Todai-ji, the great Buddha, Nara Park and its deer, Nara is the perfect place for any traveller keen on traditional Japanese culture and fond of tranquillity and serenity.
A small bubble of calm to be relished without moderation.
Nara may have around 350,000 inhabitants, but it has a rural atmosphere. Enclosed by the surrounding hills just like Kyoto, the view here is farther away because there are no large buildings to stop the view and this feeling of vast expanse is reinforced as you stroll along. This is where the famous park fulfils its role as a green lung and accentuates this impression by diluting the impressive crowds that flock here every year to admire the city's thousand-year-old treasures. Large meadows spread out at the foot of Mount Wakakusa, from the top of which, after a short climb, the panoramic view of the city is revealed.
On the edge of this park lies the freshness of the foliage and the whole range of Japanese trees: maples, cherry trees, mossy cedars, cypresses, camphor trees... Not forgetting the most impressive wisteria plants ever encountered. To complete this wild, picturesque scenery, many fallow deer roam freely on lawns and undergrowth and delight visitors by placing their wet nostrils on their hands, in which they will have sensed their favourite little treats, which can be found in small huts scattered throughout the park.
Old capital and heritage of Buddhism.
But according to the Japanese, fallow deer are above all messengers of the gods who live deep in the forests and serve as a reminder that Japan was born here, in Nara. It is here that the Shinto religion and Buddhism merged to forge the Japanese soul, as for the first time, an emperor recognised the power of the sutras, those mysterious texts that came from beyond the seas and suddenly offered a glimpse of the world after death.
It was also in Nara that an empress, breaking with tradition, decided to establish a permanent capital on this plain. The signs of these ancient times are visible everywhere: the Todai-ji, of course, and the Kofuku-ji, but also the long path lined with stone lanterns leading to the Kasuga-taisha. Those wishing to go further back in time can ask their guide to take them to see the Horyu-ji, the oldest known wooden constructions in the world.
Tradition and culture
At the end of the day, let yourself be guided through the small alleys of Naramachi where the ancient "machiya" will plunge you into the Japan of the day before yesterday with its century-old shops offering a wide range of local specialities which will delight young and old alike after this great breath of fresh air and culture.
A flexible, personalised tour
As part of our discovery days, your guide will prepare the best itinerary for you, although we also offer the possibility of contacting your guide beforehand if you have specific requests (dietary restrictions, parts of the programme you would like to discuss, etc.).
Please let us know where you are staying so that your guide can meet you there.
Not included in the offer:
- Transport - Lunch - Paid admissions
Up to 7 days before: 0%
Between 7 days before and 5:00 p.m.the previous day: 50%
After 5:00 p.m.the previous day and same day: 100%