Sightseeing in Nara
1) Nara World Heritage Walking Tour:
Experience the Sacred Sites of Nara Park (4 hours)
This symbol of Tempyo-era (AD 729–749) culture is home to Japan’s largest Buddhist statue, which is housed in the world’s largest wooden building. It also has the ornate carved figures of Hokke-do, and is known as the site of the annual spring Omizutori ritual. Even a full day’s sightseeing is hardly enough to take in everything in detail. As you enjoy the historic setting, why not purchase sembei rice crackers (150 yen each) to feed to the deer that roam the temple grounds?
Heading through the torii gate and along the long pathway, the brilliant vermillion of the shrine’s main building seems to float among the deep green of ancient Japanese cedar trees. Visit on February 8 to sample the spellbinding atmosphere of the Mantoro lantern festival.
In this temple’s heyday, its grounds held some 175 separate structures. Attractions include a five-story pagoda, the golden temple of Tokon-do, and the Buddhist statues housed in the National Treasure Museum. You can also enjoy cultural experiences such as Takigi-Noh—an ancient form of musical theatre performed at night amid the illumination of burning torches—and the annual Setsubun festival.