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Nara Park Classic tour with World Heritage sites

Explore the ancient capital city of Nara

Welcome to Nara!  This one-day course offers you an easy and fun introduction to deep Japan as well as to your inner introspection.  Being  Japan's capital over 1300 years ago, Nara questions you about what is old, and what is new.   A spiritual point of view and deeper understanding and appreciation of this city, eventually invite you to believe in a hopeful future of all living beings.

 

Highlights

  • Nara Park: Interact with the sacred deer roaming freely, recognizing them as symbols of divine connection in Shinto beliefs. 

  • Learn the history of the Nara period and its unique position of Nara being called  "the Eastern terminal of the Silk Road".

  • Experience the awe-inspiring presence of Todai-ji Temple, a sacred space housing Daibutsu, the Great Buddha statue.  Feel the spiritual energy as you enter the Daibutsuden.

  • Visit Nigatsu-do Hall where the sacred ritual of Shunie, or water-drawing ceremony is officiated every year.  Known as "never-ceasing practice", it counts for the 1,273rd time in 2024.

  • Learn how the indigenous belief of Shintoism co-existed in harmony with a foreign teaching of Buddhism. 

  • Stroll around the Primeval Forest of Kasuga Grand Shrine and witness thousands of moss-covering stone lanterns. 

About the tour in detail: You will meet lots of friendly deer, protected as the messengers of the kami (or god) of Kasuga. I will talk about the uniquely international-oriented history of the Nara period, and how Shintoism and Buddhism have been co-existing. ​ Discover why Nara is so important and unique and attracts people even today! ​Learn the spirituality of the Japanese in the old Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.  ​ ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ​ ​ ​-Todaiji Temple: the World's largest wooden structure and home of the   Great Buddha statue, known as Daibutsu. ​​ -Kofukuji Temple:  famous for the 2nd tallest five-stories pagoda in Japan.  Tour will take you to the Treasure House where various  Buddhist artworks from the Asuka period to the Edo period (6th century to 19th centuries) are exhibited.   ​  -Kasuga Grand Shrine: See and learn about Shintoism, what it is, what is kami, how to pray, etc.  ​  Since 1998, all the above-mentioned sites have been registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Kasugayama Primeval Forest.   As it is extending behind the Kasuga Grand Shrine, hunting or logging had long been prohibited in this sanctuary.  Japan’s oldest official history records were written during the Nara period.  They are full of legends and stories of god and goddesses and heroic figures with unique and mysterious features.  

Tour Gallery

Cynda Rushton

Akiko is an exquisite guide. She brings depth to understanding the rich spiritual heritage of Nara.

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