Guided tour

Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

From US$ 51.15 per person

Explore the ancient capital of Japan and discover a peaceful city, brimming with dazzling temples, shrines, imperial tombs and machiya houses built in the traditional style. Meet divine deer roaming the streets and grab tasty street food.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 3.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Small group
Limited to 12 participants


  • Explore Buddhist temples that once held enough power to influence the emperor himself
  • Stroll the beautiful backstreets of the old town and discover handcraft havens, quirky shops and traditional machiya houses
  • Watch the turtles at the picturesque Sarusawa pond
  • Go close to the fabled, holy deer of Nara
  • Taste some of the best street food delights in the city
Full description

Accompanied by your tour guide, head straight to one of Nara’s top historical sites and one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, the Todaiji temple. Its famous centerpiece is the 15-meter bronze statue of the Great Buddha, Vairocana.

On our way, you will be greeted by the friendly deer of Nara. The deer are divine protectors of the ancient capital living in perfect harmony with the locals. Next stop is the second of the seven great temples of Nara, Kofukuji. Make a brief stop at the Sarusawa pond, well known for its turtles and the pretty scenery surrounding it; this is considered a perfect spot for a romantic evening walk in Nara.

Move forward into the quiet alleys and backstreets of Nara-machi, the well-preserved former merchant's district, where you will be able to see and experience unique traditional arts and crafts. As the best way to experience a city is through its food, you will get the chance to test some of our favorite local delights. The last stop of your journey will take you to a shopping street, where you can find colorful and diverse shops, perfect for souvenir hunting. 

Both the JR Nara station and the Kintetsu station are within comfortable walking distance from the finishing point of the tour. Your guide will be happy to help you with directions to your hotel or to provide a restaurant recommendation for lunch.

Do not forget to ask for more hints and tips on what else there is to do in Nara during your time here. 

  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Local snacks
  • Entrance fees for all the sites mentioned
  • Additional food and drinks
  • Souvenirs and personal shopping
  • Tips or gratuities
Not suitable for
  • People with food allergies

Select participants and date



Meeting point

At the fountain in front of the exit at Kintetsu Nara station. From the train platform go through the east gates to street level, via the staircase, where you will see the fountain with a statue of a monk, on your right-hand side.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes

Know before you go

  • Some of the places in Nara-machi vary on each tour as they have irregular opening and closing days. In case of unexpected closure of the Todaiji temple, the tour will either be rescheduled or canceled. If the cancellation is caused by an unexpected reason, you will receive a full refund.
  • Only children between the ages of 6 and 11 are allowed on this tour.
  • Some dietary restrictions can be accommodated. Please notify us in advance if you have any dietary requests. The snacks included on the tour are not substantial so if your dietary requirements cannot be met, a liquid refreshment will instead be provided.
  • The tour group can include a maximum of 12 people.
  • Effective September 1, 2021, travelers aged 18+ must produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination on Intrepid Urban Adventures tours. Children aged 6-17 must present a negative COVID-19 test, proof of recovery, or proof of vaccination. View full policy at
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.5 /5

based on 11 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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Star rating:

Really very good ! My guide spoke enough English to explain everything to me and above all she took me to little places not touristy at all (traditional house, making motchi etc.) in addition to the big sites. She was also very interested in where I came from, we talked about our two cultures, what we liked and what we didn't. Very pleasant ! I recommend !

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August 26, 2019

November 9, 2019

Very nice the tour. Deer, the great Buddha and the guardians, temples, and ends in a commercial area with restaurants. 4h tour The guide very attentive and walking at our pace.

September 15, 2019

Product ID: 124784