In front of the Tourist Information Center on the ground floor of Kintetsu Nara Station by 9:55


We will visit the following places.

Kofukuji Temple

This beautiful three-storied pagoda is the oldest structure in Kofukuji Temple.

Local belief-1

Local people visit these stone images of "Jizo", who is the Buddhist guardian of children

Old entertainment district

This is where geisha and maiko (apprentice geisha) work as professional entertainers

Local belief-2

These charms are often seen at the doorway of each house. They are the guardians of the family.

Traditional medicine shop

The oldest medicine shop in Naramachi, which can date back to the 12th century

Traditional House

Traditional houses are called “machi-ya” in Japanese, which means “townhouse”. They were originally built as a merchant’s shop and residence.

Old “machiya” townhouses

The merchant house was narrow but very deep because land taxes were assessed on the width of the house’s frontage.

"Tsubo-niwa" inner garden

There is an inner garden in the middle of this townhouse in order to get sunlight and fresh air into this long house

Lattice windows

The lattice windows let sunlight and breeze into the house, but they don't let passengers look into the house while the inhabitants can see the outside clearly.

Local Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines

We have two major religions in Japan: Buddhism and Shinto.

Daijoin Garden

This recently restored garden was originally designed and laid out by Zen-ami, the famous gardener in the 15th century.

Inside of the houses

Be ready to take off your shoes to go inside of the "machiya" house


After the tour, you can walk to Kasuga Shrine and Todai-ji Temple since our tour ends near there around 13:00.

By joining this walking tour, you can enjoy a whole day in Nara.
As for your lunch, there are several restaurants and noodle shops in the vicinity, but it is nice to have picnic lunch in Nara Park if the weather is fine. Bring your lunch if you wish.

If you want to go home after the tour, I will take you back to Kintetsu Nara Station. On our way back, we walk through Kofuku-ji Temple.

INFORMATION for your afternoon in NARA PARK

--- Nara Park ---

Nara Park is popularly called the "Deer Park" by foreign visitors because of its numerous deer. It is a large, pleasant park where many of Nara's main attractions are located, including Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Shrine, Kofukuji Temple and the Nara National Museum.

There are about 1200 tame deer roaming about the park. They are regarded as the divine messengers of Kasuga Shrine and have been protected with care for many centuries.

--- Todaiji Temple ---

Todaiji Temple is one of the most famous and historically significant Buddhist temples in Japan. The temple was constructed in 752 as the headquarters of all the provincial temples in Japan.

Not only is Todaiji housing Japan's largest Buddha statue (called "Daibutsu" in Japanese), but it is also the world's largest wooden structure, even though the present building reconstructed in 1692 is only two thirds of the original temple's size.

--- Kasuga Shrine ---

Kasuga Shrine is Nara's most celebrated Shinto shrine. It was established 1n 768 and dedicated to the deities responsible for the protection of the city. It was also the tutelary shrine of the Fujiwara, the most powerful family clan from the 8th to 11th century.

This shrine is famous for its many lanterns which were donated by worshippers. There are 1000 bronze lanterns within the shrine and 2000 stone lanterns lining the approach to the shrine. All the lanterns are lit semi-annually on the nights of the Lantern Festivals in February and August.

--- Kofukuji Temple ---

Kofukuji Temple was a tutelary Buddhist temple of the Fujiwara family. It was established at the same time as the capital in 710. At the height of Fujiwara power, the temple possessed 175 buildings; but most of them were reduced to ashes. Today, several buildings of great historic value still remain. The five-storied pagoda, reconstructed in 1426, is the second tallest pagoda in Japan and the symbol of Nara. The three-storied pagoda, reconstructed in 1145, is the oldest structure existing in the temple. Treasure House (Kokuho-kan in Japanese) exhibits the precious art treasures of the temple. The collections of Buddhist images are truly impressive.