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Todai-ji (Eastern Great Temple) Tours

Todai-ji (Eastern Great Temple)
Located in Deer Park (Nara Park) in Nara, about 35 minutes from Osaka by train, Todaiji Temple is one of Japan’s most famous and historically significant Buddhist temples. Originally built in the year 752, the temple as it exists today dates back to 1709. The main hall, called Big Buddha Hall (Daibutsuden), is the world’s largest wooden building, even though it’s a third smaller than the original hall from the 700s. 
 
The greatest attraction in the Todaiji Temple complex is the enormous bronze Buddha statue (Japan’s largest) housed with the massive main hall. When the temple was first built, Emperor Shomu planned for Todaiji to serve as the headquarters of Buddhism throughout Japan, and he ordered the casting of the statue as part of that plan. The 50-foot-tall (15-meter-tall) statue required eight castings to complete. 
 
According to local legend, anyone able to squeeze through the hole in the pillar located behind the Big Buddha achieves enlightenment.

Practical Info

Todaiji Temple is a 15-minute walk away from Kintetsu Nara Station, but it can also be reached by bus or taxi. Set aside about three hours to see Todaiji and the other temples and structures huddled together in Deer Park. 
Address: 1 Zōshi-chō, Nara, Japan
Hours: November-February 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; March & October 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; April-September 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Admission: 500 yen (museum only), 800 yen (museum and Daibutsuden Hall)
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24 Tours and Activities to Experience Todai-ji (Eastern Great Temple)

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The Essence of Nara Cultural Tour: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets

The Essence of Nara Cultural Tour: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets

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If you don’t speak Japanese, it can be hard to navigate Japan like a local. This tour of Nara, Japan’s ancient capital, is designed to  help you do just that. Leave the crowds of Kyoto behind and discover the peaceful city of Nara: its temples, shrines, traditional houses and divine deer. Explore the backstreets and alleys of the merchants district, and try authentic street food.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$97.22
From
$97.22
Taking safety measures

Discover Traditional Nara Walking Tour (Full day)

Discover Traditional Nara Walking Tour (Full day)

How about walking around Nara must-see spots with a highly experienced guide?This tour visits three must-see spots in deer park area, Nara. Kasuga-taisha shrine - praised for its beautiful vermilion constructions and three thousand of stone lanterns and hanging lanterns, Todai-ji temple - renowned for its Great Buddha originally created in the eighth century, and Kofuku-ji temple - closely related to Fujiwara family, a noble family once at the summit of its prosperity. Along the way, other scenic spots of Nara, such as Mt. Kasuga, Tobihino hill, Ukimi-do gazebo, and Suikinkutsu (a buried pot that makes harp-like sound with water drops) will also attract your eyes and ears. At the end of the tour, we will take the time to experience Japanese cultures such as origami or kumihimo braiding. This tour is recommended not only for first-time visitors to Nara but also for repeat visitors to discover new charms of Nara.
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  • 7 hours
From
$115.07
From
$115.07

Nara - Highlights Bike Tour

Nara - Highlights Bike Tour

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24
Join the highlights Tour at Nara Cycle Tours and meet other travelers, or do it in private and your guide can make this day special for your own group.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$96.00
From
$96.00
Taking safety measures

Discover Traditional Nara Walking Tour (Half day)

Discover Traditional Nara Walking Tour (Half day)

Stroll through 3 of historic Nara’s most iconic landmarks with a professional, English-speaking guide. Get to know the temples and scenic gardens of Nara. Meet your guide at the JR Nara Station, and walk at a relaxed pace to visit Kasuga-Taisha Shrine, the Great Buddha in Todaiji Temple, and Kofuku-ji Temple. Meet the divine deer of Nara along your way.
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  • 4 hours
From
$88.92
From
$88.92

Nara Private Tour by Public Transportation from Kyoto

Nara Private Tour by Public Transportation from Kyoto

This is a Nara private tour using by public transportation from Kyoto. The guide will pick you up at the hotel. No problem with train and bus transfers, as the guides are with you! The destinations of the tour includes Todai-ji Temple, Kasuga Taisha, deer park, and other UNESCO World Heritage Site temples! For details of the tour, you can look at the what to expect section and inclusions excursions section of this web page.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$197.72
Price varies by group size
From
$197.72
Price varies by group size

Nara Lazy Bird Tour

Nara Lazy Bird Tour

This is the perfect tour for first-time visitors to Nara who want to get a good overview in a short space of time. You won’t have to worry about navigating as a guide takes you around a shortlist of Nara’s best sights. See the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Todai-ji Temple, and Kasuga Taisha Shrine, visit the traditional houses of Naramachi, and see the city’s many semi-wild deer.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$78.46
Price varies by group size
From
$78.46
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Nara Half-day Private Tour Osaka/Kyoto departure with Nationally-Licensed Guide

Nara Half-day Private Tour Osaka/Kyoto departure with Nationally-Licensed Guide

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Explore Nara with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual guide! Your guide will help you efficiently enjoy a half-day walking tour of Nara and introduce both modern and traditional sides of this dynamic and ancient Japanese city. Nara's proximity to Kyoto and Osaka, and its rich collection of traditional sites, make it an ideal destination for a day trip from either of its larger neighbors. Your private guide can help you efficiently enjoy a half-day walking tour of this ancient Japanese city. You can start your day at your hotel in Osaka, Kyoto. Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a four-hour tour that's best for you! Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary. Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$100.92
Price varies by group size
From
$100.92
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Nara Early Bird Tour

Nara Early Bird Tour

Nara is the ancient capital of Japan prior to Kyoto, and the Japanese dynasty started from this area. In this tour, you will visit representing sightseeing and photo spots in Nara. This tour is designed to enable you to enjoy spots in a completely relaxed way while strolling around early in the morning with fresh air and fewer tourists. Nara is the only place in the world where about 1,300 wild deer roam freely. You can get really close to those cute animals and feed them while they bow begging for deer crackers. Let's experience ancient Japanese culture and enjoy the site of adorable animals.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$146.45
Price varies by group size
From
$146.45
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Nara Deer and Sake Adventure - Easy Day Trip from Kyoto or Osaka!

Private Nara Deer and Sake Adventure - Easy Day Trip from Kyoto or Osaka!

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Explore Nara's scenic beauty and sake on this all inclusive, private tour. A convenient day trip from either Kyoto or Osaka, Nara is a must see on any traveler's list. From the numerous wild deer that roam free in the streets to multiple UNESCO world heritage sites like the giant Buddha at Todaiji, explore both the famous sites and the places that lie just a little off the beaten path. End your day with a one of a kind Japanese sake rice wine brewery tour and tasting in Nara's old town merchant quarters surrounded by medieval townhouses and storefronts. All entrance fees, the sake tasting, and a snack are included in the price so no need to fret about any hidden fees.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$144.00
Price varies by group size
From
$144.00
Price varies by group size

Nara Full-Day Private Tour Osaka/Kyoto departure with Nationally-Licensed Guide

Nara Full-Day Private Tour Osaka/Kyoto departure with Nationally-Licensed Guide

Explore Nara with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual guide! Your guide will help you efficiently enjoy a full-day walking tour of Nara and introduce both modern and traditional sides of this dynamic and ancient Japanese city. Nara's proximity to Kyoto and Osaka, and its rich collection of traditional sites, make it an ideal destination for a day trip from either of its larger neighbors. Your private guide can help you efficiently enjoy a full-day walking tour of this ancient Japanese city. You can start your day at your hotel in Osaka, Kyoto. Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a six-hour tour that's best for you! Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary. Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.
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  • 6 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$126.15
Price varies by group size
From
$126.15
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Deer City Nara Walking & Izakaya Hopping Tour

Deer City Nara Walking & Izakaya Hopping Tour

Nara was the capital of Japan in the 8th century prior to Kyoto and is located within an hour’s train ride from Osaka or Kyoto. Though it’s not so popular and busy comparing to Kyoto, there are several things you can’t miss while you are in Japan such as friendly wild deer, huge Buddha and a shrine with thousands of lanterns. In addition, as Nara is a home of present-day sake, you can try variety of Japanese sake with nibbles.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$163.20
Price varies by group size
From
$163.20
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Nara Half Day Trip Walking Tour

Nara Half Day Trip Walking Tour

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-Time to start the Nara historical walking tour- We will explore a Japanese old town that is extremely different from what we know of metropolitan Tokyo. Walking between the historical buildings, we can go inside a merchant's house and see how the people around here lived. -Continue to walk to a secret spot, which has been hidden for centuries- Welcome to a hidden Japanese pyramid. Let's take a break from walking(or hiking) as you observe this mysterious structure in the middle of a quiet town. -Walk inside Nara park and interact with cute wild deer- Explore the beautiful red shrine housing hundreds of lanterns and go see a huge temple with a great Buddha statue. Around here, you can interact with some wild deers. You will see how "polite" they are! Magical Trip is a local tour operator with the TripAdvisor certificate of excellence that offers various types of small-group tours throughout Japan! Check out our Trip Advisor Page for more tours and our reviews!
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$100.22
From
$100.22
Taking safety measures

E-bike rental- in Nara (Kintetsu-Nara shop)

E-bike rental- in Nara (Kintetsu-Nara shop)

Nara has many tourist attractions to visit. But surely you have no time? Rental bicycles are the best way to get around the sights efficiently. With a bike you can drop in anywhere you like. You can move around comfortably while looking at the beautiful city, without worrying about traffic jam like a car. ■All bicycles are maintained by mechanic. ■You can rent a bike for up to 24 hours at one day price ■Returnable after closing ■There are also many other types of bicycles, such as city bike or kids bike. Please check our website for details. ■Child seat is available for free. But please note that children weighing less than 22 kg can sit in it. ■There are only a few small electric bicycles (22-inch), so if you need a smaller size please email us in advance.
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  • 1 hour to 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$12.67
From
$12.67

Relax in Nara: Deer Park, Todai-ji Temple and Merchants' Town

Relax in Nara: Deer Park, Todai-ji Temple and Merchants' Town

Nara city is rapidly gaining popularity as a tourist destination. As the capital of Japan in the 8th century, it can offer a variety of old temples and shrines, but also the charm of its former merchants’ quarter with quaint old houses serving as shops or restaurants. In this tour we will visit the biggest and most famous temple and shrine dating back to the 8th century as well as the old townscape.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$146.33
Price varies by group size
From
$146.33
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Tour - All You Visit Are Cultural Properties on This Tour in Nara!

Private Tour - All You Visit Are Cultural Properties on This Tour in Nara!

Don’t miss the famous Buddhist image of Todai-Ji temple and the three thousand bamboo lamps at “Kasuga-Taisha” if you come to Nara! We will take you there and give detail explanation about them on this tour. You will first visit the popular hall of the great Buddha which is a national treasure and world cultural heritage. “Nigatsu-do” which is located behind Todai-Ji temple is not so popular, but the view of the whole city from there is superb! After hiking through a forest with wild deer and visiting a famous Japanese sword shop, we will get to “Kasuga Taisha”. The three thousand bamboo lamps there is beyond description! Don’t forget to book your photogenic tour!
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$121.10
From
$121.10
Taking safety measures

Nara - Private Family Bike Tour

Nara - Private Family Bike Tour

This bike tour is based on our most popular tour, Nara Highlights, but without Yoshikien Garden and reserved for families with kids. Either your children can ride a bike or not, we are here for you. Explore Nara, the park, visit Kasuga Taisha Shrine and its thousand lanterns, the Kikuichi traditional Japanese knife shop With a guide who will keep you safe and will show you the city in a very unique way. Welcome to Nara with our Family Bike Tour. As it is a private family tour, you can be sure that your guide will take extra care of your group, adjust and adapt the tour based on your preferences.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$443.07
per group
From
$443.07
per group
Taking safety measures

Full-Day Private Guided Tour to Nara Temples

Full-Day Private Guided Tour to Nara Temples

Nothing better than to discover Nara by the explanations from an -almost-local person! The first fixed capital of Japan, a high city of tradition and history, you will learn more about the history of this city and Japan. I lived in Nara for 3 years and it is my favorite place in Japan. You will discover an ancient capital which became a calm countryside city. Nothing to hurry, nothing to worry!
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$239.99
per group
From
$239.99
per group
Taking safety measures

1-Day Nara and Uji Private Custom Tour from Osaka by Chartered Vehicle

1-Day Nara and Uji Private Custom Tour from Osaka by Chartered Vehicle

This is a full-day custom tour ideal for small group. After selecting your preferred choice of transportation from an alphard, van or bus, your group will explore the the city of Nara and Uji, and visit the must-see sights at your own pace, and customise the day to see only what you want to, all with the help of a guide/driver. Design your own itinerary and experience the region’s nature and culture.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$825.06
per group
From
$825.06
per group
Taking safety measures

NARA by Land Rover Discovery Sport 2018 Customize Your Itinerary

NARA by Land Rover Discovery Sport 2018 Customize Your Itinerary

Private VIP Tour in NARA allows you to “Customize Your Itinerary” to fit your specific travel expectations. You have your own private Land Rover Discovery Sport and driver who can speak English for approximately 8 hours. Our team assists you to manage the tour, give recommendations, make reservations and check information. <<< You customize your own Day Trip in NARA >>> STEP1: We propose list of famous destinations while you share with us your travel desires and special requests. STEP2: With careful communication and planning, we share and exchange our draft detailed itinerary. STEP3: We revise/finalize the itinerary. ***You can always change the itinerary even on the day while traveling on the car. Please feel free to reach our team and driver for recommendation at any time. ***Extra 1 ~ 2 hours will be given for free only in case of heavy traffic jam and unexpected delay(s). ***Extra charges will be applied for over time service.
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  • 8 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$836.90
per group
From
$836.90
per group

E-bike rental- in Nara (JR-Nara shop)

E-bike rental- in Nara (JR-Nara shop)

Nara has many tourist attractions to visit. But surely you have no time? Rental bicycles are the best way to get around the sights efficiently. With a bike you can drop in anywhere you like. You can move around comfortably while looking at the beautiful city, without worrying about traffic jam like a car. ■All bicycles are maintained by mechanic. ■You can rent a bike for up to 24 hours at one day price ■Returnable after closing ■There are also many other types of bicycles, such as regular bike or kids bike. Please check our website for details. ■The number of small e-bikes (22 inches and 24 inches) is limited. If you need small e-bikes, please confirm by email to our shop in advance. ■Child seat is available for free. But please note that only children weighing less than 22 kg can sit in it.
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  • 1 hour to 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$13.00
From
$13.00

All must-sees in 3 hours - Nara Park Classic Tour!

All must-sees in 3 hours - Nara Park Classic Tour!

This is a guided walking tour covering all must-sees of Nara Park area. Instead of looking down at your smartphones or guidebooks for information, look up and around to enjoy the city. Our guide is sure to tell you history, picture spots, about deer and so on. The tour usually ends around 1 pm; you have enough time to explore the city on your own afterwards.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$31.38
From
$31.38
Taking safety measures

Nara Custom Half Day Tour

Nara Custom Half Day Tour

This private and customizable tour for Nara is perfect for guests who would like to have their own itinerary planned based on their interests and preferences, allowing guests to experience the city at their own pace.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$145.72
Price varies by group size
From
$145.72
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Nara Custom Full Day Tour

Nara Custom Full Day Tour

This private and customizable tour for Nara is perfect for guests who would like to have their own itinerary planned based on their interests and preferences, allowing guests to experience the city at their own pace.
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  • 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$253.43
Price varies by group size
From
$253.43
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Virtual Livestream Tour of Nara the Ancient Capital of Japan

Virtual Livestream Tour of Nara the Ancient Capital of Japan

Nara was the capital of Japan from 710 to 794 when it was relocated to Kyoto, and the entire town is now registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara". In the vast Nara Park where deer roam, there are historical temples and shrines such as Todaiji Temple where the Great Buddha is enshrined, Kofukuji Temple with many national treasures, and Kasuga Taisha Shrine with vivid vermilion. This is a virtual tour via ZOOM that allows you to experience the feeling of traveling in Nara while at home. An English-speaking guide will take you around the city of Nara while taking a walk, and you can enjoy the scenery of the beautiful city of Nara. This tour is livestream, so there is also time to enjoy a conversation with the guide. Have a nice livestream virtual tour of about 1 hour.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$26.88
From
$26.88
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Todai-ji (Eastern Great Temple) hours of operation?
A:
Todai-ji (Eastern Great Temple) hours of operation: November-February 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; March & October 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; April-September 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Todai-ji (Eastern Great Temple)?