Tour

Japan Kansai - 6 Days

Overall good experience- takes hassle out of planning sights/transit and if travelling alone provides some social opportunities Two points for improvement- 1) drop first museum stop - exhibits not Japan culture related so I found it very irrelevant/uninteresting 2) when staying in Kyoto provide a hotel which has the free gps mobile provided - this was sorely missed during free time there Junko was very good in helping me find a lost wallet - cheers Junko! Hope you are well :)

Cycle Kyoto To The Coast - Self-Guided Tour

  • Self-Guided Cycling

Cycle Kyoto To The Coast - Self-Guided

7 Days Customized Best Japan Tour, Private & Daily Departure Tour

  • Festival & Events

7 Days Customized Best Japan Tour, Private & Daily Departure

Excellent customer service. Very efficient and responsive. Guides were informative. Thank you. I’ll be using your travel again. Highly recommend.
  • Book With Flexibility This operator allows you to rebook your dates or tours with them for free, waiving change fees.

6 Days Tailor-Made Japan Private Tours, Daily Departure Tour

  • Educational

6 Days Tailor-Made Japan Private Tours, Daily Departure

Well done on communication. Emily was great and prompt when our flight got cancelled and had to adjust. Guides were fun and we enjoyed the experience.

Japan Golden Route with Hiroshima Tour

Japan Golden Route with Hiroshima

All destinations, accommodations and tour guide/driver are excellent. Our tour guide - Masa was very knowledgeable and very resourceful considering his non-English speaker, he tried his above and beyond ability to guide and inform us anything and everything that was asked of him. I highly recommend this itinerary to my friends, family and colleagues. We were very satisfied.

Cycle Japan Tour

Cycle Japan

The ride through Noto Peninsula

Japan Family Journey: From Ancient to Modern Times Tour

Japan Family Journey: From Ancient to Modern Times

Japan Discovery - 15 Days Tour

  • Train & Rail

Japan Discovery - 15 Days

very good tour for the cherry blossom season

Highlights of Japan Tour

  • Coach / Bus

Highlights of Japan

The Tour was very well organised and I’m so stoked that I got to see so much of Japan , Jamie , Yoshi , Saito where all very professional and helped a lot, I have been waiting 5 years to see Japan and it was worth the wait!.
  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

What people love about Nara Tours

It was a really nice tour, our Tour guide Aiko and bus driver: Isshiko san was very good to us for the whole duration. Though this was not our original tour, it was ok. I still would've liked to go on our 10-day one instead. This 8 day tour was way too jam-packed. Almost 3 cities a day with only 2 hours to explore in each. We had to choose whether to eat or to explore. Everybody I talked to had their original tour switched to this one. Though the staff did their very best, I can't help but think there was a better way to do this tour. This is a ver tiring tour though you get to see most of Japan in this one trip. For people wanting a more relaxed trip there are better options.
Itinerary was good, tour guides communication need improvement on volume since it was a big group.
We had a great experience with stuning tours. Everything went smooth. I bought my own flights. We had a wonderful vacation in Japan.
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First-time visitors to Japan may have never heard of Nara, but they have likely seen footage of this historical marvel. In almost every Japanese-based documentary and tourist program, you’ll see the free-roaming deer of Nara beside its towering wooden temples. Those wanting to (slightly) escape the tourist trail and get away from the crowds, should look no further than this stately city.

the city of Nara

Despite only lasting 84 years (from 710-794), the time that Nara served as Japan’s capital has had a profound impact ever since. It was the first real capital city, and as the population boomed, thousands of jobs were created and several temples were constructed. During the ‘Nara period’, Japan fully embraced Buddhism for the first time. It was around this time that the first historical records of the country were written, giving birth to many of the myths surrounding Japan’s birth.

Nara’s legacy endures because so many of the great temples built during this period have lasted. These give tourists incredible insights into life in the 8th Century. The Japanese god of thunder, Takemikazuchi, is believed to have arrived in Nara on a white deer to protect the city. Since then, deer have enjoyed a sacred status within the city limits, still roaming free around the area today.

In terms of historical significance for ancient Japan, Nara should be right up alongside Kyoto on any trip itinerary. It may lack some of Kyoto’s mystery, elegance, and otherworldly natural attractions, but it is just as important and its temples are just as impressive. Not to mention that it’s much less touristy than Kyoto . Nara is most famous for two things: deer and temples, and it does these two things rather well.

What To Do in Nara

Many of Nara’s best sights, including its famous deer, are situated within Nara Park, making it the ideal starting location. Besides feeding the deer, check out the Horyuji Temple which contains the world’s oldest wooden buildings.

Undoubtedly Nara’s main attraction is the Todai-ji Temple . Its stunning main hall, which is the largest wooden building in the world, houses a giant ‘Daibutsu’ (Buddha) bronze statue. Here, the spectacular Omizutori Festival occurs every year involving large torches. Atop nearby Mount Wakakusa, the Yamayaki festival takes place which involves setting fire to the mountain’s grass.

Todai-ji Temple

How To Visit Nara

The best way to visit Nara is through a guided tour. If you’re staying nearby, join our Nara Half-Day Walking Tour or our Highlights Bike Tour . Either of these options will ensure you see the city’s highlights and gain unique insights about them. If you’re less into history and more into local cuisine, the Nara Craft Beer, Sake & Food Tour is the one for you.

Due to its convenient location within Kansai, Nara is easily accessible from many destinations. Unless you’re really interested in this period of Japanese history, don’t plan on spending more than a day or two in the vicinity. It’s a peaceful and pleasant escape from Honshu’s more dazzling highlights like Tokyo but it’s a fairly small city. For those hoping to visit on a day trip from elsewhere, opt for either the Nara Half-Day Tour from Kyoto or Kyoto & Nara Day Tour From Kyoto or Osaka .

Multi-Day Japan Tour Packages are a great way to visit Nara and other iconic Japan destinations, with intercity transport, accommodation, and expert guides all taken care of. Add Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Nikko, Kyoto, and Osaka by choosing our 11 Day Ultimate Japan Tour Package . Or, if you have less time, see also Kyoto and Osaka on our 5-day Japan package .

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Deer Nara Park Nara Highlights Bike Tour

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1 Day Nara Itinerary with 10 Must-Visit Attractions

japan nara tour

Imagine a place where sacred deer bow to you like they've just stepped out of a Harry Potter scene, all before you visit epic ancient temples, serene gardens, and breathtaking viewpoints. Welcome to Nara!

Located conveniently on the train line from Tokyo to Kyoto—'Tokyo' and 'Kyoto', funny how these names are almost anagrams, right?—Nara is a stop you simply can't skip. Sure, it's squeezed between the ancient grandeur of Kyoto and the cool buzz of Osaka, but Nara holds its own charm… so much so that it’s one of my all-time favorite places in Japan ! Nara has just enough must-visit sites that’ll keep you busy for one full day.

Tip: Get my Kyoto – Nara – Osaka itinerary to see how the three neighboring cities can be combined into one epic 4-day trip (with a slightly chiseled down version of this Nara itinerary).

I didn't need an eternity to fall for Nara—10 hours was enough, really—, but the time I spent there was unforgettable. Thanks to the grandiose Daibutsuden (a jaw-dropping temple with a giant Buddha statue inside) and the polite deer population , Nara has a unique vibe.

Standing in front of the Daibutsuden temple in Nara, Japan

Daibutsuden is one of the highlights of Nara! Keep reading to find out more!  

And yes, about those deer—I'm not here to encourage unhealthy wildlife, and let's face it, being fat is a taboo in Japan, but I've got to admire their manners. See my deer FAQ below.

If you want to laser-focus on just Nara for a very full day, you’ve come to the right travel blog (or if you’re like me, you’ll be able to see everything in 6 hours and then just lull around having coffee). Because from my research before my own trip, half of the people writing about it couldn’t have visited Nara! The info is just plain wrong . So, welcome, here’s a real guide to Nara from my personal experience of actually traveling to Nara. I can’t believe I need to specify that.

Oh, and just so we’re clear, most of what there is to do in Nara is in Nara Park . It’s a ton of wow concentrated in one small area, making it the best day trip destination (ideally from Kyoto ).

Alright, I think you get that I like Nara, let’s get on with it.

The Nara FAQ of all FAQs: What are the top things to see in Nara??

The top 10 things to see and do in Nara , in order of my infallible, top-notch travel wisdom—because let's face it, I'm the travel guru you never knew you needed. Ignore this list at your own peril, like eating sushi from a gas station or wearing socks with sandals. You've been warned!

Don’t miss these attractions in Nara:

  • Daibutsuden at Tōdai-ji —The one and only Cosmic Buddha in a big, BIG! wooden temple.
  • Naramachi  quarter —Nostalgia and coffee in Nara’s old merchant neighborhood.
  • The sacred deers in Noborioji Park —They’re all over Nara Park, but this park is like their mothership.
  • Tōdai-ji’s Nandaimon Gate —The massive south gate guarded by scary kings.
  • Kofuku-ji —This is what it was like to be a really important aristocratic family.
  • Mt. Wakakusa —The best view in Nara with a hike that can be as long as you want it to be
  • Everything else at Tōdai-ji —If there’s just one place you visit in Nara (why?!), make it Tōdai-ji.
  • Kasuga Taisha —Nara’s protector shrine with millions of lanterns (exaggerated only slightly).
  • Yoshikien and Isuien Gardens —Moss garden, pond garden, old garden, new garden, you name it, they’ve gardened it!
  • Heijo  Palace —It’s where the emperor lived. Better with a car.

Map of must-see places in Nara, Japan, for 1-day trip plan

You can see the obvious concentration of Nara’s top places in Nara Park. Get a detailed view and list of all the attractions on Google Maps  

Below, I’ve fit every single place on this list into a similarly unbeatable itinerary for 1 day in Nara. Do it as a long day trip from Kyoto or stay overnight, but make sure to do it because Nara is one of my absolute favorite places in Japan for good reason.

Nara FAQ 1: Is one day enough for Nara?  

One day is ideal for Nara. Before I went, I saw all these travel blogs recommending 2 days, and I’m here to tell you that a day trip from Kyoto is all you need. It’s a really nice place, but unless you live in Japan or have all the time in the world, 1 day in Nara is totally enough to see its highlights . We spent an entire day there and honestly, the last 3 hours were spent just wandering. 

Nara FAQ 2: Should I drive or take the train to Nara?  

I read time and time again how terrible the parking in Nara is and that we should opt to take the train instead, but guess what? The pseudo-bloggers are wrong again! Parking in Nara’s city center is easy —loads of parking garages and cheap parking fees. And parking by the main sights isn’t any trouble either, plus the top spots are all in one area, so you’ll be doing mostly a lot of walking between the sites. We paid JPY 1000 for parking for our full day in Nara (about USD 6.50), so go ahead and take your car to Nara. They’re ready for you.

Check the itinerary for parking lost suggestions and prices.

Nara FAQ 3: Alternatively, how do you get from the train station to Nara Park? 

If you want to travel to Nara by train (and ignore my tip on taking a car), you can. There are two train stations in Nara: Kintetsu Station is the one closer to Nara Park—just a 5-minute walk, and JR Nara Station , about a 20-minute walk away. From JR Nara Station, take the East Exit and walk to Sanjo Dori Street. Alternatively, the yellow tourist bus #2 will take you to Nara Park in 10 minutes for about JPY 200.

Nara FAQ 4: Why are there so many deer in Nara? 

Deers in Nara Golden Pavilon, Japan

The sacred deer in Nara  

The sika deer living in Nara Park—all 1,400 of them!— are considered sacred because of a legend where the gods arrived in Nara riding white deer. The furry creatures in Nara aren’t white, but they sure are cute! You cannot go to Nara without trying to get a deer to bow to you (offer them only the crackers that you can buy in many spots around the park). They’ve learned to bow their heads, though when the competition gets tight or the deer to human ratio is off, they can get a little pushy.

Luckily, they are get their antlers cut in the traditional antler-cutting ceremony . It has existed since the Edo period so that humans and animals could live together in peace (though I’m not sure what the deer think of it!). 

The deer are such a huge part of Nara that people have them as bumper stickers and they’re even the city’s official symbol. Oh deer! I dare you to not buy anything deer-related when visiting Nara !  

Tip: If you’re around in mid-July, you may be able to witness the Roku-en deer enclosure near Kasuga Taisha Shrine where all the new baby deer of the year are presented to the public.  

Nara FAQ 5: Where can I see deer in Nara?

Basically everywhere you go in Nara Park, you’ll see deer. You’d have to be blind to miss them . You may even get sick of them, because you’ll never be able to escape the feeling that you just don’t have enough crackers for all of them. And they’ll give you puppy (fawn?) eyes and make you feel guilty. We saw the largest concentration of deer in Nara’s Noborioji Park, near Kofuku-ji.

Nara FAQ 6: When’s the best time to visit Nara?

The best time to visit Nara is fall or spring. Trust me, I've been a human toast under the summer sun there, and I'd rather not replay that experience. Summer in Japan is just relentless heat. I'd aim for April–May or September–October for the best Nara trip.

I'm not the kind to chase after pretty pink cherry blossoms, but hey, they are a nice perk of visiting Nara in spring. And fall? It's like a paintbox explosion—way more than the one-note green of summer. So, unless you have a thing for sweaty adventures, skip the summer and hit Nara when it's not a giant oven. Seriously, why did I go in August again?  

Nara itinerary for 1 day: Your detailed trip plan!

Todai-Ji temple in Nara, Japan

Are you ready for a whole day of exploring Nara?  

Here’s how I think you should spend one day in Nara, complete with time spent at each spot, distances, and ticket prices.

Parking near the main must-sees in Nara , try this parking lot to the south of Nara Park that charges just JPY 500 per day, or this parking area in the north close to Todaiji (JPY 800 per day). If it seems like too much walking, you can change parking lots during the day, you lazy bum! There are other parking lots, too, so you won’t have trouble finding a spot.

Hotel recommendations : Nara is less than an hour’s drive from central Kyoto, so it makes a fantastic day trip . We stayed in Kyoto’s KAYA Kyoto Nijo Castle and had a fantastic experience (gorgeous rooms, warm toilet seats… what’s not to love?!).

If you’d rather stay overnight in Nara , my hotel tips are: MIROKU NARA (no parking) | Sarusawaike Yoshidaya (free parking). Both of these places are just a hop and a skip away from Nara Park, so you’re literally on the doorstep of Nara’s top attractions.

Nara itinerary—stop 1: Noborioji Park to hang out with deer

Deers in Noborioji Park in Nara, Japan

Noborioji Park is the top deer hangout  

Time spent here: 30 minutes

Noborioji Park is where we met the most deer, and since getting bowed to by deer is so quintessentially Nara, this is where I think you should start your trip.

You’ll see vendors selling deer crackers for JPY 200 a pack , so stock up if you want to be part of the fun. Make sure to only feed the animals with what you’re supposed to, no improvising! The deer are considered sacred, so just imagine how angry the gods would be if they had a stomachache because of you.

Fun fact : They’ve been selling deer crackers in Nara Park since the 1670s! Also, the packaging is made out of edible materials (+printed with soy ink) just in case the deer eat it. But don’t feed it to the on purpose, and for the love of travel, don’t try to eat it yourself! It won’t hurt you, but just no.  

The deer are always there, so don’t worry about looking for the— they’ll find you . They are accustomed to humans and are surprisingly forward with their cracker-finding attempts. Watch your back! You may get a nibble on your bag or back pocket if you aren’t careful or fair with your cracker distribution!

Noborioji Park is part of the Kofuku-ji temple that you’ll be heading to next, so just hang around the deer until you’ve had enough and then move on. Don’t worry, you’re guaranteed to see more deer throughout the day .

Nara itinerary—stop 2: Kofuku-ji

Kofuku-ji temple and the pagoda in Nara, Japan

During your visit of the Kofuku-ji temple you will see the second largest pagoda in Japan  

Distance from last stop: 0 Time spent here: 1 hour

There’s a lot of construction going on at Kofuku-ji at the beginning of 2024, with some areas completely closed off. The main pagoda is covered up and work will continue until 2031. See official notices for up-to-date information.  

Kofuku-ji is the former family temple of the Fujiwara, who were the most powerful aristocratic clan in the Nara and Heian periods. It’s very old—1300 years!— and at the peak of the family’s power, there were about 150 buildings here in total. Today, there’s just a couple of handfuls of them. 

You can see the 5-story pagoda from far away—it’s the second largest pagoda in Japan. If only that dark wooden tower could tell the stories from its past! 

Visiting the Kofuku-ji temple in Nara, Japan

Kofuku-ji temple  

You can enter the temple grounds 24/7, which is nice, though if you want to enter any of the buildings, you’ll need to plan a little bit. The recently renovated Central Golden Hall , the Eastern Golden Hall with a big Buddha, and Kofukuji's National Treasure Hall all have their own entrance fees and are open from 9 am to 5 pm . The treasure hall houses a lot of Buddha-related art, and even one of the most celebrated Buddhist statues in all of Japan—the six-armed Ashura.  

Later today, you’ll be visiting the gardens close by that used to be where Kofukuji’s priests had their residences.  

  • Tickets : JPY 300–700 each for Central Golden Hall, Eastern Golden Hall, and National Treasure Hall 
  • Open 9 am–5 pm

Nara itinerary—stop 3: Naramachi Quarter

Getting a street food at the Naramachi Quarter in Japan

A walk and a bite to eat in Naramachi Quarter  

Distance from last stop : 500 m (0.3 mi), 10-minute walk  Time spent there : 1.5 hours 

Walk a little ways down Kofuku-ji into Naramachi, the old merchant quarter of the city .  

Not only will you walk among the old, narrow wooden buildings and feel like you’ve stepped back in time; the bonus modern twist is plenty of cafes and bakeries , something you’ll only really appreciate after spending some time in Japan. I think this is where I had my best coffee in Japan, so I have very fond memories . I unfortunately couldn’t tell you the exact cafe if you twisted my arm, so I’ll let you find your own caffeinated treasure. We can pretend it’s on purpose, like a coffee treasure hunt, only without a map and any hints! There are many, many options to choose from.  

Props to Naramachi for being as lovely as it is—I tend to hate this type of activity on my travels, where you just wander through narrow alleys or markets and pretend it’s fun. But Naramachi really is.

Nara itinerary—stop 4+5: Mt. Wakakusa and optional Kasuga Taisha

A view from the Mount Wakakusa in Nara, Japan

When you climb Mount Wakakusa, this is what you'll see  

Distance from last stop : it really depends on where you start walking, but it’s in Nara Park, so you’re never too far                  Time spent there : 1.5 hours (or much less if you skip most of the hike and just climb to the viewpoint)

Alright, let’s get a little cardio in, shall we? You can even choose how little that little will be. You can do the entire Mt. Wakakusa hike of a little over 5 km total, see Kasuga Taisha and tons of deer in Nara Park while you’re at it, or drive almost to the end, skip most of the park, the shrine, and the deer, and “hike” the 500 m to the top of the hill in 20 minutes. Oh, and there’s also a third option, where you do half of the full hike. Decisions, decision! What’s it gonna be?

In the end, the views of Nara from the peak of Mt. Wakakusa are what you’re after. But if you’re a smart traveler, you know that “no pain, no gain” has a lot of truth to it, so you’ll decide to walk the entire distance. That said, this isn’t going to be the hike of your lifetime , it literally is a walk in the park. So, if it’s 6,000 degrees out, or you’re traveling with your grandpa, or you just did the Yoshida Trail on Mt. Fuji and you just can’t be bothered, choose a shorter version.

Here's what to expect on the full Mt. Wakakusa hike:

You start at the path close to the Nara National Museum Buddhist Art Library ( see it on Google Maps ), or, alternatively, you can even park your car right at Kasuga Taisha and start there (but remember you’ll then need to return for it). It’s a proper wide path, more like a sidewalk, easy for anyone to conquer.

Kasuga Taisha

Kasuga Taisha in Nara, Japan

Kasuga Taisha  

Kasuga Taisha is a celebrated shrine which is thought to protect the entire city . For me, it was just another shrine to me. Japan’s highlights do start feeling a little monotone, and when you’re at your 20 th shrine, you can’t help but feel you’ve already seen it.  

But let me try to be objective here—there are hundreds of lanterns at Kasuga, all of which were donated by worshippers, which do look very nice. There are stone ones lining the pathways and bronze ones hanging from edged of the rooftops. I haven’t experienced the biannual lantern festivals where all the lanterns light up, but it may have been that little extra something that would’ve made me love Kasuga Taisha, too. The festival takes place every February and August .  

  • Temple tickets : JPY 500 for the inner area, otherwise free  

Once you walk away from Kasuga Taisha, you’ll finally get to a slightly less pristine gravel path when you reach the stream that you’ll be following part of the way. Most of the trail is slightly uphill through the forest, with a little shrine on the way here and there.

Eventually, you’ll reach the parking lot directly under Mt. Wakakusa , and start your final ascent . Honestly, just writing that makes me smile, because I want you to understand that anyone with two legs in anything but terrible fitness can do this, and the word “ascent” just makes it sound like you need hiking gear and willpower to accomplish this. You do not. It’s a hill.

The views continue all the way back down when you take the trail towards Mount Wakakusa base North Gate .

Full Mt. Wakakusa (with Kasuga Taisha) hike stats:

Hike length : 5 km/3 miles (point-to-point) Hike duration : 1.5 hours Elevation gain : 200 m/600 ft Difficulty : Alltrails says moderate , I say easy Trailhead :  Google Maps link to trailhead Or, if you just want to skedaddle up to the peak quickly, park near it for free

Map showing the hike to Mt. Wakakusa, Nara Park, Nara itinerary for 1 day, Japan

You can find this map on Alltrails , just without my fancy labels  

Tip: If you wanted a medium version of this hike , you could start and end at the Mount Wakakusa base North Gate (there is parking there for JPY 1000) and make it an out-an-back trip for a total of 3 km (1.8 mi) hike. You’d still get all the views, a bit of exercise, but skip the forested portion .

Nara itinerary—stop 6: Tōdai-ji, Nara’s top must-see!

Todai-ji temple in Nara, Japan

The big Buddha statue in Todai-ji temple is definitely a must-see!  

Distance from last stop : 1 km (0.6 mi), 15-minute walk (from Mt. Wakakusa North Gate to Nandaimon Gate) Time spent there : 1–2 hours 

Finally, the top must-see in Nara: Tōdai-ji, one of the most historically important temples in all of Japan . History nerds like me will eat this place up! But also, deer!

Tōdai-ji was originally built in 752 when Nara was the imperial capital. It’s biggest claim to fame is the very large, wooden temple called Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall). That thing blew me away by just how massive it is , even more than any of Europe’s cathedrals (ok, maybe the ones in Palma de Mallorca and Sevilla top it). Daibutsuden is roughly 50 m (180 ft) long, wide, and tall.   

The Buddha inside is supposed to be the “cosmic Buddha” —what a name, huh?!—who created the universe and all of the other Buddhas after him. He’s a big fella! You can try to reach enlightenment by attempting to squeeze yourself (or maybe your very small child) through the hole on the pilar close to the Buddha which is the same size as the statue's nostril. Good luck and don’t get stuck. Also, how does “cosmic Jan” sound? I may need to rename myself.  

Until the end of the 20 th century, Daibutsuden was the largest wooden building in the world . It had to be rebuilt, saved, and reconstructed several times due to wars. Nowadays, it’s little more than half the size of the original —can you imagine what the original must’ve looked like?! The reason it’s smaller now is mainly because the ginormous amount of cedar wood needed to build it. Despite clearing entire forests, traveling hundreds of kilometers, and building over 100 river dams, there just wasn’t enough wood they could get for this huge building . I’m not lying when I say it’s massive!  

But don’t just run straight to Daibutsuden, there’s one national treasure right at the entrance—the Nandaimon Gate . It’s an imposing gate with two angry king statues guarding the entrance.

The Great South Wall in Todai-ji, Japan

The Great South Wall  

Deer warning : It’s not just the kings watching your every move, the deer at Tōdai-ji aren’t stupid and know what they want! You better have some deer crackers on hand (or at least clearly show them that you aren’t hiding any). They can get feisty if you’re teasing them or when they’re trying to figure out if you’re carrying anything of interest to them.

Hidden gem in Nara? There are many smaller buildings on Tōdai-ji’s grounds, so make sure to take a good look at them. Don’t skip the ones up on the hill on the east side for sweeping views of the temple and Nara. Hokkedo and Nigatsudo are two beautiful wooden temples with terraces that you can stare down from, kind of like a miniature Kiyomizu-dera !

Get a free English guide on the spot (human, not brochure) if you’d like a more complex understanding of the temple’s significance.  

  • Tōdai-ji official website
  • Temple tickets : JPY 600   
  • Open daily 7:30–5:00 pm

Nara itinerary—stop 7: Yoshikien and Isuien Gardens 

Yoshikien and Isuien Gardens in Nara, Japan

Japanese garden show in Yoshikien and Isuien Gardens  

Distance from last stop : right past the bus parking lot outside of the Nandaimon Gate of Tōdai-ji   Time spent there : 30 minutes–1 hour (depending if you see both gardens or just one)

Japan isn’t just temples and shines (though you will start to feel like it is very quickly), it’s also Japanese gardens! Lots of them, everywhere, all the time. They are so nice and serene it’s almost disgusting, haha. At the Yoshikien and Isuien Gardens, right outside of Nandaimon Gate, you’ll get to see several types of Japanese gardens all in one spot .

Yoshikien Garden is built in the place where the priest residences of neighboring Kofukuji once stood. It’s not very big despite having three separate areas: the moss garden , where the ground is covered in moss, a pond garden (you can surely guess what you’ll find there), and the tea ceremony garden with a tea house. It’s interesting to see the differences between the three, and if you manage to visit at a time that’s less busy, it has a very peaceful atmosphere.

Isuien Garden , just across the river from Yoshikien, is the larger of the two and gets to use Tōdai-ji’s Nandaimon Gate as part of its background. Maybe that’s why they dare charge the relatively steep entrance fee of JPY 1200. The front garden is much older than the rear garden, and both have teahouses scattered throughout. We thought the staff was very friendly and even gave us a little introduction to Japanese gardens (in perfect i.e. easy-to-understand English!).  

If you’re running out of time, I can tell you that I have a slight preference for Yoshikien Garden over Isuien Garden. It’s compact, it gets the job done efficiently with 3 gardens in one go, and if you don’t crave extra garden time, it’s certainly enough.

  • Tickets : JPY 1200 for Isuien Garden, Yoshikien is free      
  • Isuien is closed on Tuesdays and closes at 4:30 pm, Yoshikien is open daily until 5 pm 

Nara itinerary—stop 8 (optional): Heijo Palace Site Historical Park

Heijo Palace in Nara, Japan

Heijo Palace is located in the middle of an empty field, which seems a bit strange. But it hides a lot of interesting things that you don't want to miss at the end of your day in Nara  

Distance from last stop : km (0.8 mi), 20-minute walk  Time spent there : 1 hour 

You can consider your 1-day Nara itinerary to be done and head back to your hotel now and start getting excited about dinner—I always am! OR, you can smash out one more stop in Nara: Heijo Palace. You’ll need a car to get there , because it is the only tourist attraction on this itinerary that isn’t in or near Nara Park. There’s a parking lot to the south of the palace.

This extra stop will only be possible if you can get there in time: most of the buildings close around 4:30 pm. Check the official website for details .

You’ll feel like you’ve found a hidden gem in Nara , because despite it being a typical palace of typical Japanese architecture, it’s located on a vast and largely open and empty field—kind of strange and definitely not typical! No Japanese gardening, not many statues, not much of anything… the grounds were used to grow rice, so it’s really a field. But it’s a UNESCO heritage site, so there’s much more than meets the eye.

Rent a bicycle and take a peddle around the grounds for a slightly different Nara experience.

Heijo Palace used to be the emperor’s residence and the place of government buildings when Nara was Japan’s capital back in the 700s. None of the buildings are originals, but they did their best with the historical reconstructions and some museums to showcase the importance of the palace.

The biggest building at Heijo Palace is Daigokuden, the Former Audience Hall (there was also a “latter” audience hall, the ruins of which are close by). Check out the animals on the ceilings, they represent the animals of the lunar calendar and the 4 compass directions.

There are 3 other reconstructed buildings on site, as well as the only place that doesn’t scream ‘field’, the East Palace Garden. You’ll find tourist facilities such as a restaurant, info point, and an observation deck at Suzaku Hiroba , a square  by the Suzaku Gate (the one you’ll enter through from the parking lot). Check out one of the several museums and exhibition halls , each in a different area of the palace grounds, mostly showcasing artefacts from the Nara period and from the excavation efforts going on at the palace.

  • Heijo Palace official website
  • Last admission to most buildings is at 4 pm

Deer in Nara, Japan

There, you’re done! You’ve seen Nara’s top places, you’ve walked more than you expected to, and you fed way too many deer along the way. But in the end, you (and those deer!) will walk away happy. A day well spent. Get back to your hotel (again, we loved it at Kyoto’s KAYA Kyoto Nijo Castle , but you could try MIROKU NARA or Sarusawaike Yoshidaya if you’d rather crash for the night right there in Nara.  

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission if you make bookings through my links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!  

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About me

Hi! I’m Jan. I live in Prague, Czech Republic. I try to experience the best the world has to offer, and I don’t cease to be impressed. But if I’m not, I’m sure going to tell you! You can count on my full honesty and real opinions here. No bullcrap. I own and run several companies, which gives me great (but not unlimited) freedom to roam the world.  

I was first inspired to start this blog by my own experience of researching for upcoming trips—I often struggle with a lack of good information, accuracy, and authenticity of resources. You wouldn’t believe how many “travel bloggers” don’t even visit the destinations they write about! 

My goal with this blog is to provide you with complex and practical information so that you can plan your own vacation, complete with insights you’d only get if you visited the place. I also put together itineraries that are fully planned out trip guides.

Another aspect that drives this platform is my curiosity about the history, geography, politics, and economy of each country I visit, so I try to include this information in my articles, too. It’s always great to get the bigger picture, right? 

And just to be clear, I am not trying to compete with backpacking blogs or provide hacks for an economical and affordable experience. My vacations follow the standard pattern of traveling by plane, staying in good hotels, and renting a car on the spot to get around. I’m also always up for a fantastic meal, though I don’t shy away from local delicacies and street food, either.  

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japan nara tour

Nara Starts Here

Most casual tourists don’t feel it’s necessary to consult a Nara travel guide—they just want to see the deer that roam its main park. This is at once expected (the shika is the international symbol of the city) and unfortunate, since there’s so much more on offer here.

Among other attractions, Nara (which, for a time around 1,400 years ago, was Japan’s capital) is home to some of the world’s oldest wooden architecture, including the hall that houses the massive bronze Buddha at Todai-ji. And that’s just the city: Nara prefecture, which is sprawling and mostly rural, introduces another tourism ecosystem entirely.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about visiting Nara, whether you come for the day to see the deer, or stay a while and dig deep. My Nara itinerary will cover all your bases!

Where to Stay in Nara

I’ll start talking you through things to do in Nara in just a second, but for now I thought it might be helpful to recommend a few places to stay. I mean, assuming you do decide to stay the night. As you’ll probably realize by now, if you’ve done any previous research regarding a trip to Nara, this city is primarily a day-trip destination for people who are staying in Kyoto, Osaka or elsewhere in the Kansai region . The normal answer for how long to stay in Nara is “the afternoon.”

Assuming you do stay, however, I’m of two minds of how to approach that. If you’re basing yourself in Nara for a night (or longer) primarily for the convenience of accessing attractions—in other words, your trip will primarily be experiential—choose a functional accommodation close to JR Nara Station, such as Super Hotel Lohas . If you want your lodging to be an integral part of that experience, or if money is simply no object the high-end Tsukihitei may be a better choice.

How to Spend Your Time in Nara

Buy some deer food.

japan nara tour

The deer of Nara Park are the city’s most famous attraction, but there are a few things you should know about them. The first is that you’ll find them throughout the city, long before you get to the park itself. The second? Although buying “deer food” will increase your chances of a positive encounter, it’s still worth being cautious around these semi-wild animals.

Explore ancient wooden structures and sprawling shrines

japan nara tour

Another popular item in my Nara travel guide is to explore its millennia-old buildings, which hearken back to the time when this was Japan’s capital. Famous ones include Todai-ji , which sits just north of Nara Park and houses one of the world’s largest sitting Buddha status, and the five-story pagoda of Kofuku-ji . If you have time, you’ll also want to make sure not to miss sprawling Kagusa Shrine and the towering Mt. Wakakusayama viewpoint!

Enjoy seasonal beauty

japan nara tour

Nara is beautiful 365 days per year, but it especially shines during cherry blossom season (which usually occurs in late March or early April) and in mid-to-late November, when its momiji and ginkgo trees grow delightfully red and orange. Note that while Nara occasionally gets snow in winter, you’re unlikely to see accumulation (at least in the city center).

Don’t miss Mt. Yoshino

japan nara tour

If you do visit during spring or autumn, note that many a Nara travel guide will (rightly) suggest you explore more rural parts of the prefecture. The most crowning example of this is Mt. Yoshino , the namesake of the somei yoshino cherry tree that’s famous around Japan. Hundreds of thousands of them are planted here, which makes Yoshino a must-visit during haru (but also aki ).

Or treasures in Wakayama and Kyoto

japan nara tour

Nara is not only an awesome self-contained destination, but sits near other prefectures with an equal amount of gold for travelers. If you’re headed to or from Kyoto, stop in the tea-producing town of Uji and visit stunning Byodo-in temple. Another option is to travel to Mt. Koya , the most famous place in Wakayama prefecture and Japan’s holiest settlement.

japan nara tour

Is Nara Worth Visiting?

The good news? I’ve already written an article that examines, in detail, all the ways Nara is (and isn’t) worth visiting . The better news? I’m going to sum all of it up here, in case you don’t have time to read that one, or simply don’t want to. The bottom line is this: If you have the time to visit Nara and a good idea of what you want to do there (from my Nara travel guide or elsewhere), then of course a trip to this ancient city is very much worth the effort—particularly if you have my Nara itinerary to guide you!

The key (and I know I’ve stressed this often, maybe to the point of being obnoxious) is whether or not you stay the night. There are certainly enough things to do in Nara to occupy a half- or full-day trip from Kyoto or Osaka. For many travelers, however, the pull just isn’t strong enough to take them away from comfy hotels in larger cities. (You might change your tune when you learn about destinations elsewhere in Nara prefecture, however, such as Mt. Yoshino!)

japan nara tour

Other FAQ About Your Trip to Nara

How much time do you need in nara.

The majority of travelers spend a single day in Nara and don’t spend the night there. However, there’s enough in Nara and its vicinity to occupy 2-3 days, especially if you visit outlying attractions such as Mt. Yoshino or the ancient town of Asuka, or travel to adjacent Wakayama prefecture. You may end up needing a full-fledged Nara itinerary!

Is Nara a day trip?

Nara is usually a day trip for travelers based in the nearby cities of Kyoto and Osaka . If you arrive in the morning, you can visit with the deer of Nara Park, explore ancient architecture of Todai-ji and its massive bronze Buddha and have a nice meal before heading back.

Can you touch the deer in Nara?

You can touch deer in Nara—the question is whether you should. On one hand, the deer are tame and more than used to human contact. On the other hand, they are still wild animals. If you do decide to touch the deer in Nara, remain alert and present at all times. Don’t leave children alone with them!

The Bottom Line

Plan your japan trip.

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things to do

See & Do


Explore Nara by Interest

Cherry Blossom

Evening Entertainment

Parks & Gardens

Rainy Day Activities

Tea & Tea Ceremony

Sake Tasting & Tours

Traditional Architecture

Nara Essentials

Todaiji temple, kasugataisha shrine, nara national museum, imaicho town, former site of heijokyu imperial palace, mt. yoshino, nara city museum of photography, the kohfukuji national treasure hall, mitarai valley, murouji temple, activities & attractions.

Nature & The Outdoors


Activities & Experiences

Kasugataisha Shrine Man'yo Botanical Garden

Nara prefectural museum of art, festivals & events, heijo tempyo summer festival.

Cultural Events

Ohnoji Temple Cherry Blossom Viewing

Nature Events

Onpara Festival

Kaerutobi festival, historic sites, ishibutai tumulus.

History & Culture

Former Site of Fujiwarakyo Capital

Kashihara jingu, ohmiwa-jinja shrine, cultural experiences, suikaen tanimura yasaburo, katsuragi city sumo museum kehayaza, kawai sake brewery, taimadera temple, odaigahara plateau, mt. kasuga primeval forest, isuien garden.

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Nara Sightseeing Map

Nara visitor center & inn, suggested see & do, uniquely nara, romantic evenings.

The geography of Nara, with gentle mountains encircling a flat basin, lends itself to stunning sunset views. In the evenings, lantern-lit shrine grounds and seasonal illuminations make for intimate walks. Nara provides the perfect setting for a romantic break , uninterrupted and unhurried.

Nara’s wild deer are one of its most famous attractions. Roaming freely around Nara Park , they’ve been revered as messengers of the gods since the Nara period. Killing one is no longer punishable by death, but they deserve respect. Only feed them the official “shika sembei” crackers, sold around the park.

Outdoor Activities

Nara is a popular destination for nature lovers. With its dramatic mountains and distinct seasons, it is beautiful all year. Hikers and walkers will find a variety of paths from easy walks through Murou and the lower parts of Yoshino and Dorogawa , to the challenging heights of the ancient Kumano Kodo network of pilgrimage routes.

Ringed by mountains, Nara also boasts flat, fertile plains that are perfect for cycling. Outside the main tourist areas, the attractions are quite spread out and traffic is light, so renting a bicycle, particularly around Asuka , Imaicho and the Yamanobe-no-Michi trail, is not only a good option but also makes for a fun day out.

Tours & Excursions

Brewery tours & sake tasting.

There are around 50 small sake breweries across Nara, many offering tastings and tours. The best time to visit is from late November through March; production shuts down in summer. Tours are free or around ¥500 including tastings. It’s a good idea to book ahead, especially for groups. Your hotel or the tourist information center can help.

Sightseeing Tours

With so many fantastic places to see - many outside the main city center - a day tour can save you the trouble of planning and working out transport connections. Nara Visitor Center & Inn is an official visitors center near Nara Park , offering cultural activities and tours, including fruit picking, sake tasting and tea ceremony.

World Heritage

Buddhist monuments in the horyuji area.

Horyuji Temple and its surrounds are home to 48 World Heritage Buddhist Monuments, from the world’s oldest wooden building to stunning sculptures. These are the earliest Buddhist monuments in Japan, and key examples of the cultural exchange between China, Korea and Japan but also of the nation’s growing artistic independence. A visit to Horyuji should be on any Nara itinerary.

Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara

As the nation’s capital from 710 to 784, Nara flourished as the center of culture and modernisation. Many of the great monuments of that time, including grand Buddhist temples like Todaiji Temple and Shinto shrines like Kasugataisha Shrine , still exist today, along with the ruins of the old Imperial Palace . These are some of Nara's blockbuster attractions.

Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range

The three sacred sites of Yoshino and Omine, Kumano Sanzan and Koyasan are linked by a network of pilgrimage routes to the ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto. These routes through the Kii Mountains are World Heritage sites , for their fusion of ancient Shinto and Buddhist practices and stunning natural beauty. Hiking just part of one makes for an enjoyable and cultural holiday experience.

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18 Amazing Things to Do in NARA, Japan (2024 Edition)

Amanda Tran

  • Last Updated: January 25, 2024

To fully immerse yourself in Japanese history and culture, check out this list of amazing things to do in Nara, Japan.

Nara is the capital city of Japan’s Nara Prefecture and located in south-central Honshu.

The city was the ancient capital of Japan about 1,400 years ago and is a popular destination to visit from Kyoto and Osaka. Located around an hour away from each city, Nara is a temple-filled city with famous historical sites and shrines. Large parts of the area are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Table of Contents

1) Visit the Great Buddha in Todai Ji Temple

2) admire buddhist art at nara national museum.

  • 3) Meet the Deer and see Todaiji Temple at Nara Koen Park

4) Observe Morning Prayer At Kasuga Grand Shrine

5) stay overnight at a temple, 6) visit isuien garden & neiraku art museum, 7) kofuku ji temple and national treasure museum, 8) enjoy matcha at mizuya-chaya, 9) sample nara specialities at hirasō, 10) explore dorogawa onsen, 11) visit asuka village, 12) do a farm homestay in asuka, 13) bathe in kasugayama primeval forest, 14) visit mt. yoshino for the best view in nara, 15) watch fire and water ceremonies at tōdai-ji, 16) visit another spectacular temple, hōryū-ji, 17) check out another fire festival on nara’s hillside, 18) enjoy an open air performance in may, the best hostel in nara – yuzan guesthouse, the best budget accommodation for couples – nara royal hotel, best mid-range hotel – onyado nono nara, best luxury hotel in nara – tsukihitei, best restaurants in nara, things to do in nara, japan.

Nara isn’t Japan’s hotspot for adventure but the city carries a significant history and is worth visiting for anyone interested in seeing Japan’s unique past.

While you don’t necessarily need to spend a few days here, there are certainly plenty of things to see in Nara to fill your time if you want to take your time.

There is the world class Nara National Museum, festivals and forests, Nara Park, and two incredible temples: The Todai Ji Temple and the Kofuku Ji Temple.

READ MORE: Don’t miss our list of the best places to visit in Japan (including Nara, of course)!

There is so much fun stuff to do. Just book a train ride into a JR Nara Station and begin exploring! Kintetsu Nara Station is the most centrally located Nara station. Or organize a tour so you can enjoy everything being planned for you.

Book a customized tour with a local guide here:

Todai ji Temple is a huge temple compound that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples and houses one of the largest bronze statues in the world, the Daibutsu (Great Buddha).

The statue was unveiled in 752 upon the completion of the Daibutsu-den (Great Buddha Hall) built to house it.

Over the years, both have been damaged but the present statue was recast in the Edo Nara period.

The Daibutsu-den is the world’s largest wooden building, though the current structure which was rebuilt in 1709, is only two-thirds of the size of the original.

Daibutsu stands at 16m high and consists of 437 tonnes of bronze and 130 kg of gold.

It’s believed among historians that Emperor Shōmu ordered the Buddha to be built as a charm against smallpox, which had devastated Japan in earlier years.

Around the back of the statue is a wooden column with a hole through its base that is the same size as the Great Buddha’s nostrils.

A popular belief is those who can squeeze through the hole are assured of enlightenment.

Except for the Daibutsu-den, most of Todaiji Temple can be visited for free. If you’re only doing a Nara day trip, this is a must visit.

On this tour you will visit not just Nara’s top historical site, the Todai ji temple but also the scenic Sarusawa pond, tour the merchant’s district to learn about traditional crafts to stopping by one of the local eateries for a delicious treat! Visit the website for more info .

Tōdai-Ji Grounds

Built in 1894, Nara National Museum is a world-class museum devoted to Buddhist art. The Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall & Ritual Bronzes Gallery displays a selection of around 100 statues of Buddhas and bodhisattvas on rotation.

Some of the Chinese bronzes in the gallery of Nara National Museum date back to the 15th Century BC.

Nara National Museum is located on the west side of Nara Koen Park and is divided into two buildings.

There is an older building containing the museum’s permanent collection of fine Buddhist images. The new building of Nara National Museum is on the east side displaying temporary exhibits.

You can buy the cheapest tickets for Nara National Museum here on Klook .

READ MORE: Here’s everything you need to know about travelling in Japan .

3 ) Meet the Deer and see Todaiji Temple at Nara Koen Park

You can’t visit Nara and not come to Nara Koen Park to meet the deer. It really is one of the most unique things to do in Nara, Japan.

The park, often just called Nara Park, was established in 1880 and extends east from Downtown Nara and Naramachi running all the way to the base of the hills that rise east of the city.

While Nara Park itself isn’t all that great, it contains many other important Nara tourist attractions, including Todaiji Temple, Isui-en Garden and Kasuga-Taisha Shrine.

Nara Park is also home to hundreds of freely roaming deer. The deer have become a symbol of the city and are designated as a natural treasure.

As many visitors feed the deer with crackers for sale around Nara Park, the deer can get aggressive if they think you will feed them and don’t avoid teasing them with food.

Check out this half-day UNESCO Heritage tour to learn more about the Kasuga-Taisha Shrine and the Todaiji Temple!

What To Do In Nara Japan Deer

When Nara became the new capital in the 8th century, a shrine at the foot of Mikasa-yama was created to protect it.

According to Shinto tradition, the Kasuga Grand Shrine had to be rebuilt every 20 years and was done so until the late 19th century.

To this date, it is kept in pristine condition with many of its buildings painted vermilion with cedar roofs.

You’ll see hundreds of lanterns lining the corridors which are illuminated twice a year during the Mantoro Lantern Festival.

At 9 am every morning, the public is welcome to observe Ethe  chōhai  (morning prayer service) held in the Naoraiden (Ceremony Hall).

Kasuga Grand Shrine is an important Shinto Shrine and is a beautiful landmark in Nara.

Of all the incredible things to do in Nara, sleeping overnight in a Buddhist temple is one of the most unique experiences on the list.

Gyokuzoin is a temple with over 1,000 years of history and offers lodging for guests who want to enjoy some prayer and ascetic practice.

The temple is located at Mt. Shigisan in Quasi National Park so you’ll wake up to beautiful and fresh scenery. The lodge offers options with breakfast or dinner included. Visit the website for more info !

For art lovers wondering what to do in Nara, we recommend a visit to Isuien Garden, an elegant garden divided into two parts.

The first part of Isuien Garden was created in the 17th century and reflects the style of the Edo era (1603-1868) while the other part was added in the early 20th century.

Both parts of Isuien Garden use the technique of shakkei which means borrowed scenery and incorporates the mountains behind Kasuga Taisha into the design.

The admission also covers the adjoining Neiraku Art Museum which displays Chinese and Korean ceramics and bronzes.

Kofuku Ji Temple is one of the oldest and most special Buddhist temples in Japan, which dates back over 1,300 years.

Tour the halls and pagodas of the Kofuku Ji Temple, and then check out the fascinating Treasure Museum.

This museum was reopened in 2018 and houses Kōfuku-ji’s most important works of art with many dating back to the 8th century that have survived destruction over the ages.

For those interest in Buddhist sculpture and art, this museum is one of the top places to visit in Nara.

The main attraction is the sculpture of Ashura, a deity taken from Indian mythology, who is presented here with grace and composure despite usually being a fierce figure.

Photography is not allowed inside the museum.

While you’re running smashing all this list of Nara things to do, take a minute of rest at this brook-side clearing between Nigatsu-dō and Kasuga Taisha.

Stop by and try a cup of matcha, some onigiri (rice balls) or a bowl of udon.

If you’re in Nara during the warm seasons, sit outside and enjoy kakigōri , a type of dessert made from shaved ice topped with condensed milk, sweet red beans or fruit-flavoured syrups.

Matcha Tea Things To Do In Nara

You can’t have a good Nara, Japan guide without offering some specialties of food to try.

At Hirasō, you can sample some local Nara specialties such as kakinoha-zushi, a pressed sushi wrapped in persimmon leaf – but don’t eat the leaf!

You can also try chagayu which is a rice porridge (or congee) made with roasted green tea.

There’s also a kiosk in front of JR Nara Station selling kakinoha-zushibentō  (boxed set meals) as this special form of sushi was originally a preservation technique that allows it to last up to three days.

At night, the streets are lit up with strings of lanterns and during the day, you can expect some peace and quiet here in Dorogawa Onsen.

Enjoy some serenity in the famous local hot springs and stroll across the many brightly painted bridges that cross the river.

You can also hike up the nearby suspension bridge which is one of the largest in Japan and take in the views of the town.

The bridge crosses Mitarai Valley and many pilgrims come to hike here to enjoy the surrounding mountains that offer mining trekking paths, rivers and waterfalls.

Asuka Village is located in central Nara Prefecture and is located just south of Nara city, and in my humble opinion, is one of the best things to do in Nara.

Asuka is where the early Japanese nation took root and its first permanent capital. During the Asuka period (late 6th century to early 8th century), the area Today, Asuka reflects the legacy of the era and its rural landscape of rice fields, orchards and traditional kominka houses are surrounded by temples and burial mounds.

Omiwa, which is one of the oldest shrines in Japan, is also found in Sakurai city in this area.

Asuka Village

For those wondering what to do in Nara, Japan that is going to be completely different to anything else, this is it!

You can do a rural farm stay in Asuka and learn about the traditions of rural Japan while being nestled against the foothills of the Kumano Mountains.

At this particular homestay, the owners are grow vegetables on their farm so you can expect to be treated with delicious meals throughout your stay.

This is one of the most unique things to do in Nara if you want to get off the beaten track and interact with locals away from the tourist track.

Forest bathing, yes, it’s a thing, is an opportunity to return to nature and explore the mountain and forest – but it’s not what you think.

In Kasugayama Primeval Forest in Nara (walking distance from Nara Park), a qualified guide will take you on a 3 to 4-hour hike of the forest, explaining the benefits of being back in nature.

You can inspect plants and insects up close with a magnifying glass and immerse yourself in the natural surroundings.

The hike’s primary focus is on the experience – to absorb and be still in that moment, listening to the sounds of the forest.

You’ll enjoy a delicious lunch from a local bakery and some tea before you make your way back down.

The forest is also one of the eight historical monuments that make up the entire UNESCO World Heritage Site of ancient Nara.

Mt. Yoshino is an infamous cherry blossom viewing spot in Nara that contains around 30,000 trees that blossom.

The expression hitome senbon , which means ‘a thousand trees at a glance’, comes from here since you can see 1,000 cherry trees in bloom at once. It’s an amazing thing to see in person, a Nara must see!

If you’re wondering what to see in Nara during winter, this spot is still a hit!

Visitors can take in the stunning snowy landscapes in winter, see the hydrangeas during the rainy season in June, appreciate new green leaves in summer and falling foliage in autumn.

Cherry Blossoms Nara Japan

Shuni-e , which means ‘ceremony of the second month’, is a ceremony held each year at certain Buddhist temples in Japan.

Nara’s Shuni-e is one of the more popular and well-known ceremonies and is held between 1 March and 15 March annually.

The ceremony is a fire festival where the monks of Tōdai-ji parade huge, flaming torches around the balcony of Nigatsu-dō for 10 nights straight, raining embers on spectators to purify them.

The following day, they draw water from the temple well and at 2 am, they offer it to Kannon (the Buddhist goddess of mercy) and the public.

Hōryū-ji (Temple of the Flourishing Law) is a Buddhist temple that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples in Nara.

It was founded in 607 by Prince Shōtoku, who many consider being the patron saint of Japanese Buddhism.

The temple is one of the oldest in Japan and is renowned as a repository for some of Japan’s rarest and most outstanding examples of early Buddhist sculpture.

You can pick up a detailed map and guidebook in English to lead you through the temple’s two parts: Sai-in (West Temple) and Tō-in (East Temple).

Upon entry, you’ll see the Kondō (Main Hall) on your right – be sure to look up to see the incredible carvings of mythical beasts on the eaves – and a pagoda on your left.

Both are considered the oldest of their kind, though they have been repaired over the years.

Over in Tō-in, the Yumedono (Hall of Dreams) was built in 739 as a place to pray for the repose of Prince Shōtoku’s soul.

Yumedono houses the Guze Kannon, a 7th-century sculpture of the Kannon carved from a single piece of camphor wood and sheathed in gold leaf.

The Wakakusa Yamayaki is an annual festival where the grass on the hillside of Mt. Wakakusa-yama is set on fire.

The mountain is located at the eastern end of Nara Park and can be seen throughout the city when it is set alight.

The origins of this festival are unclear but Nara’s three big religious institutions, Tōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji and Kasuga Taisha, come together to set alight Wakakusa-yama.

After this, an awesome fireworks display follows. The whole city lights up and then the local fire brigade puts out the fire.

The festival takes place every year on the fourth Saturday of January but can be delayed in the case of bad weather.

Fireworks Nara

Kofukiji Temple holds Takigi Noh , a type of stylised dance-drama. The performances bring to life culture and history against a backdrop of flaming bonfires.

Noh is one of Japan’s oldest dances and performances tell tales from Japan’s rich folklore. The performers wear masks to take on various characters such as elderly people, children and ghosts.

Since their faces are hidden, the artistry of a Noh performance is expressed only through physical movement.

This special performance in Nara is only held annually in May at Kōfuku-ji on the third Friday of May and Kasuga Taisha on the third Friday and Saturday of May.

Nara Travel Guide

To help you make the most of your time in this city, we’ve put together this mini Nara travel guide complete with where to stay in Nara and some great restaurant recommendations.

Most places are within walking distance or a quick ride on public transport from Kintetsu Nara Station, the main transport hub.

Best Accommodation – Where to Stay in Nara

While most people may only consider a Nara day trip, to fully explore everything the city has to offer, you should consider staying at least one or two nights.

With a variety of styles of accommodation, there are plenty of budget-friendly to luxury options for anyone considering where to stay in Nara.

You’ll find that all accommodation options in Nara will offer clean and comfortable rooms with free wifi. Don’t expect places to be too spacious as space, in general, is limited in Japan.

For a unique experience, consider staying at a traditional ryokan.

This guesthouse is a cosy option for travellers wanting to stay near the best Nara attractions.

There are only a few rooms as it is more of a guesthouse than a hostel. There is also a kitchen if you’d like to do some cooking.

Yuzan Guesthouse has a 10/10 rating on Hostelworld, reviewed by over 90 guests. That’s pretty incredible! Travelers love the homey feel and affordable price.

Nara Royal Hotel is a large hotel that offers more budget-friendly options for couples. The rooms are surprisingly spaciously (especially for Japan) with comfortable beds and a large bathroom.

The hotel also has a sauna, Jacuzzi and a selection of four restaurants to choose from. There’s also a large tea lounge with a beautiful view of a waterfall.

Guests can take advantage of the free shuttle going to the Deer Park or free parking near the hotel if you wish to drive.

This is a great base to explore everything Nara has to offer. The hotel is located next to Nara Station and offers a very relaxed Japanese style hotel featuring comfortable rooms with a flat screen TV, wi-fi and linen.

There’s a beautiful onsen (hot spring bath) for guests to use though it can get quite crowded and guests with tattoos are not allowed to use it.

As a bonus, Onyado Nono Nara also offers free ramen after 9 pm!

For those visiting Nara with a high-end budget, this is easily the best luxury accommodation option.

Tsukihitei is a ryokan which is a traditional style inn that typically features tatami-matted rooms, onsen and other communal areas for guests to wear their yukuta (Japanese robes).

Breakfast and dinner is included in the stay as well as robe rental.

Tsukihitei is located in a serene environment surrounded by nature on top of the mountain.

Privacy is valued here so you have the option of having your meals in a private room and even booking one of the two private onsen.

While you shouldn’t expect luxury on the same standard as international chain hotels, Tsukihitei is a special place located near some of the major Nara sightseeing spots such as Kofuku-ji Temple and Naramachi.

You can’t visit the Kansai region without trying okonomiyaki so make sure you head to Surugamachi no Okonomiyakiya to try this delicious dish. The restaurant is small and simple but that’s really all you need.

If you are still on a mission to find another delicious okonomiyaki restaurant, check out Parco which offers an awesome lunch menu with homemade gyozas, fried chicken, rice, pickles and miso soup.

Wakakusa Curry is a great place to try some hot, flavorful curries and hot dishes like noodles and soups.

Lovers of tuna should try Maguro Koya , a little restaurant run by a couple for over 40 years. The restaurant is devoted to tuna and serves it in many different ways.

If you’re a little tired of Japanese food, head over to Sakura Burger , an awesome burger joint that serves juicy patties on toasted buns loaded with your choice of toppings. You can also get hot dogs and sandwiches here!

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Suggested Nara Full Day Walk

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The following is a full-day model course for average-paced travelers that covers the major attractions in Nara on foot over about five kilometers. Add an additional kilometer if you start at JR Nara Station instead of Kintetsu Nara Station.

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The Nara Top Ten 奈良のトップ10

  • Published on : 14/02/2017
  • by : Sayoko T.
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The Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple

Tips from Sayoko, our local Travel Angel

Unmissable places, temples, gardens and museums: Sayoko our Travel Angel in Nara, shares her top ten things to see and do.

The first permanent capital of Japan, from 710 to 794, and the seat of Buddhism, Nara is the soul of Japan. Here's a selection of some of the best things to see:

  • Todai-ji Temple , the landmark of the city, with its  majestic Buddha statue,  more than fifteen meters high.
  • On the way to the Todai-ji, take the opportunity to make a detour to  Isui-en garden, a quiet green oasis where water is in the spotlight.
  • Nara Park and its famous freely-roaming deer , who have become symbols of the city!
  • Kofuku-ji , a monastery of the Fujiwara family and also a museum of Japanese sacred sculpture.
  • The old commercial quarter of  Naramachi and traditional machiya houses, for a walk in the Japan of yesteryear.
  • Kasuga Taisha shrine, known for its 3,000 lanterns, and where deer are considered the messengers of the kami (Shinto gods).
  • Nara is a festive city, so don't miss the many festivals throughout the year, including  Setsubun Mantoro , the Lantern Festival, held each February 3 at Kasuga Taisha shrine.
  • Nara National Museum : a thousand years of history is brought together here, including the largest collection of Buddhist statues in Japan, and an extensive library.
  • The panoramic view from  Mount Wakakusa. If you're in Nara at the end of January, don't miss the impressive Yamayaki festival , the "burning mountain" festival!

Discover our  Nara exploration day tour  with our local Travel Angel.

Our activities in Nara


Nara Discovery Nara

  • Duration : 8 hour
  • Location : Nara

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The Tokaido Road Group Tours in Japan

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  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Osaka
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Autumn Leaves Photography Group Tours in Japan

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Inside Kyoto

A Kyoto Travel Guide

  • Nara Walking Tour

Book a six- or eight-hour private Nara tour with a knowledgeable English-speaking guide to explore the city’s most incredible temples, shrines and gardens.

Todai-ji 東大寺

Nara Walking Tour Itinerary

Your guide will meet you in your hotel in Kyoto or Nara and escort you to downtown Nara, where the tour starts. The route takes you to Issui-en Garden , one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan. From there, you’ll visit Todai-ji Temple to see the Great Buddha. Next, you’ll take a secret back route that most tours overlook to get to Nigatsu-do and Sangatus-do halls. After a break for lunch, you’ll walk through atmospheric woods to visit Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine , one of the most important shrines in Japan. If you’re taking the eight-hour tour, you’ll also visit Naramachi , Nara’s preserved historic district.

Your Own Private Tour Guide

Don’t forget this is a private walking tour, just for you and your friends and family. There will be no one else on the tour with you, so you have the guide to yourself. We have some of Japan’s best English-speaking guides, helping you maximize your time and enjoyment of the city and also get a deeper understanding of the history and significance of each place you visit. The tour price is for the whole group, not per person!

  • Time: 6 hours or 8 hours
  • Highlights: Issui-en Garden, Todai-ji Temple, Nara-koen Park, Kasuga-taisha Shrine, Naramachi (only on the 8-hour tour)
  • Ideal starting time: 9am (walk concludes at 3pm or 5pm)


How To Book A Nara Private Walking Tour

Please send us an inquiry using the form below. We will then quickly respond to you by email confirming availability and any other requirements you may have. You can pay either in advance online using your credit card, or you can pay at the conclusion of the tour in cash. Japanese Yen, US Dollars or Euros are acceptable for cash payments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why hire a private guide.

You don’t need a guide to enjoy Nara, but having a guide will add a lot of depth to your understanding of the city. A guide will also free you from having to think about the logistics of getting around and making the most efficient use of your time. A guide can also help you enjoy local restaurants without any communication difficulties.

Who Runs These Tours?

My company Chris Rowthorn Tours provides these tours. We have been running licensed tours in Nara for 10 years. I have spent years finding and training the best guides in all of Nara. Licensed, professional bilingual guides who love Nara as much as I do. But, don’t take my word for it, have a look at reviews of ChrisRowthorn.com on TripAdvisor.

Is The Price Per Person?

No! This is the PER GROUP price, i.e., it’s the price for a private group of 1 to 6 people. If there is one person booking the 6-hour tour, the price is ¥60,000 total. If there are six of you, the price is still ¥60,000 (making it much cheaper per person). The tour group is private. That means there is only you and your family or you and your friends on the tour and no one else. Please note that we do NOT put different individuals or groups together, even upon request.

Do I Get A Discount If We Are Less Than 6 People?

The price is for a private group for 1 to 6 people. There are no discounts if there are less than the maximum number of people.

How Do I Pay For My Private Nara Walking Tour?

Payment is in cash at the conclusion of the tour or by credit card in advance of the tour (we can set up credit card billing). If you choose to pay in cash, please note that we accept yen cash or the equivalent amount in US/Euro cash.

Can I Cancel A Tour After Booking It?

You can cancel a tour with no penalty up to 48 hours before the scheduled start of the tour. If you cancel between 24 and 48 hours of the scheduled start, we charge you 50% of the price of the tour. Cancellations made fewer than 24 hours from the scheduled start of the tour incur a full 100% charge.

What’s Not Included In The Tour Price?

The tour fee covers the price of the guide. Transport to and from the tour and during the tours, drinks and snacks along the way, and temple/garden/entrance fees are not included in this price (these costs are usually minimal). Please note that for 6- or 8-hour tours, the guide will join you for lunch and we ask that you cover the cost of the guide’s lunch and their transport during the tour (usually a minimal expense).

How Do We Meet With Our Guide?

Your guide can meet you in the lobby of your hotel, ryokan, guesthouse or at any other convenient spot in Kyoto and then escort you by train to Nara. If you are already in Nara, your guide can meet you at your lodgings or at any other convenient spot in Nara. They can also drop you off there if you wish at the conclusion of the tour.

Will My Guide Speak Fluent English?

My guides all speak high-level international-standard English and most have studied abroad. They have all passed the Japan National Guiding License, which includes a very strict English language section.

Do We Stop To Eat?

On 6- or 8-hours tours, you will most likely stop for lunch en route. You might also stop for a drink at a teahouse or coffee shop en route. Please remember that these are fully private tours – the choice is up to you!

Where Can I Rest Along The Way?

Please do not feel that you have to walk at a certain pace for the entire tour. Or, for that matter, that you have to walk the complete distance or even finish the tour. Because these are fully private tours, you can rest as often as you wish: on park benches, in teahouses, at temple gardens, in restaurants and so on. And, if you tire of walking, you can always jump in a taxi.

Is It Easy To Find A Restroom?

Restrooms are very easy to find in Japan. Almost all attractions like temples have them, as do parks and restaurants.

How Do We Get Home At The End Of Our Tour?

It is your choice: Your guide can escort you back to your lodgings or can simply explain the best way to get there on your own. Or, if the day is not yet over, your guide can point you in the direction of additional sightseeing. Please keep in mind that if you choose to have your guide accompany you to your lodgings, this will be on the clock, so that you will have to leave some of the sights a little early to make it back before the end of the tour.

Check Hotel Availability

Destination, check-in date, check-out date.


Where Are These Places Located?

  • Open the Nara map
  • You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
  • Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
  • Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
  • If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.

Nara Travel Guide:

  • Nara Travel Guide Overview
  • Things To Do In Nara
  • Places To Eat In Nara
  • Nara Itineraries
  • Nara Districts
  • Nara Hotels
  • Nara Ryokan
  • Nara Cherry Blossoms
  • Nara Fall Foliage
  • Best Time To Go To Nara
  • How To Get To Nara
  • Getting Around Nara
  • Nara Annual Festivals And Events

Kyoto Vacation Checklist

  • For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
  • Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com and Agoda.com - often you can book with no upfront payment and free cancellation
  • You can buy shinkansen (bullet train) tickets online from Klook - popular routes include Tokyo to Kyoto , Kyoto to Osaka and Kyoto to Tokyo
  • Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
  • See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
  • Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport . Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
  • Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
  • If you're making frequent train journeys during your visit, you might save money with Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth it for you
  • A prepaid Welcome Suica card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
  • World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world

Kyoto District Map

japan nara tour

  • Central Kyoto
  • Northwest Kyoto
  • Northern Higashiyama
  • Southern Higashiyama
  • Downtown Kyoto
  • Kyoto Station Area
  • South East Kyoto

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Kansai Nara Pilgrimage routes, ancient temples, cherry blossoms and deer in Japan's first permanent capital

  • Destinations

Nara Prefecture has sacred mountain ranges, spiritual sites and early Japanese artifacts

How to get there.

You can reach Nara easily from either Osaka or Kyoto, the key transit points for a visit to the prefecture. The nearest airports are Osaka International (Itami) Airport and Kansai International Airport, both located in Osaka Prefecture, approximately an hour and 15 minutes by bus and train.

The sights at Nara Park and Naramachi are accessible from both Nara Station and Kintetsu Nara Station. A bus will get you to the sites of Heijo Palace and Horyuji Temple. Kintetsu trains go to the ancient towns along the Yamanobe-no-Michi route and access points for the mountain pilgrimage trails toward the border with Wakayama Prefecture.

  • Ancient temples, including some of the oldest structures in the world at Horyuji Temple
  • Sacred pilgrimage routes and pleasant walks along Japan’s oldest road—the Yamanobe-no-michi
  • Feeding some of the 1,000 tame deer of Nara Park

Recommended for You

Mt. Miwa

Cherry Blossoms

Forecast of first bloom

26 Mar 2024

Forecast of full bloom

03 Apr 2024

Explore Nara by Area

japan nara tour

Trending Attractions in Nara

Kasuga Taisha Shrine

Local Specialties

A method of pickling vegetables and fruit that has been practiced in Nara for over 1,300 years. The balance of salty and sweet is a perfect complement to freshly steamed white rice.

japan nara tour

Very thin noodles made from flour and the soft waters of Miwa. Somen boils in under two minutes, and is a favorite in the hot summer months, when it is eaten cold in an icy soy sauce and fish stock broth.

Miwa Somen

Nara Brushes

A Buddhist monk returning from China introduced brushmaking to Japan. First made in Nara some 1,200 years ago, Nara fude are characterized by their blend of hairs, selected from 10 or more different animals. These brushes must balance hardness, softness, length, elasticity and flexibility.

Nara Brushes

Takayama Tea Whisks

Takayama produces almost all of the tea whisks in Japan. These utensils vary in shape, bamboo type and design details depending on their usage and the tea ceremony school.

Takayama Tea Whisks

Formerly called Yamato, Nara is one of Japan's main tea-producing areas. Tea first started being produced in the region 1200 years ago, when the legendary monk Kukai brought black tea plant seeds to Japan from China. Nara is now famous for green tea as well.


Kakinoha Sushi

Kakinoha sushi is made with vegetables and cooked or cured fish placed in a wooden mold and covered with sushi rice. The mix is then compressed into a rectangular shape, removed and wrapped in a persimmon leaf.


Seasonal Highlights

Head to Mt. Yoshino for the most spectacular cherry blossoms and Mt. Katsuragi for azaleas. Climb grass-covered Mt. Wakakusa, which has an ancient tomb dating back to the fifth century.

Nara spring

Head for the cool, shaded trails of Mt. Kasuga or hike through the Mitarai Valley. Check out the many summer festivals—including the Tempyo Festival, and Obon at Kasuga Taisha Shrine—and try some chilled somen noodles.

Nara summer

Stroll through Isuien Garden or visit mountain shrines and temples such as Ohnoji and Hasedera—known for their autumn foliage. Many museums have exhibitions of Important Cultural properties during autumn.

taima-dera temple

Try snowshoe trekking through the quiet wilderness and then a soak in an onsen. Enjoy a few cups of sake and celebrate a traditional Japanese New Year at temples and shrines throughout Nara.

mt. kasuga-yama area

Related Links

Explore nearby prefectures.

Please Choose Your Language

Browse the JNTO site in one of multiple languages

Japan tour Adventure


Walking & cycling guided experiences in japan.

Kofukuji Bell tower

Kasugayama Primeval Forest on Bike Tour in Nara

Highlights bike tour

Kasuga Taisha Shrine Lanterns

Group Shinsekai



Nara the first capital of japan, with history, nature, and art.

Todaiji Temple Bike Tour

Most Popular

Highlights bike tour, cross bike tour.

Nara Highlights Bike Tour

Visit the most popular touristic spots in Nara city in half a day. Temple, Shrine, Deers and much more.

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Coming Soon

Indigo blue calligraphy e-bike tour, e-bike tour.

Indigo Blue, Calligraphy brushes, Temples

Explore West Nara and its local workshop sites, with an E-bike and lunch included.

Japan Indigo Blue Dyeing experience included, and a Calligraphy Brushes maker.


Great time with a fresh craft beer in Nara


Walking tour.

Craft Beer & Sake Walk Tour

Visit two of the most popular local micro breweries in Nara City and enjoy a very authentic and modern Japanese Craft experience



Lovely time with the deer on a Family Bike Tour


Nara Family Bike Tour

Visit the center of Nara with your kids in a Private style Highlights Tour with lunch included. Fun and safe for parents and kids.

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E-bike & walking.


Enjoy this Combo tour, with the Early Bird E-bike Nara Highlights in the morning, and explore the City of Osaka in the afternoon, with its history, through Food and Drinks.

Third Summit of Wakakusayama

Sport Nature

Heart of nature.

Heart Of Nature Bike Tour

Go out of the city and explore the hidden face of Nara, in the forest, lost temples, waterfall and buddhist statues.

¥15 000



Osaka & sakai food, knives, and so many secrets to discover.

Custom made knife order in Sakai City


Japanese Knives Walking Tour

Visit the Sakai Craft Museum and the Yamawaki Knife factory. A lesson on how to sharp knives and a chance to order your own, all with a bilingual guide.

¥ 10 000

Ultimate History food tour in Osaka


Jr pass friendly.


Go back in time in Osaka from the 1830s to the 2010s.  Learn about the history of Osaka through food, drinks, and a museum. with a very friendly and knowledgeable local guide

¥ 20 000

Explore Sakai on two wheels


Sakai Highlights Bike Tour

Explore the city of Sakai on a bike with a local guide. Visit a house from the Edo Period, learn about history, local lunch and more.

¥12 000

KYOTO Japan's Capital of History, Culture & much more

Fushimi canal and its boat ride



Fushimi Inari is the most visited touristic spot in Japan, but most people do not go beyond the gates. The real Fushimi, with sake, food, sweets and some very important events in Japanese history.

Arashiyama Bamboo forest and its hidden secrets



The bamboo grove is mesmerizing, but there is so much more to experience in Arashiyama. We designed that tour to get the best of that area, on foot, so you can see its true beauty and potential.

city image

Nara Private Tours & Local Tour Guides

Discover things to do and plan a trip to nara, japan with a local guide.

View all 373 reviews

Popular Nara Tour Guides

Wakayama Tour Guide - Hiroyuki T.

Hiroyuki T.

Hi i had been working for wakayama prefectural government for 38 years, mainly in the field of cultural heritage management and international relations. i am a national certificated english guide and i have a lot of knowledge and experience in the field of cultural heritage management and international relations. i am very good at cultural heritages. and koyasan and kumano in wakayama prefecture are inscribed in the world heritage list as parts of “sacred sites and pilgrimage routes in the kii mountain range". i was a project manager of "the koyasan and kumano world heritage inscription project” at wakayama prefectural government. i know inside and out of koyasan, kumano, wakayama and other places in the kansai area. i have a lot of experience of guiding as i was also in charge of international relations for a long time at the government. i will be able to provide interpretive guiding service for you around koyasan, wakayama, osaka and other places in the kansai area as i am a cultural heritage management and international relations professional. i am sure you will be able to get deeper understandings on japanese culture and that your trip with me will be memorable one.                                                                                                                                  .

Kyoto Tour Guide - Yoshihisa T.

Yoshihisa T.

Hi. my name is yoshihisa. call me "yoshie", please. it means good or o.k. in japanese. i live in joyo city, kyoto prefecture, located just in between kyoto and nara. i was born and raised in iga, mie prefecture. iga is a birthplace of ninja and a renowned haiku poet, matsuo basho. i might be a descendant of ninja. i aim at becoming a linguistic ninja, following a part of basho's lifestyle with the incorporation of seasonal changes into my tours. in addition to visiting famous temples and shrines, i invite you to lesser-known places of historic interest. once in a month i go hiking or mountain climbing with some friends mainly in mountains surrounding kyoto and nara basins. recently i have got intrigued by the charms of buddhist statues, which are manifestations of people's wishes and prayers. i also like izakaya (japanese-style taverns) hopping, tasting delicious dishes and locally brewed sake at reasonable prices. especially i like communicating with people from home and abroad, talking face to face. some of the above-mentioned elements are included in my walking tours. i hope you will discover new aspects of cultural and natural beauty in kansai area through one of my tours which you could never gain otherwise. one of my favorite phrases that come from zen buddhism is ichigo ichie or this meeting-but only once in a lifetime. my interpretation goes this way: this place and this moment never cross again. each and every good encounter, however, lingers on like the sound of a temple bell. won't you explore a deeper world of japanese culture in kyoto, nara and osaka with me                                                                                                                                  .

Osaka Tour Guide - Shuji O.

Hi, I am Shuji, a licensed tour guide living near Kansai International Airport. I taught world history in high schools for four decades. So, I can explain Japanese culture or history in an easier way tailored to you who have different cultural and historical backgrounds. I also practiced Kendo, Japanese fencing, for more than four decades, and now I enjoy growing vegetables and going fishing. Therefore, I can also share some Japanese culture and its nature. I have traveled to more than 25 countries and all over Japan. I’m also passionate about photography and know many photogenic places in Japan. If you prefer to go off the beaten track, I can take you to hidden gems, including some cozy restaurants. Of course, I also know how to enjoy the crowded, most popular tourist sites. I am here to make your trip stress-free. See you soon!                                                                                                                                  

Shiga Tour Guide - Koichi W.

Hi! I'm Koichi. I was born in Osaka, I studied in Kyoto when I was a university student. Now I live in Shiga next to Kyoto. I am a national government licensed tour guide. I have been guiding about 160 groups over the past twelve months. I usually guide my customers mainly in Kansai region including Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Shiga by public transportation systems. Well, I am curious about Japanese history, especially the history of Japan's ancient times since I was raised next to the world biggest mausoleum of the ancient Emperor called "Nintoku" in Sakai city Osaka which has just become one of the world cultural heritage sites. I dug out some ancient earthen ware vessels around there when I was a primary school student like the adventure archaeologist “Indiana Jones" (It’s our secret!!). That was my hobby. Now, one of my hobbies is outdoor activities such as mountaineering, kayaking, skiing and others. So I would like to take you to some good places where you can enjoy Japanese unique nature. I love to guide foreign visitors from all over the world. I think it is my calling or heavenly given job. Let's go and enjoy together! I hope to see you soon.                                                                                                                                  

Nara Tour Guide - Yasuhisa K.

Yasuhisa K.

I have worked in the multi-national organizations including un agency for around 30 years and stationed at various cities including rome, bangkok and hanoi. although i have retired from those international carriers, i wish to keep the international cooperation and develop the friendship with people who visits our country. as i like history and am practicing noh song and wood curving of buddha images, i have decided to live in nara where is surrounded by many historical places and traditional cultures, when i returned back to japan in 2017. i wish to offer you custom made trip ideas to be able to enjoy the atmosphere of old city, nara. i am also planning to develop trip plans to enjoy the local cultures. please call me yasu.                                                                                                                                  .

Nara Tour Guide - Makoto Y.

Hello, I’m Makoto (Mac) and I'm a national-licensed tour guide. My previous career as an automotive engineer, gave me the opportunity to learn English and to live in the US, Germany, and England. After I retired, I learned more about the Japanese history especially focusing on Nara and Kyoto to become a historical specialist of the Nara area. I now live in Ikaruga town in Nara prefecture, where the UNESCO World Heritage, Horyuji temple is located. I regularly offer guides on the Fujinoki tumulus, which is located near the Horyuji temple. It contains very interesting Archaeological findings from the end of the Kofun Period. Recently, there are many foreign tourists who come to Japan, and I hope they enjoy learning about the culture and history of Japan. I would like to help tourists have a broader and deeper understanding of the Japanese culture and that is the reason why I decided to become a tour guide to help and support their experience in Japan. Nara is the place where Japan started. The capital was located in Asuka, Fujiwara and Nara before it moved to Kyoto. Therefore, there are many places to visit in Nara to trace the original history of Japan, which I have a depth of knowledge. Let’s explore the roots of Japan together!!                                                                                                                                  

Kyoto Tour Guide - Yuta I.

Hi, my name is Yuta! I want to show you my city Kyoto and its culture, food and history in a funny way! I can speak English and German. I love travelling myself and especially with the help of a local. So I want to become your local Kyoto friend and show you the city how I see it!                                                                                                                                  

Osaka Tour Guide - Atsuko T.

Hello. My name is Atsuko.I'm a licensed tour guide in Japan. I have lived in Osaka since I was born. I have guided many tourists all over the world as a volunteer for 6 years. I like showing my tourists my favorite places in Japan and talking with them. Osaka, where I was born and raised, is famous for foods, modern and ancient cultures. Nara and Kyoto, which are neighboring places, were ancient capitals in Japan. I'm happy to visit those places with you.                                                                                                                                  

New nara tour guides.

Osaka Tour Guide - Reiko N.

Hi, my name is Reiko. Ciao, tutti! Sono Reiko, sono guida turistica autorizzata in Giappone.Possiamo visitare zona Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe e etc.... Potete avere l'esperienza straordinaria con me. Vi aspetto in Giappone. I am National Licensed Guide, Italian language. I speak also English. I know very well, most popular place and nice food.....                                                                                                                                  

Kyoto Tour Guide - Eco H.

Eco has called Kyoto his home for the last 7 years, and now he hopes to share with you all he has learned of this wonderful city and the surrounding area. Recent graduate with a background in Japanese history and religion, he is now a professor a university in nearby Kobe city. Therefore, if you are particularly interested in learning more about the history and culture of Kyoto he can provide exciting narratives to go along with visiting the delightful sites. Throughout his time in Kyoto he has been working as a guide for numerous organisations, including guiding around Japanese tourists visiting Kyoto, and has provided many with a unique view of the city.                                                                                                                                  

Kyoto Tour Guide - Ana I.

Hello everyone! I am Ana and I am an experienced tour conductor, guiding clients throughout Japan. I am Romanian and have been living in Japan for over 10 years. I am versed in creating customized on-the-budget tours for solo travellers, families or groups. Please allow me to show you the natural beauty, traditions, history and amazing food of KYOTO, NARA and OSAKA. Feel free to contact me for a standard package OR a customized trip. I will put my very best effort into meeting your needs and creating an amazing trip. WELCOME TO JAPAN!                                                                                                                                  

Kyoto Tour Guide - Takashi  K.

This is Takashi Kikuchi, a passionate guide, who is so happy to share my favorite spots of the hidden gems with you. I am sure that you've come across so many highlight tours on the website though, my tours are very powerful in unique temples, arraggeing your custom tour, featured with off-the-beaten path experiecne. Also, it's possible to provide you special walking tours upon your needs and budget. (I can make some inexpensive tours too) Don't hesitate to reach out to me! Thank you                                                                                                                                  

Hyogo Tour Guide - Tomoya H.

I was born in Osaka, and grown up under nature loving parent, and spent a lot of time on hiking, fishing, camping and skiing in my youth. I have been guiding trekkers from north to south Japan, as well as oversea trails. Even when I'm not at work, enjoy trekking trails in Rokko area which is just by the door. I'm a JMGA (Japan Mountaineering Guides Association) certificated Trekking Guide (stage II), and you'll be enjoying the trail without any issues and worries with me.                                                                                                                                  

Kyoto Tour Guide - Yuki K.

Hi, thank you for checking my profile! My name is Yuki. I live in Kyoto. I was born in Wakayama, but have lived in many places in Kansai area. I also have the experience of studying abroad in America for 4 years, so I speak English fluently. As for my hobbies, I like to play the piano, play gymnastics, and read books. I also teach Japanese part time so feel free to ask me any questions about Japanese language too! I'm a friendly person so you can talk to me like your friend. I love talking to people with many different cultural backgrounds and learning new things from them. I think Japan is such a beautiful country and I'm excited to share a little bit of it with you in our tour and contribute to making your day memorable!                                                                                                                                  

Nara Tour Guide - Tatsuko S.

Je m’appelle Tatsuko. Je suis née à Osaka et en ce moment j’habite au nord de la préfecture de Nara, où il y a plein de temples et sanctuaires. Les statues bouddhiques m’intéressent beaucoup, Les cerfs toujours vous attendent. Osaka, ma ville natale, est connu comme capitale de gastronomie. J’aime beaucoup flâner dans les rues, appréciant des bâtiments. Voulez-vous visiter le Château, des jardins japonais, des bâtiments modernes et contemporains dans la ville? Kyoto est la capitale du tourisme au Japon. Saviez-vous que la ville de Kyoto se trouve à côté d’Osaka ou de Nara? Ça fait à peu près d’une heure en train. J’aimerais vous offrir une excellente experience comme guide officielle du Japon.                                                                                                                                  

Kyoto Tour Guide - Jose david V.

Jose david V.

Hello there i am hoping you're having a great day my name is jose, born and raised in spain (barcelona) and i have been living in japan for the last 10 years, first it was hiroshima that i called home, for the past few years it has been kyoto. i have a wide knowledge of japanese culture, it's social life and it's manners, as well as the most impressive monuments, streets, parks and temples. i love the city of kyoto and all of the wonders it has to offer to the people whom decide to visit it, from the fushimi inari temple to the nijo castle. it is a surprising city with combines the best of modern day activities with the reminiscence of old japan. i would like to share my experience in japan with you, so you have the greatest experience possible.                                                                                                                                  , popular nara private tours.

Let's enjoy walking around the ancient city called Heijyokyo or Nara established in 710.cover image

Let's enjoy walking around the ancient city called Heijyokyo or Nara established in 710.

Nara is the most ancient city in japan. you can see one of the most biggest images of buddha in japan called"daibutu-san", and you also see many deer roaming freely around in nara park. we visit kasuga-taisya shrine ,founded to protect the heijyokyo, which is also the deity of fujiwara family is enshrined..

Japan Tour Guide - Hiroshi Y.

One Day Tour in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nara

Nara was once the ancient capital of japan. there are many historical sites, artefacts, relics, temples and shrines. there is a proof that the capital flourished in the 8th century. nara is also rich in nature. mountains, primitive forests and parks enhance the attraction of nara. this tour includes kofukuji temple, todaiji temple and kasuga shrine, which are world heritage sites. we will also visit the nara park which is famous for deer. let's enjoy the tour in nara together .

Japan Tour Guide - Atsuko T.

One day trip of Nara Park

-nara park is famous and known as deer park, and more than one thousand deer roam freely in the park.-numerous important temples, shrines, gardens and museums are within minutes of one another within the park.-the most famous sites are todai-ji temple, kasuga grand shrine, and kofuku-ji temple.-these temples and shrines were originally built in nara period, 1,300 years ago..

Japan Tour Guide - Makoto Y.

Your most memorable tour to Nara (Kyoto or Osaka departure)

In nara deer park, you can feed many cute wild deers. after playing with deers, you will go to toudaiji temple. you can see huge buddaha statue. next, you will go to kasuga shrine after lunch, you will viist koufukuji temple and you can see a five-storied pagoda. morover, based on your request, i will take you to other spots..

Japan Tour Guide - Kazuhiko G.

Dear deer Nara! ~Nara Park & Nara-machi~

We will visit nara park, where historic monuments and nature create calm and peaceful atmosphere. you'll see wild deer roaming hear and there. walking in nara-machi district will give us a chance to see an old merchants' townscape..

Japan Tour Guide - Michiko T.

Nara and Osaka in One Day

In the morning, we will be visiting nara, the ancient capital city of japan before kyoto. in the late afternoon, we will move to osaka, the vibrant center of western japan. you can feel two different faces of japan, old and new in one day. experience ancient history during the day and enjoy vibrant commercial atomosphere of the urban life in the late afternoon / early evening..

Japan Tour Guide - Toichi N.

Explore Ancient Nara with a History & Culture Guide

30 years ago, a great discovery was made on the outskirts of nara. the excavation team found a rock coffin in the burial mound. japan's first national history book says, two princes were driven away from the court in those days. the scientific studies revealed that inside the coffin were their bones. what happened to them this ancient city has a lot of mysteries..

Japan Tour Guide - Masaki H.

Nara Sightseeing & the World of Buddhist Statuary

Through this tour you will be intrigued with the charm of buddhist statuary, which represents people's wishes and prayers. figures of statues vary according to the development of eras from asuka period to muromachi period. at the same time you can.

Japan Tour Guide - Yoshihisa T.

New Nara Private Tours

Nara ~truly the must-see place in Japan~cover image

Nara ~truly the must-see place in Japan~

Nara nara was the capital of ancient japan before kyoto became the capital. in the nara era, buddhism played an important role in stabilizing the country. so you can see many big old temples there. many of these are listed as unesco world heritage sites and are concentrated in a small area. so, if you have only one free day to spend in the kansai area, i highly recommend visiting nara..

Japan Tour Guide - Shuji O.

Nara History Tour

You can go in blind and simply learn as much as possible about this phenomenal city, where you will be provided with a good encapsulation of the wonders of nara..

Japan Tour Guide - Eco H.

Nara, the oldest capital in Japan, Walking tour

We'll visit todaiji temple, one of the largest wooden structures in the world, kasugataisha shrine whose god is believed to have come to nara riding on a white deer, popular japanese gardens if you like. we can enjoy pretty plum trees from late february to early march and cherry blossoms in spring. 1300 wild deer are roaming around in nara park, where you can feed them deer crackers. in june rokuen, the deer protection center, is open to the public, where mother deer feed their cute newborns..

Japan Tour Guide - Nao O.

Full-Day Nara tour from Kyoto and Uji Green Tea Town

On this tour, we will visit nara and uji green tea town. nara was established as the first permanent japan's capital in the year 710. there are a lot of historical sites, such as todaiji great buddha hall, kasuga taisha shrine, kofukuji temple and so on. nara"deer"park is also one of must-see areas. on our way back to kyoto, we will hop off at jr uji station and visit the green tea town of uji. if you have time to spare, taste the finest green tea..

Japan Tour Guide - Koichi W.

A full-day highlights tour of Nara

You can visit famous places in nara city. this tour is very suitable for couples who wants to travel privately. i will take you places you want to go..

Japan Tour Guide - Tad T.

Tour for the East end of Silk Road, Nara

Nara has a long history including the site of the first and large scale capital of japan in 7 century. however, japan had reached at the status of national unity before 7 century and had started official envoy to sui dynasty of china in ad600. therefore various new technology and culture had been transferred from china through anciant korea.tour will therefore explore the sign of influence of china, persia or even from greece transferred through the ancient silk road..

Japan Tour Guide - Yasuhisa K.

One day tour in Nara

Highlights of the tour are feeding deers in nara park and overwhelmed by the great budha, daibutu. tour also visits several historcal sites. as all historical sites are located in the nara park, we will mainly walk through the park ( 5~8km ) the tour also can customized in line with the customer's interest, historical sites, cultural sites or shopping..

Demi-journée de Visite à Naracover image

Demi-journée de Visite à Nara

Ce tour vous amène au temple du todaiji où reste la grande image de bouddha depuis le 8ème siècle, au sanctuaire de kasuga où le vermillon attire l’oeil de beaucoup de gens, au temple du kohukuji et au parc de nara où les touristes se promènent avec des cerfs..

Japan Tour Guide - Tatsuko S.

Popular Nara Private Cars

Nara 1 Day Tourcover image

Nara 1 Day Tour

Nara prefecture is an ancient capital where heijo-kyo was built during the nara period. there are many spots and buddhist statues designated as national treasures and world cultural heritage sites, such as todaiji and horyuji. we also recommend visiting mt. yoshino for cherry blossoms, asuka village, and other spots surrounded by nature..

Japan Tour Guide - Soq J.

☆Nara Day Tour with a Private Car

Experienced local taxi drivers will cordially show you around the area so that you can visit both must-see and hidden sightseeing spots and enjoy local food..

Japan Tour Guide - Tr taxi R.

☆Day Tour between Nara and Mt. Yoshino with a Private Car

☆Day Tour between Nara and Mt. Yoshino with a Private Carcover image

Day Trips from Nara

Kyoto Tour Guide

Nara Tour Reviews

Nara day trip 11 April

“ Amazing day in Nara ”

We had an amazing day in Nara with Kaori. She is knowledgeable and fun. We were traveling as a family with four daughters and everyone had a great time. She even booked a reservation for us at a local restaurant that evening. For sure would recommend her to anyone.

Jason D.

Hi Jason! Thank you for your comment :) It was really enjoyable time for me, too. Your sweet daughters are very friendly, energetic! Thank you for sharing lovely time with me! I think this trip is full of fun and love for you and your family :) take care and nice trip home! Kaori

Tao chih L.

Full-Day Guided Tour in a Japanese Mountain: Yoshino, Nara

“ Had a great time with Mouloud guiding us. ”

Mouloud does not just guide us, he tells us the historical background of Mt Yoshino and how some of the Japanese culture and history relates to the mountain, temples and shrines. It was educational. Mouloud was also patience with us as we have a member of the group who couldn’t move as fast as the others. Overall, it was a good day trip. Tiring but enjoyable. Thanks Mouloud. TC

Tao chih L.

Thank you TC for booking my tour and for your great review! I am glad you liked the tour even if it was tiring. I hope to see you again!

Tour on Apr 11, 2024

“ Knowledgeable, kind and accommodating guide! ”

Kazu took us on a customized half-day tour of Osaka, meeting us at our hotel in Kyoto first, and helping us navigate our way to the city. We made some spontaneous changes to our plan for the day, and he did not miss a beat! Our family had a wonderful time! He is a wonderful guide!

Yvonne  A.

Kazuhiko G.

Hello, Thank you for the nice review. I am glad you enjoyed our short tour of Osaka. Did you arrive safely in Tokyo? Please enjoy the tour in Tokyo. I hope this tour will be a memorable one. Thank you. Kazuhiko Goto

Nara Private Tour Guide

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Connect with a Nara Local Guide

Read reviews and chat with the best local tour guides in nara. get a free itinerary and plan your private tour today..

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Japan Welcomes You

Nara: Cultural Heritage Tour by Rickshaw

  • Nara , Tour Reviews

In the bustling city of Nara, Japan , where ancient traditions meet modern charm, there is a saying that goes, ‘To truly understand a culture, one must embrace its heritage.’

And what better way to do just that than by embarking on the Nara: Cultural Heritage Tour by Rickshaw? This unique experience allows visitors to explore the captivating history of Nara while riding in a traditional rickshaw.

From world-renowned temples to encounters with friendly deer, this tour offers a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural tapestry. With customizable options and knowledgeable tour guides, travelers can tailor their journey to their interests and preferences.

So hop on board and let the rickshaw whisk you away on a memorable adventure through Nara’s cultural treasures.

Quick Takeaways

Nara: Cultural Heritage Tour by Rickshaw - Quick Takeaways

  • The Nara: Cultural Heritage Tour by Rickshaw is a customizable and informative private tour.
  • The tour includes visits to world-famous temples and heritage sights, with the option to feed deer.
  • There are three different tour duration options: 70 minutes , 130 minutes , and 190 minutes.
  • The tour starts at the Todaiji Temple, home to the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, and the finishing location can be customized.

Not for you? Here's a few more great tours and experiences nearby.

  • Nara Craft Tours – Local Craft Beers Tour Experience in Nara City
  • Nara Custom Half Day Tour
  • Nara Custom Full Day Tour
  • Nara Half Day Walking Tour With Todaiji And Deer

Rickshaw Tour Highlights

Nara: Cultural Heritage Tour by Rickshaw - Rickshaw Tour Highlights

The rickshaw tour highlights in Nara showcase the city’s cultural heritage and iconic landmarks. This activity not only allows visitors to explore the city’s rich history but also offers a unique opportunity to interact with local wildlife.

One of the most culturally significant aspects of the tour is the visit to world-famous temples and heritage sights, such as the Todaiji Temple, home to the largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana.

Plus, during the tour , participants have the chance to feed the gentle deer with deer biscuits, which is a beloved tradition in Nara. This interaction with the local wildlife adds an extra layer of authenticity to the experience, allowing visitors to fully enjoy the beauty and charm of Nara.

Tour Duration Options

Nara: Cultural Heritage Tour by Rickshaw - Tour Duration Options

There are three different tour duration options available for the Nara Cultural Heritage Tour by Rickshaw. Travelers can choose between a 70- minute , 130- minute , or 190-minute tour , depending on their preferences and time constraints. Each option offers a unique and immersive experience, allowing visitors to explore the world-famous temples and heritage sites of Nara in a personalized and informative manner. One of the highlights of the tour is the opportunity to feed the gentle deer with deer biscuits, creating a memorable and interactive encounter with these beloved creatures. Whether you have limited time or are looking for a more comprehensive exploration of Nara’s cultural heritage, the tour duration options provide flexibility and customization to suit every traveler’s needs.

Starting Point and Finishing Location

Nara: Cultural Heritage Tour by Rickshaw - Starting Point and Finishing Location

A rickshaw tour of Nara’s cultural heritage begins at the Todaiji Temple, where visitors can marvel at the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. This starting point holds great significance as it sets the tone for the immersive experience that awaits.

The rickshaw ride takes you through the enchanting streets of Nara, allowing you to soak in the rich history and architectural wonders of the city. As you journey through the picturesque landscapes, one of the highlights is the opportunity to feed the gentle deer with deer biscuits. This unique interaction with the deer adds a touch of charm and whimsy to the tour, creating lasting memories.

The finishing location of the tour can be customized to suit your preferences, ensuring a personalized and unforgettable experience.

Similar Private Tour Option

For a more personalized experience, visitors may consider booking the Nara: Private Tour with Private Guide, an alternative private tour option that offers a duration of 8 hours and includes pickup.

This tour provides numerous benefits, such as the flexibility to customize the itinerary according to individual preferences and interests. With a private guide, visitors can delve deeper into the cultural heritage of Nara, receiving informative and insightful commentary throughout the tour.

In comparison to other private tour options, this tour stands out due to its longer duration, allowing for a more comprehensive exploration of the city. Plus, the inclusion of pickup service adds convenience and eliminates the need to navigate public transportation.

With a high rating of 4.8 out of 5 and positive reviews from previous participants, the Nara: Private Tour with Private Guide is a highly recommended choice for those seeking a personalized and in-depth cultural experience.

Similar Guided Tour Option

Nara: Cultural Heritage Tour by Rickshaw - Similar Guided Tour Option

The Nara: Half-Day UNESCO Heritage & Local Culture Walking Tour offers visitors another guided tour option to explore the cultural heritage of Nara. Here are three reasons why this tour is worth considering:

1) Private tour benefits : Unlike larger group tours, this tour offers a more intimate and personalized experience. With a knowledgeable guide by your side, you can ask questions, delve deeper into the history and significance of the cultural heritage sites, and customize the tour to suit your interests.

2) Cultural heritage sites in Nara: This tour takes you to the heart of Nara’s rich cultural heritage. You’ll visit iconic sites such as the Todaiji Temple, home to the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha, and the Kasuga Taisha Shrine, known for its beautiful lanterns. Explore ancient temples, traditional gardens , and learn about the fascinating history and traditions of Nara.

3) Small group tour: This tour is conducted in small groups, allowing for a more immersive and interactive experience. You’ll have the opportunity to engage with your guide and fellow participants, share insights , and create lasting memories together.

Embark on the Nara: Half-Day UNESCO Heritage & Local Culture Walking Tour and discover the captivating cultural heritage of Nara in a unique and enriching way.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people can ride in a rickshaw during the nara cultural heritage tour.

During the Nara Cultural Heritage Tour by Rickshaw, the rickshaw capacity allows for multiple people to ride together. However, there might be group size limitations in place to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all participants.

Is It Possible to Customize the Route of the Rickshaw Tour?

Yes, it is possible to customize the route of the rickshaw tour. This allows travelers to personalize their experience and visit specific attractions or landmarks based on their interests. The benefits of customizing the route include a more tailored and unique cultural heritage tour.

Are There Any Age Restrictions for Participating in the Tour?

Age restrictions for the tour are not mentioned in the information provided. However, it is recommended to check with the tour provider for any specific age requirements or accessibility accommodations before booking.

Can the Rickshaw Tour Accommodate Individuals With Mobility Issues?

The rickshaw tour may not be suitable for individuals with mobility issues. However, for those with accessibility concerns , there are alternative transportation options available to explore Nara’s cultural heritage sites.

Are There Any Additional Fees or Expenses That Are Not Included in the Tour Price?

Additional fees or tour expenses that are not included in the price of the Nara: Cultural Heritage Tour by Rickshaw may include entrance fees to certain attractions, the cost of meals or snacks, and any personal purchases made during the tour .

To sum it up, a rickshaw tour in Nara offers visitors a unique and memorable way to explore the city’s cultural heritage.

With options to customize the tour duration and language preferences, travelers can enjoy the fascinating history of Nara while enjoying the comfort of a rickshaw ride.

Whether it’s visiting world-famous temples, feeding gentle deer , or learning from a live tour guide, this experience promises to be both educational and enjoyable for all.

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7 Best things to do in Japan in 2024

A s a travel enthusiast starts planning a 2024 travel itinerary, Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun, ticks all the boxes. It is the ultimate travel destination thanks to its historic streets of Kyoto, savoring delicious street food in Osaka, exploring the religious shrines, or staying at the ryokans . From the age-old cherry fields to the peaceful country roads, this place is a feast for the senses.

Springtime being this place's truly magical venture, Japan comes alive with color and energy, and visitors are feasted on a lot of enjoyable destinations to explore. Its rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty offers an array of adventures for every travel enthusiast.

Disclaimer: This is purely the writer's opinion, and might have missed some favorite destinations.

The top activities to experience in Japan in 2024

Whether the avid traveler is a history buff, a food enthusiast, or a nature lover, Japan is the perfect place for their visit in 2024.

Ahead, Team Sportskeeda has thoughtfully created a list of the seven best things to do in Japan in 2024 and make the most of their visit.

  • Explore Kinkaku-ji at Kyoto
  • Enjoy Hanami in Tokyo
  • Feed the deer at Nara
  • Learn about the city's history at Hiroshima
  • River cruise at Osaka
  • Ski at Hokkaido
  • Sun-bask on the shorelines of Okinawa

1) Explore Kinkaku-ji at Kyoto

Kyoto, the cultural heart of Japan , is a must-visit spring destination for avid travelers. Considering that the best time to travel is in late March to early April, this holiday and sightseeing place is well-known for its cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Sight-seers should not miss the spectacular Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) and the traditional Gion District. For lodging, one should consider staying at a classic ryokan to experience the hospitality at its best. Kansai International Airport, the nearest airport, can be easily commuted to thanks to local transportation.

Once in Kyoto, one should also make sure to try out the local cuisines, like kaiseki (a multicourse feast) and various matcha confectionaries. Noted diners like Nishiki Market and Pontocho Alley also rule the culinary delight list.

2) Enjoy Hanami in Tokyo

Be it the onset of autumn or spring, the metropolis of Tokyo, Japan, is always bustling with a unique blend of modernity and ritual. Including Senso-ji Temple and Meiji Shrine, this metropolis' main attractions are decorated with cherry blossoms, catering to a panoramic view.

Once in Tokyo, tourists can enjoy activities like hanami (flower viewing) picnics in Ueno Park and boat or yacht cruises along the Sumida River. For an unforgettable stay, visitors can select a hotel in the vibrant Shibuya or Shinjuku districts and indulge in a wide variety of delectable local cuisines, like sushi tempura and ramen at Tsukiji Outer Market, and the food stalls at Ameyoko Market.

Read more: 6 Best European countries to visit in Summer 2024

3) Feed the deer at Nara

Nara, well-known for its friendly deer and ancient religious shrines, it is always the perfect time for any travel enthusiast to visit this charming destination.

Visitors can engage in activities like feeding deer and exploring the picturesque Isuien Garden at Nara Park and Todai-ji Temple, the main attractions they shouldn't miss. Once here, a holiday enthusiast can stay at cozy homestays or ryokans for an authentic lodging experience. There are also sample local delicacies, like Kakinoha sushi and persimmon leaf sushi, at the best diners in the Nara-machi district.

4) Learn about the city's history at Hiroshima

Hiroshima, a Japan metropolis with a resilient spirit and a profound history, is best visited in early April. From the local Hiroshima Airport, courtesy of its travel-friendly communication, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Shukkeien Garden are the main places of interest that offer serene beauty. Here, tourists can engage in activities like visiting the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to learn about the city's history.

One can also plan their stay at comfortable hotels and savor local cuisines like okonomiyaki and oysters from the best diners like Okonomimura and Mitaki-en.

5) River cruise at Osaka

Considered one of the most vibrant cities, Osaka is famed for its lively environment and mouthwatering delicacies. The best time to visit is late March or early April. Once landing at the Kansai International Airport, a vacationer can enjoy their holiday by visiting the main attractions, like Osaka Castle and Dotonbori.

Thanks to its panoramic view, travelers can enjoy local activities like exploring the bustling Kuromon Ichiba Market and river cruising along the Okawa River. Planning a 2 to 3-day trip to Osaka, a vacationer can book their stay at downtown's trendy hotels and indulge in local cuisines like takoyaki , okonomiyaki , and kushikatsu at street food stalls, and best-eating joints like Mizuno and Kani Doraku.

Read more: 6 Best treks in the world

6) Ski at Hokkaido

Hokkaido, the northernmost island, is a must-see spring holiday destination in Japan, courtesy of its spectacular natural attractions. When hiring local transportation or pre-paid cabs from New Chitose Airport, the best time to visit is late April or early May. During this time, tourists can enjoy the main attractions, such as the vast fields of Shikisai-no-Oka and the majestic beauty of Shikisai Hill.

They can engage in activities like exploring Biei's charming beauty, skiing, Onsen (hot springs), enjoying a relaxing soak in the famous Noboribetsu hot springs, or staying at comfortable ryokans or motels with stunning mountain views. They can also savor these gastronomical delights in local delicacies like fresh seafood , spicy ramen, and tasty dairy products at the best diners like Ramen Yokocho and Nijo Market.

7) Sun-bask on the shorelines of Okinawa

Off-boarding at the Naha airport, Okinawa's gorgeous shorelines and rich history welcome avid travelers, making it an excellent destination year-round for all travel enthusiasts visiting Japan. Once here, travelers can explore the lively marine life at the Churaumi Aquarium and the Ryukyu culture of historical Shuri Castle.

They can rest and recoup at beachfront resorts like the Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa, or Halekulani, Okinawa, to experience the true essence of Okinawa, Japan. Visitors can also spoil their tastebuds with the local flavors of sample Okinawan soba, agu pork , goya champuru, and rafute pork.

Read more: 6 best Spring destinations in the world to take a family vacation

These are the seven best things to do in Japan in 2024 that promise an array of unforgettable experiences for travel enthusiasts. So, avid travelers can start backpacking to enjoy their adventure-packed holiday.

7 Best things to do in Japan in 2024 

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' class=

We did it all on our own using the trains, Subways and shinkansons and taxis at time. We only had a tour guide for Nakatsugawa area which I recommend. Here are some tips based on my travel experience. I am available to ask any questions after you read through:

. Suica card can be purchased in Tokyo at the major Jr station travel info centre but not everywhere else

. IC card can be purchased in Osaka, minimum 3000

. Keep it safe because they both slipped out of my wallet twice (lost it)

.  Without a suica/IC card/passmo, it was annoying and inconvenient to constantly buy the tickets because for different railway lines, you had to buy new tickets and that was a waste of time that would hold you back, especially if you have bookings. We missed one because of this delay

. Imagine in order to get to a particular destination, once you get to when transfer station, you had to stop at the machines and buy another ticket for the next part of the ride.

. If you see something you like, buy it because u may not see it again. A few times we saw certain things that didn't show up in different locations that we went to (a kit kat flavour, souvenir, keychain, capsule toy, convenience store snack etc.)


. Learn basic phrases in Japanese. Use YouTube videos to prep (hello, good morning, please, this please, one please, thank you, good evening, where is, thank you, excuse me etx)

. English is limited, so do your best to prep

. A lot of menus were in fulllll japanese so Google translate helped but had weird translations sometimes and it didnt always work

. Check nearby restaurants online for any photos of menus to see if they have any in English

. If you're going to use Google translate, make sure you download the language so it can be used offline just in case you don't have internet access

. Google Maps was providing me and my friend different results on our phones for train line times and options

. Sometimes Google Maps would tell you it takes 7 minutes to walk somewhere but in reality it would take 20 minutes for some reason

. Load your Google Maps directions when you go into Taxi and just show it to your driver because one time a 20-minute ride ended up taking us 50 minutes and we were charged essentially 6000 Yen when we should have only been paying about 2,000. ( and this was to shin-osaka, a popular location so he definitely knew where to go and took some long ass circular  route instead)

.  Sometimes traveling between locations can take up to 30 minutes by train but only 10 minutes by taxi, so check with google maps and decide what is more important to you, to save money or to save time

. Sometimes if something said it was going to take more than 10 minutes walk after the train stn, we opted to take the taxi because we knew it was going to end up being three times longer for some reason


. A lot of the foods and snacks, especially the chips, include pork and beef in the ingredients for flavouring

. Sometimes pork broth is used to cook the soup and in marinades

. Or foods will be cooked in the same sauces and pans and fryers that pork was cooked in so there was cross-contamination

. There are a lot of Halal restaurants in Tokyo and Osaka that serve Japanese food (Honolu Ramen and Halal Ramen Naniwa)

. If you're going to grab something at a restaurant or Cafe, your friend cannot sit with you unless they're ordering a drink or something

. Some places have a one drink minimum, so even if you order a whole meal but not a drink, they still force you to order the drink

. It's true public garbage cans are rare so make sure you carry a little extra grocery bag in your bag to store your garbage

. It's not true that bathrooms don't have soap and things to dry your hand. Pretty much everywhere I went had soap and at least a hand dryer. Only 3 times in 16 days I needed to use the rag I brought to dry my hands.

. There often seemed to be free Wi-Fi available at train stations and even in local towns. I don't know how secure it is but it was available a lot

. We would just walk by cafes and restaurants and major shops and just pick up their Wi-Fi for a few minutes to refresh our directions

. We  bought a $70 sim at the airport and they didnt help install it. My friend followed all the instructions but it still didn't work. She went into many phone shops and asked for help but people generally refused and only one person tried to help once and still couldn't get it to work. What a waste of money! We would have been better off getting the pocket Wi-Fi.

. When you buy your shinkansen tickets through an actual staff, make sure you tell them "non-reserved" because they may automatically reserve seats for you which is a huge premium charge

. Then when you line up for your shinkansen non-reserve, be aware that it's certain cabins you have to go to. We've been in shinkansen non-reserve where there was standing once because the non-reserve was overbooked but otherwise it was fine

. OH and the shinkansen has wifi, and plugs at the window seat

. When you take the metro, be aware that when you see a red highlight/block over text on the LED screen that it's a rapid and it will skip stops. You can read the map that's usually posted nearby and see if it's going to stop at the station you are hoping to stop off at

. Metro stations names on maps and the trains are usually posted in English and Japanese so you should be good, plus the automated voice tells you what the next station is and even the subsequent one sometimes

. We couldn't find an exchange or bank that would exchange Canadian currency so if your canadian, exhange before arriving and use your credit card a lot when possible.

. A lot of places in Tokyo and Osaka took credit card but not so for other areas. Make sure you have your cash for the other areas

. It was hard to find typical Japanese souvenir items (magnets, ornaments etc) to take home or buy for others. We had to find it in the more remote areas like Magome

. When you feed the deers in nara, don't feed them near the beginning of the park because those deers get a lot of food, keep walking towards the big Buddhist statue in there are also lots of deer there who are probably not stuffed with food

. Visit convenience stores everyday. It's an adventure. You always see something new and tasty looking, whether it's food, a salty snack or drinks, chocolate or pastries and other desserts

. The Japanese are humble, hospitable and friendly. Taxi drivers and others went above and beyond to make sure we got to where we needed to go, even leaving their cars and shops at times

. Bring treats and souvenirs from your country to give as gifts of thanks to people, they really feel touched by the gesture

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japan nara tour

japan nara tour

Race Across the World 2024 route: Season 4 locations

Get ready to see some truly epic sights.

Eugenie and Isabel sat on brown chairs looking at one another, smiling.

  • Katelyn Mensah
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Five brave pairs will be taking on the ultimate challenge in the new season of Race Across the World and this time they will embark on an East Asian adventure like no other.

The intrepid travellers will leave behind their smartphones, internet access and bank cards as they all attempt to make it to the finish line in the hopes of winning a huge £20,000 cash prize.

There is always major interest from fans about where the pairs will be heading, with previous contestants making their way from the likes of Vancouver to Newfoundland and from Mexico City to Ushuaia in Argentina.

So as this year's line-up prepare themselves to set off on the epic race, here's everything you need to know about the Race Across the World season 4 route.

Race Across the World 2024 route

The 2024 season of Race Across the World will see the five teams trek across East Asia, beginning their journey in Japan, with the aim of them ending up in Lombok in Indonesia.

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Betty and James in a t-shirt and shorts with backpacks on their backs. They are smiling ahead as they give their phones over as they begin the race on Race Across the World.

In episode 1, viewers will see the five teams begin their journey in Sapporo, Japan's fifth most populous city.

To reach Lombok, the teams will have to pass through seven checkpoints and their first one is Nara City.

The groups must enlist the help of the locals to find the Gango-ji Temple in Nara City, with all pairs determined to make it to the checkpoint.

To reach the first checkpoint, the teams face a 1,600 kilometre journey where only a small percentage of the population speak English.

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Race Across the World season 4 premieres on Wednesday 10th April at 9pm on BBC One and iPlayer.

Check out more of our Entertainment coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what else is on. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast .

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