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Nara Full Day Tour - World Heritage and Ancient Sites

Luke K.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Luke K.

Last updated : Apr 28, 20223 min read

Itinerary Ideas

We introduce the most popular itineraries amongst our customers who choose tours on GoWithGuide. We hope it helps you to plan your perfect itinerary during your trip to Japan. In our twelfth post of the series, we focus on the best full day tour of Nara.


Experience the highlights of Nara with this 8 hour itinerary, which aims to visit the most popular sites in the ancient capital, including some of the best World Heritage sites. Enjoy the Great Buddha, old streets left behind from the Edo era, the biggest temple in Japan, and two styles of traditional Japanese garden.


1. Kasuga Taisha

With over one thousand events throughout the year at Kasuga Taisha, this World Heritage shrine nestled in a vast primeval forest of Nara Park, can be enjoyed at any time of the year. The nearby botanical gardens, the changing seasons, the sand-scraping wisteria, these can all be enjoyed at Kasuga Taisha, along with the mysticism of the shrine itself.

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2. Todaiji

One of the most popular sightseeing spots in Nara, Todaiji houses a wealth of significant items designated as National Treasures. The reason for its popularity though, is the opportunity to see the Great Buddha, which is housed in Japan's largest temple, an impressive World Heritage site built in 752.

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3. Isuien Park

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 (image by upload.wikimedia.org)

Since Nara was the former ancient capital of Japan, it is great place to experience the changes between both Edo era Japan and Meiji era. Luckily, there's a garden for that. At Isuien Park, you can enjoy the difference between two separate traditional Japanese gardens, each respectively representing the two different era's.

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4. Naramachi

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(image by flickr.com)

Travel back in time at Naramachi. The old streets of Nara, left behind from the years of the Edo era can make a great place to explore. Recently, old wooden buildings have been converted to restaurants and souvenir shops, but that doesn't detract from the atmosphere here. Cross through narrow winding streets of ancient buildings, in an area that isn't just silently retaining character, but is surrounded by temples of World Heritage status.

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5. Kofuku-ji

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With a 1300 year old history, the World Heritage site of Kofuku-ji is the head temple of the Hosso sect. A five-storey pagoda stands proud and is a representation of a time when Nara was the ancient capital, an array of Buddhist sculptures and other treasures can be found inside the National Treasure Museum, and a wealth of Nara history can be attained here.

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Shiga Tour Guide - Koichi W.

Koichi W.

4.94 / 5
(51 reviews)

Hi! I'm Koichi. I was born in Osaka, I studied in Kyoto when I was a university student. Now I live in Shiga next to Kyoto. I am a national government licensed tour guide. I have been guiding about 160 groups over the past twelve months. I usually guide my customers mainly in Kansai region including Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Shiga by public transportation systems. Well, I am curious about Japanese history, especially the history of Japan's ancient times since I was raised next to the world biggest mausoleum of the ancient Emperor called "Nintoku" in Sakai city Osaka which has just become one of the world cultural heritage sites. I dug out some ancient earthen ware vessels around there when I was a primary school student like the adventure archaeologist “Indiana Jones" (It’s our secret!!). That was my hobby. Now, one of my hobbies is outdoor activities such as mountaineering, kayaking, skiing and others. So I would like to take you to some good places where you can enjoy Japanese unique nature. I love to guide foreign visitors from all over the world. I think it is my calling or heavenly given job. Let's go and enjoy together! I hope to see you soon.                                                                                                                                 

Osaka Tour Guide - Takashi M.

Takashi M.

5.00 / 5
(17 reviews)

Hi, my name is Takashi!! When I go abroad, I think that how nice it would be to have a friend there and hang out together. I want you to feel like you have a friend in Osaka and we can go around and explore the city. I was born and grew up in Japan. And I speak English, Spanish and Japanese. I can be the perfect guide for you!! I can also guide you any other cities in Japan, just let me know where you wanna go :)                                                                                                                                 

Nara Tour Guide - Yuri T.

Yuri T.

4.39 / 5
(23 reviews)

I'm Yuri, a national lisenced English tour guide. I was born and raised in Osaka. Now I live in the countryside of Nara. Also, I do love eating, traveling, meeting local people, and exchanging our value and cultures. I'm flexible. Please tell and ask me if there are any places which you want to visit and anything which you want to do in Japan. I'll plan the trip only for you. I am looking forward to seeing you in my tour, let's make your trip unforgettable!                                                                                                                                 

Nara Tour Guide - Makoto Y.

Makoto Y.

4.96 / 5
(97 reviews)

Hello, I’m Makoto (Mac) and I'm a national-licensed tour guide. My previous career as an automotive engineer, gave me the opportunity to learn English and to live in the US, Germany, and England. After I retired, I learned more about the Japanese history especially focusing on Nara and Kyoto to become a historical specialist of the Nara area. I now live in Ikaruga town in Nara prefecture, where the UNESCO World Heritage, Horyuji temple is located. I regularly offer guides on the Fujinoki tumulus, which is located near the Horyuji temple. It contains very interesting Archaeological findings from the end of the Kofun Period. Recently, there are many foreign tourists who come to Japan, and I hope they enjoy learning about the culture and history of Japan. I would like to help tourists have a broader and deeper understanding of the Japanese culture and that is the reason why I decided to become a tour guide to help and support their experience in Japan. Nara is the place where Japan started. The capital was located in Asuka, Fujiwara and Nara before it moved to Kyoto. Therefore, there are many places to visit in Nara to trace the original history of Japan, which I have a depth of knowledge. Let’s explore the roots of Japan together!!                                                                                                                                 

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