PLAN:5DAYS

PRICE FROM189,000JPY

per person (for a group of 6 people)

OVERVIEW

This tour revolves around beautiful Japanese gardens located in Nara! For the most part, Japanese gardens are designed to appear like natural scenery groomed to perfection, which have a serene power to relax viewers.
There are many traditional Japanese gardens scattered throughout Japan, with some of the most unique ones existing here in Nara! Around 1,300 years ago, Nara thrived as the first ancient capital of Japan. At that time, emperors and nobles had beautiful gardens around their houses with ponds, streams and groves.

On this tour, we’ll visit restored gardens originally created during the Nara era, which can be considered as one of the most original forms of Japanese gardens. Enjoy letting your imagination wander as you stroll around imagining how people of that time appreciated nature and enjoyed their elegant gardens.
You’ll also have the opportunity to visit Nara’s “Three Great Gardens,” as well as other unique gardens that were created during different eras. You’ll love the quiet and peaceful atmosphere that can be found within each garden. In some of the gardens during your special private tour, you’ll be able to try some unique cultural experiences, such as meditation, delicious green tea and even have a taste of a monk’s vegetarian cuisine! We’re excited to take you around Nara’s unique gardens and show you the different atmosphere each garden has to offer, as well as multiple ways to enjoy them.

  1. DAY01

    We’ll set out in the afternoon for a quick tour of Heijo Palace, which thrived back when Nara became the first capital in Japan around 1,300 years ago. Make your way to Toin Garden, located within the palace. This ancient garden was restored in 1998, and is now a clear and well-groomed garden quite accurate to the original one, which was made for the Emperor around 1,300 years ago. The techniques used during these ancient times are very impressive to say the least! With artificial ponds, miniature hills, natural looking streams and groves, all is well-balanced and created to perfection. Take some time to relax and appreciate the high level of creativity put into making the garden, as well as the spectacular variety of plants incorporated into this masterpiece. There’s even a balcony where the people at that time are supposed to have enjoyed the beauty of the garden.
    Check in to your hotel and have fun processing your experiences from today!


    Basic stay plan: “Nara Royal Hotel,” a standard hotel close to the palace.

    Special stay plan: “Edosan,” a traditional Japanese Ryokan featuring an excellent Japanese cuisine, located in Nara Park. This is also where many famous litterateurs loved to stay.
  2. DAY02

    In the morning, we’ll be visiting Todaiji Temple to say hello to the Great Buddha before a stroll through the Isuien Garden, located right next to the temple. The Isuien Garden consists of two parts, the Front Garden, which was created during the Edo period, and the Back Garden, an area created during the Meiji period that was combined with the previous design and later designated as an Important Cultural Asset. The back garden consists of a grand scale panorama that gracefully stretches from Todaiji Temple to Mt. Kasuga. You can see beautiful ponds, steppingstones positioned across the streams, a water mill, mossy areas and tea houses with thatched rooftops.
    The atmosphere of the garden evolves throughout the four seasons, making it a special place for visitors year-round. In one of the tea houses, you can have lunch or tea while viewing the garden!

    In the afternoon, we’ll take a short drive to Shorakuji Temple. This temple is famously known as the birthplace of Japanese refined sake. Many people also come to see the temple’s spectacular garden from the lush green season in spring, to the picturesque crimson foliage season in autumn. Enjoy a private tour from a monk, who will take you to the hillside for a scenic view of the mountains where you’ll get refreshed by the natural energy of the trees. You’ll then make your way into the main hall, which houses a “Yakushi Nyorai,” the Buddha of Healing. Try a relaxing cultural experience as the monk guides you through a meditation session. Check in to your hotel and get ready to visit one of Nara’s “Three Great Gardens” tomorrow!


    Basic stay plan: “Setre Naramachi,” a standard hotel located in Nara City.

    Special stay plan: “Edosan,” a traditional Japanese Ryokan featuring an excellent Japanese cuisine, located in Nara Park. This is also where many famous litterateurs loved to stay.
  3. DAY03

    Today we’ll be taking you to an impressive Zen Temple with a garden that’s said to be one of Nara’s “Three Great Gardens!” This temple is quite exceptional and unique considering every aspect of the temple, including the entrance gate, path leading to the buildings, tea ceremony rooms, and garden, were designed with the intention to welcome guests to tea ceremony. This masterpiece was created by Sekishu Katagiri, one of the great distinguished masters of tea ceremony.
    Enjoy your private guided tour with a local monk, whose wife will be showing you the proper tea ceremony etiquette and procedures. Her easygoing character will have you feeling comfortable and at ease, so no need to feel nervous! Here, you can also savor their fantastic “Shojin Ryori,” the vegetarian cuisine for monks! Check in to your hotel and enjoy your stay.


    Basic stay plan: The “Kashihara,” a standard hotel. After checking in to your hotel, you can take a walk if you like to the nearby old town of Imai, or even visit Kashihara Jingu, a famous shrine dedicated to the first Emperor!

    Special stay plan: “Ubusuna no Sato Tomimoto,” a spectacular hotel with a mixture of traditional and modern style. You can also choose the quite exclusive option of one of two suites positioned among the elegant gardens.
  4. DAY04

    Today, we’ll be completing the tour of Nara’s “Three Great Gardens.” One of which, we’ll stop by in the morning called, Taimadera Temple. This famous temple was renovated by Sekishu, one of the great distinguished masters of tea ceremony. Although the garden is relatively small, his well thought out design creates a surprisingly spacious atmosphere. You can also see the temple’s three-story pagoda from the garden!
    Don’t forget to have a look at Sekishu’s tearoom, which is also definitely worth a visit. Take a seat and enjoy some genuine green tea in a room that’s been designated as an important National Cultural Property of Japan!

    Next, we’ll make our way to the Asuka region, which was once the home of Japan’s first emperors and the origin of Buddhism. Nowadays, the terraced rice paddies, lush green fields and relaxed atmosphere are what attract visitors in search of peace and rural beauty.
    After driving around Asuka’s breathtaking pastoral landscapes, we’ll make our way to Yoshino, where you’ll get to see the third and final one of Nara’s “Three Great Gardens!” It peacefully exists in a traditional style ryokan called, Chikurin-in Gumpoen. You’ll have plenty of time to explore and absorb the peaceful atmosphere of the garden as you’ll be staying the night in this very special ryokan! The circuit style garden was designed by Senno Rikyu, another amazing master of tea ceremony. Yoshino is also known as one of the most famous cherry blossom spots in Japan.

    *Please understand that there is a possibility this ryokan may be fully booked, especially, during cherry blossom season. In that case, we’ll visit the garden and stay in another accommodation conveniently located nearby.
  5. DAY05

    Check out of your accommodation and head out towards your next destination at your leisure.
    We hope you had an amazing time traveling with us and look forward to seeing you again!

PRICE DETAILS

    PRICE

    189,000 JPY per person (for a group of 6 people)

    PRICE INCLUDES

    4 Nights’ Accommodation 
    4 Breakfasts / 3 Lunches / 4 Dinners
    5 days chartered car with Driver
    Admission fees
    Activity fees
    English-speaking guide
    Full support from your Travel
    Concierge before, during and after your trip

    CAR

    1-2 travelers: Sedan
    3-6 travelers: Jumbo taxi
    Driver+English-Speaking Tour
    Guide

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