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Approximately 8 Hours
Prepare to explore the historic, spiritual and natural beauty of Japan on this full-day excursion through Osaka and Japan's first permanent capital -- Nara.
A motor coach drive brings you to Nara -- the cradle of Japanese art and culture during the Tempyo Period (AD 710 - 784).
Your first stop is at Todaiji Temple -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the headquarters of the Kegon School of Japanese Buddhism. It is one of the country's most famous and historically significant temples, first built on this site in AD 728. Today, the immense Great Buddha Hall at Todaiji, which was the world's largest wooden building until 1998, holds a bronze Great Buddha statue that is nearly 50 feet tall and weighs 500 tons. In the grounds, sika deer roam freely. They are considered messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion and are given free rein.
Continue to Toshodaiji Temple, founded in AD 759 by a Chinese priest who was invited to Japan by the emperor in order to train priests. In fact, Toshodai is Japanese for 'invited from Tang China'. The introduction of Buddhism to Japan was monumental. Toshodaiji's main hall was re-opened in late 2009 after being renovated over a period of almost ten years, during which the building was completely dismantled and reconstructed.
A lunch of Japanese-style cuisine awaits at a venue in Nara.
After lunch, you'll travel from Nara back to the ship.
This tour contains a lot of walking on gravel path, hilly path at all temples/shrine. It is not considered as suitable for passenger with walking difficulties. To visit Todaiji temple, approx. 20mins walking is required from the parking lot each way. Todaiji has a gravel path with some steps. Wheelchair - ramps are available at some temples but guests will require to have someone to assist travelling with them on this tour as parts are very steep and gravel. Traffic delays are possible, and tour order may vary. Please bring a local currency.