The trip has completely changed my impression of Nara.

When thinking about Japan's "Nara", just about everyone thinks about the famous deer and the great Buddha. It's too bad, because most visitors come to Nara only occasionally. If you stay in Nara for 1 or 2 days, you are sure to find there are several beautiful locations that are worth sightseeing.

Today, we will showcase Ikaruga Town in Nara Prefecture, but you can also find the "Horyuji Temple", a World Heritage Site, also known as the oldest building in the world! There are many places around this temple where you can feel an ancient atmosphere. You can have more fun and interesting experiences, so come with me! Let's go!

Matcha (Green Tea) Experience
Wow! The sensei (tea master) makes such great tea, but I'm so clumsy - what should I do? Hahaha!
Not only did I need to know proper manners for setting the tea bowls, how fast to rotate the bowls, and the proper way to drink, I also need to know proper courtesy! For awhile, I felt from the bottom of my heart, the beauty of the tea ceremony, while watching all the movements. And I realized again why learning the tea ceremony enriches one's sensibilities.

When I drank and compared the tea made by myself and by my teacher, I realized they were not exactly the same! The small bubbles in the upper layer of the green tea are made by brushing the tea brush back and forth in the bowl. The matcha has a supple taste, and the bubbles on top are very fine - very far from the green tea sold outside the class.

The sweets introduced by the teacher are not the same as the one in Taiwan! In short, they are Japanese sweets, but the teacher says that they are prepared according to the season. This time, it was a "manju" (like a bun) with bean paste inside. It was a cute size, and the red bean was sweet and not greasy. The "manju" and other sweet biscuits tasted the best and were so amazing! When I ate Japanese confectionery with matcha for the first time, I felt that there was no dischord between them. The tea ceremony set that is used here is not sold in Japan! It is said that quality tea brushes are difficult to buy, but anyone interested can order one.

Basically, I'm doing the same thing as the teacher, but since I knew a bit about Japanese, I was able to do it without any problems. Still, it's best to make a reservation.

The teacher was hoping that the guests could enjoy fresh tea while drinking the freshly brewed tea.

On one hand, Chinese translators will provide on-site support so Guangzhou customers can learn more about tea ceremony culture, so if you make a reservation, you will have time to have an interpreter.

You can make reservations here for the experience of matcha in an authentic tea room.

Buggy experience
The highlight this time is this! Yes, there is no doubt! This is acute "little buggy" (Wow!!)
There is a lot of beautiful natural scenery on the outskirts of Horyu-ji, and many other temples worth visiting too.

So, in order to help tourists to enjoy the scenery, the local tourism industry prepared this special "buggy" for tourists to use! But before you drive, please take the following precautions:

1. You must have a driver's license. (Yes, just like when renting a car in Okinawa, don't forget to change to an international driver's license in advance.)
2. Only 1 person can ride. (Even though the seat appears to be a 2-seater, it is for 1 person. Because in Japan, everyone has to follow the rules, in consideration of safety and security.
3. Confirm your reservation. (I heard that there are not so many buggies available, so please be sure to make a reservation!)

Before driving, you will watch a video in Japanese and English, but as long as you understand the important points, there will basically be no problems with the actual driving. When driving, the guide will drive in front. You will be able to go forward without worrying about getting lost. When you drive a mini car on a country road around an ancient temple for the first time, you will enjoy a fresh and exciting mood! However, it's cold in January, so if you choose to ride in the winter, please be sure to dress warm! If you don't wear gloves like mine, your hands will be frozen! Aaaah! In the summer, please be sure to bring sunscreen. The UV radiation in Japan is very strong!

The route I was led on first started from the rental center, and then passed through the residential area of the local residents. It was a fresh and interesting feeling! Then we went around Horyuji, and then to other temples to pay tribute. I felt the simplicity and tranquility of this old temple from the bottom of my heart - especially when heading toward the Gora Temple, you will see a small mountain greeting you.
We headed to the Horinji Tower, which stood, showing a static beauty, and while watching this scenery, I parked the car in the charming atmosphere of the countryside. In the beauty of it all, I forgot the cold. (lol)

Of course, you can take a break, and you can ask the guid if you have any questions. On to the next trip!

This buggy experience can only be said to be a wonderful experience!

Wreath Making Experience
Through the guide, I learned that you can do a wreath making experience which is operated by locals. After riding the buggies, we decided to go try out the wreaths, and headed to a place not far from Horyuji Station. If you put a lot of materials on the table, it's hard to understand how to start, but actually, the people teaching you how to do it are very skilled, and they prepare several different styles according to the customers' taste. There are plenty of plants and flowers and other dried things on the table. And the fragrance is so relaxing!

We are told that we can make wreaths as we like, and according to our own feeling. There was not enough time on this occasion, but if we had more time, I'm sure I could make a better one!

After you finish, they will pack up your wreath for you. It looks just like a wreath you might buy in a department store! You can hang it in your closet or car, and it's even good for adding some kind of scent!

The trip to this town has completely changed my impression of Nara. From the station to the alleys between the temples, you can see scenes with the local people. Is this not what contemporary people are after - to leave the hustle and bustle of the city, and experience the culture of handmade goods, local cuisine and the tea ceremony?


DeepJapan Editor image

DeepJapan Editor


DeepJapan Editor's other advice

Go north! Nikko National Park Day 2 images

Go north! Nikko National Park Day 2

I woke up early to the sound of the rushing river below and the view of the snow covered mountain, had some Japanese tea while enjoying the scenery for awhile and then went down for breakfast. I arri…

Go north! Nikko National Park Day 1 images

Go north! Nikko National Park Day 1

One is to take the so called “Golden Route” south-west toward Hakone and Kyoto. But Japanese people often go north instead. Fit for couples, families and even a solitary getaway from the constant dro…

Senmo Trip "White Winter Fantasy" images

Senmo Trip "White Winter Fantasy"

“Winter is a season of recovery and rest,” wrote Paul Theroux, travel writer and novelist. But for Hokkaido, it is only just waking up. Once the snow has covered its vastness, the drift ice arrives, …

I don't want to leave this country of beautiful dreams! The place, Etchū-Yatsuo. images

I don't want to leave this country of beautiful dreams! The place, Etchū-Yatsuo.

Many people are familiar with Toyama City's "Etchū-Yatsuo" because of the festival called "Owarafunobon." Take one step inside, and it's like a dream - the atmosphere of the buildings and town have …

Asago Wellness and Fitness Tourism images

Asago Wellness and Fitness Tourism

Once upon a time, Asago was a feudal era battlefield. With Takeda Castle, seeming to float among the clouds, it is a very mysterious place. Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu all v…

Tours of Sake breweries in Ehime images

Tours of Sake breweries in Ehime

Sake is the essence of Japanese culture. Made from quality rice, which is the foundation of Japanese peoples diet, fresh water, cleaned by local soil, a koji mold and yest, each Sake has a unique tas…