Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Get Coupons at Visit Japan 2011

Visit Japan 2011 is a web site run by JAPAN Tourism Agency. Including NARA WALK, over 4000 shops and companies have listed their shop/company information in Visit Japan web site. All shops and companies listed in Visit Japan web site offer deals (ex. discount offers, a small gift, etc) to those who have Visit Japan Coupons.

NARA WALK offers a discount on our two daily tours, Daily Nara Park Classic Tour and Daily Great Buddha Tour. To get discounts, present a Visit Japan Coupon to our guide when you join our daily tours. Coupons are accepted from September 1 - November 30, 2011.

Visit Japan 2011: Daily Nara Park Classic Tour page
Visit Japan 2011: Daily Great Buddha Tour page
Visit Japan 2011: Coupon Download page

-NARAWALK guide 

Monday, August 8, 2011

NARA TO-KAE, Ten Nights Of Lantern Illumination (pictures)

At Sarusawa Pond

Approach to Great Buddha Hall

Near Todaiji Temple

As for the schedule, please refer to

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Events around Nara Park (August 2011)

Around Nara Park:
Aug. 5(fri) - 14(sun) Ten Nights Of Lantern Illumination (NARA TO-KAE)
See a related journal entry for details: click here.

Aug. 7(sun) Cleaning of Great Buddha (Ominugui)
7:00 ~ 9:30 @Great Buddha Hall in Todaiji Temple
This is once a year cleaning day for Great Buddha. About 120 Buddhist monks and laypeople clean Great Buddha form head to toe. Although the cleaning starts from 7:00am, Great Buddha Hall is opened to the public from 7:30am.

Aug. 14(sun) & 15(mon) All 3000 Lanterns Light Up Day (Chugen Mantoro)
@Kasuga Grand Shrine
Lanterns of Kasuga Grand Shrine used to be lit up every night, but today they are lit up only on certain days.

18:30~ (Aug. 14) Offertory of Bugaku, traditional Japanese court music and dances / (Aug. 15) Offertory of Kagura, Shinto’s offertory music and dances
19:00~ All 3000 lanterns are lit.
 *With donation of 3000yen or more, you can light up a lantern by yourself.
20:30 Gates closed.

Aug. 15(mon) Thousands Of Lantern Lights Offered To Great Buddha (Manto Kuyo-e)
19:00 ~ 22:00 @ Great Buddha Hall in Todaiji Temple
About 2500 lanterns are lit in front of Great Buddha Hall. Each lantern is offered to Great Buddha with a prayer, varying from a health to world peace. This lantern offering started as a way to console the souls of the dead who are believed to be making their summer visit to this world form the other world during this time of a year. Inside the hall, Buddhist monks hold a religious ceremony to pray for the dead and to send the prayers on lanterns to Great Buddha.

Aug. 15(mon) Nara “大”-shaped Bonfire (Nara Dai-monji Okuribi)
“大”, pronounced ‘dai’, symbolizes cosmos. 108 small bonfires are lined to form “大” shape. This bonfire is a popular summer event, and you can watch the fire from mostly anywhere in Nara. Tobihino Field and Sarusawa Pond are very popular viewing places. The fire only lasts about 10 min.

Light up: 20:00~

Around Kintetsu Yamato Saidaiji Station:
Aug. 19(fri) – 21(sun) Heijo Palace Site Summer Night Festival (Heijo-kyo Tenpyo-sai Natsu)
@ Heijo Palace Site
See a related journal entry for details: click here.

Around Horyuji Temple and Nishino-kyo:
Aug. 23(tue) & 24(wed) Special Viewing of Hidden Statue
@ Jizo-do Hall in Toshodaiji Temple
A statue of Jizo, a Buddhist saint for children, is open to the public. This opening is a part of Jizo Bon Ceremony, a Buddhist ceremony to pray for children’s healthy growth to Jizo. The statue is an important cultural property.

-NARAWALK guide 

Heijo Palace Site Summer Night Festival (Heijo-kyo Tenpyo-sai Natsu)

Enjoy your summer nights at Heijo Palace Site. From Aug. 19(fri) to 21(sun), a summer festival is held at Heijo Palace Site. There will be light installations, parades of people wearing a traditional costume with electric light decorations, food stands, music stages and more.

All Three Days:
16:00 – 21:00 Food and Goods Stands
18:30 – 20:45 Music and Performance Stage
-On Aug. 19, the stage ends at 20:00.
-On Aug. 19, there will be a stage by NMB48 starting from 19:15. (NMB48 is a Japanese pop girl group based in Namba, Osaka. They are one of sister groups of AKB48.)
18:30 – 21:00 Light Installations
-More than 10 light installations illuminate the palace site.
19:00 – 20:00 Parade of Light
- People wearing costumes of 1300 years ago (with electric light decorations!) walk in procession.
- You can try a similar costume that people are wearing in the parade for 500yen (17:00 – 21:00)

Only on Aug. 19:
20:00 – 20:15 Fireworks
-If it rains, fireworks will be postponed to Aug. 20.

-15 min. walk from Kintetsu Yamato Saidaiji Station
-20 min. by bus from JR/Kintetsu Nara Station to Sakicho bus stop. 1 min. walk from there.
(Take a bus No. 12 or 14 from a bus stop No. 7 at JR Nara Station/ a bus stop No. 13 at Kintetsu Nara Station. 270yen. Only 1 or 2 bus is scheduled per hour.)
-Shuttle buses are planned to run from Kintetsu Yamato Saidaiji Station (South Exit)/JR Nara Station (West Exit) to Heijo Palace Site.


Friday, August 5, 2011

NARA TO-KAE, Ten Nights Of Lantern Illumination

Enjoy a night time stroll around Nara Park with thousands of lanterns softly lighting your pathways. Todaiji Temple, Kofukuji Temple and other facilities have night time opening hours during this event.

Aug. 5(fri) - 14(sun)
=Lantern Light-ups=
19:00 ~ 21:45 @ around Nara Park

=Night Time Opening Hours=
Todaiji Temple: 19:00 ~ 21:00
-Great Buddha Hall is open. *Only on Aug. 13 & 14.
Kofukuji Temple: ~ 20:30 (enter before 20:15)
-National Treasure House and Eastern Golden Hall are open.
Mt. Wakakusa-yama: 9:00 ~ 21:00 (enter before 20:30)
-Enjoy a night view from the top of the city
Nara National Museum: 9:30 ~ 19:00 (enter before 18:30)
-Special Exhibition “On to India! Xuanzang’s 30,000-Kilometer Trek” is held.
-Aug. 8 is closed.

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