Optional excursion to Nara ($120 pre-booked)
Take a trip to Nara, one of Japan’s ancient capitals. Visit the Todaiji Temple and see the Daibutsu, the world’s largest bronze Buddha. Then walk through the wooded Nara Park, a.k.a. “Deer Park”, where you can mingle with the resident deer population. Just outside the park, you’ll visit Kasuga Shrine, one of the most famous Shinto shrines in the country. Twice a year, some 3,000 lanterns are lit simultaneously at the shrine in celebration of the Lantern Festival.