Older than Kyoto, Nara is known to have been an important location at the dawn of recorded Japanese history.  Amazingly, most visitors to Japan skip over this fascinating city. This is a huge mistake! Nara is the perfect daytrip for guests in Kyoto who want to get a feel for a whole other side of the Kansai region. The ancient massive bronze Buddha statue is one of the true must-see treasures of Japan. (We promise it's even bigger than you are expecting!) And did we mention the thousands of tame deer roaming the area? These friendly residents make Nara a great spot for families with kids and animal-lovers of all ages.

This tour begins and ends in Kyoto. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and accompany you on the train to and from 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. You can even spend the rest of the day in Osaka via a short train ride from Nara after the tour.

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

  • Travel to Nara via Limited Express with a comfortable reserved train seat for the 40 minute journey. No standing on a crowded train!
  • Pass through the world'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 ancient temple tasked with keeping the entire nation safe and prosperous.
  • Make a stop at a quiet Shinto shrine and discover how the Buddhas and Shinto gods overlap in surprising ways.
  • Stroll through a stunning private traditional garden featuring several distinct landscape sections.
  • Enjoy the company of a fellow foreigner as your guide. We'll give you the real scoop about what it's like to live here, and all the local tips and info!
  • Stop for lunch, pick up local sushi bento lunchboxes to eat on the train ride, or eat when you arrive back back in Kyoto. (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 and train schedule

Price: 18000 yen for one guest

(5000 yen for each additional guest, child discounts available)

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.
  • Outbound travel is via limited express train, but the return train may differ depending on schedule.
  • 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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Trains leave for Nara from Kyoto Station every 30 minutes starting at 8:00am. Your guide will meet you at your hotel or at the station, depending on hotel location and timing. Don't worry, no need to decide this right now!