The impressive Buddha has a great story. Sitting in the largest wooden building in Japan, this most celebrated shrine was established in 768 AD and is famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns which have been donated by worshippers. The Temple was founded in 710-794 AD by an empress for the sake of the emperor. It is devoted to Yakushi Buddha, the patron of medicine in Japanese Buddhism. Life-size statues in the main hall are the 12 guardian deities and they surround a two meter tall statue of a seated Yakushi Buddha. These are the main objects of worship. Putting yourself back in time to understand the significance of this whole structure may be the hardest part. Even the people that have come to see the Buddha or specifically to honor it are interesting to observe.
One unusual experience here is the park itself called Nara Park, but renamed Deer Park by the locals. A huge population of more than 1,000 tame deer live here and you can feed them but be careful. They will chase you for more food, for sure.
Reboarding your train, you will begin your return with yet one more stop on the way, one that will indelibly make a mark on your Japan trip. Again a short walk from the station, you will venture to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a most beloved shrine in Japan. It is a favorite haunt of photographers, business people, and local residents who ask the gods to bless their homes, companies, and destinies. Founded in 711, it is difficult to explain the feeling of walking through one red torii arch after another, as they form a tunnel of stunning simplicity. You will note that those at the beginning of the route are larger than those following. Patrons dedicate new tori arches as they need replacing, allowing the patron's name or business name to be painted in black on the new gate.
Ultimately, these form a path up the mountain behind the temple.
If this looks familiar, it should as the Fushimi Inari Shrine was used in the movie "Memoirs of a Geisha," a movie that will have much more meaning upon your return home. During the day, a quick stop for lunch will occur. The price of lunch is not included in your tour.
Reboard the train for your return to Kyoto.
Departures: 09:00 AM,
Meeting instructions: Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.
Special instructions: - Food and beverages are not included in the tour.
- Public transportation costs are included.