Older than Kyoto, Nara is known to have been an important location at the dawn of recorded Japanese history. The idea of a unified Japan was born here in the 3rd century, and the Yamato Imperial Court ruled over the various provinces and clans of Japan from the valley of Nara, enforcing both political and religious doctrine. When the capital was moved to Kyoto in the 794, the two cities entered a rivalry that spanned centuries, and resulted in the destruction of temples and palaces by arson.

Today, many excellent historical sites remain in Nara, mostly clustered in an area known as Nara Park. Amazingly, most visitors to Japan skip over this amazing city! Nara is perfect for guests in Kyoto who want to experience a whole other side of the Kansai region without spending too much time traveling.

This tour begins and ends in Kyoto. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and accompany you on the train to Nara. Ending location is usually Kyoto Station, but your guide can help you with a different route back to Kyoto if you want to explore other locations in the city away from the main station.

The following is a sample itinerary for the Nara Walking Tour:

  • Travel round trip to Nara by Limited Express Kintetsu train with a reserved seat for the 40 minute journey.
  • See Japan's second tallest wooden pagoda, at a temple dedicated to Yakushi Buddha, the deity of good health.
  • Pass through Japan's largest wooden gate, flanked by two massive statues of Buddha's guardians. Impressive architecture on a grand scale.
  • Come face to face with the 500 ton bronze Daibutsu, a towering Buddha statue housed in the world's largest wooden building (!)
  • Pet and feed thousands of wild deer that roam freely through Nara Park, considered holy messengers of the gods.
  • Edge into Nara Forest and ascend the steps of an important temple tasked with keeping the entire nation safe and prosperous.
  • Make a stop at a quiet Shinto shrine and discover how Buddhas and Shinto gods overlap in surprising ways.
  • Stroll through a stunning private traditional garden featuring several distinct landscape sections.
  • Stop for lunch before returning to Kyoto, or pick up local sushi bento lunchboxes to eat on the train ride. (optional)
  • Collect unique goshuin stamps and calligraphy at every temple and shrine you visit (optional, additional fees apply)
  • Return to Kyoto in time for additional sightseeing in the afternoon on your own.

Journey to Nara

Duration: Approx 5 to 6 hours, depending on walking pace

Price: 18000 yen for one guest

(5000 yen for each additional guest)

We knew there were going to be deer walking around the streets, but no idea there would be so many. That was really impressive, and they were all so friendly. Our son enjoyed feeding them crackers and searching for the baby deer in the herds. The giant Buddha was life-changing for me. To think that human hands built that statue is just incredible. What a testament to faith.
— Suzanne from Texas, USA

Additional information

  • The Nara Tour must be booked to depart Kyoto Station for Nara no later than 11:00 am.
  • This tour is available to guests who are already staying in hotels in Nara. Please contact us for more info and pricing.
  • This is mainly a walking tour, so comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended.
  • Tour price includes transportation fees (train) and temple admission fees.
  • Guests are responsible for their own bill for lunch, snacks, and drinks.
  • Guests are responsible for any fees for additional activities chosen by the guest.
  • Taxis are not available for this tour, as locations are inside Nara Deer Park.
  • Itinerary subject to change due to seasonal changes in temple hours, special events, transportation delays, weather, or other factors. Guests will be kept informed of any itinerary changes as they occur on the day of the tour.
  • Please read our terms and conditions for more information before booking.

To book this tour, inquire about scheduling, or request more info, please use the contact form below.

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