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Traditional knowledge of plant medicine and fermented foods in Nara

by Chisato
(6) Reviews
8h $ 233 Price up to 6 people

Highlights

  • medicinal plant garden in Uda City
  • visit local sake and shoyu brewery, kudzu shop (arrow-root starch)
  • ashiyu (foot bath) after walking historical castle town

Select Date and Travelers

When?
People
232.50 USD

Price up to 6 people
FREE cancellation 14 days prior

Extras (optional)

Hotel pick-up from Kyoto city.
$ 9.30
Special yakuso ryori (herbal medicine) lunch (April to October, except....
$ 37.20
Communicate with local plant hunter.
$ 11.16

Overview

This trip is completely off-the-beaten path from Kyoto or Nara, which takes you to another part of Japan. In rural area, wisdom to live with nature is still preserved, and this trip is to discover Japanese traditional knowledge of plant medicine and fermentation. Uda city, known as a historical herbal village is
located in approximately 1.5 hours from Nara city, 2 hours from Kyoto station.

What to Expect

In the historical record, Akino, today’s Uda city in Nara, was the renowned village to harvest medicinal herbs. It is reported that Empress Suiko visited to hunt herbs (AD611). Akino is also a place to produce mercury, and people believe the power of medicinal plants is more strong around the location of mercury.

Developed as a castle town, Uda has many historic buildings that remain unchanged since the Edo Period (16th - 18th century). This retro landscape has been designated to be one of the Important Preservation Districts. The streets have some facilities associated with medicine and herbs, including Morino Kyuyakuen (medicinal herb garden) and Kusuri-no-Yakata (the museum of medicine). You can learn traditional knowledge of wild herbs, and taste different types of Japanese herbal tea at the herbal garden.

Also, you can visit several breweries, such as shoyu (soy source) and sake to learn the process of fermentation, which is the key ingredients of washoku - Japanese foods.

It is possible to visit Uda as a day trip from Nara, but If you have one more day time, I would recommend staying one more night in Uda, and further explore the chance to learn tofu or kudzukiri (dessert made of starch of tuber crop called kudzu) in Yoshino on the following day. Yoshino is also famous for its cherry blossoms and spiritual training temples of yamabushi. Please let me know should you have more interested in multi-dates customized tours.

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Organized by Chisato

Licensed Guide
(6) Reviews

Highlights

  • medicinal plant garden in Uda City
  • visit local sake and shoyu brewery, kudzu shop (arrow-root starch)
  • ashiyu (foot bath) after walking historical castle town

Important

Please note that availability of lunch at Daiganji temple depends on the schedule of the monk. Please ask the availability before booking.

City Nara

Meeting Point At your hotel in Kyoto city or Nara city

Ending Point At your hotel in Kyoto city or Nara city

Duration 8 hours

Starting time 09:00 AM ( recommended )   Flexible

Number of people up to 6 people   Flexible

What‘s included
  • guide fee
  • hotel pick-up in Nara city


What‘s not included
  • transportation fee (you and guide) : approximately 1000 JPY from Kyoto
  • 600 JPY from Nara (one way per person)
  • lunch at a temple or at a ryokan: medicinal herb lunch 3800 JPY
  • entrance fee : herbal garden 300 JPY
  • traditional medicine museum 300 JPY

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make changes after I book?

Yes! If you need to make changes such as removing or adding someone to your booking or changing the date or time of your tour, contact us by phone or email

Starting and ending points of the tour.

After you secure your booking, the starting and ending points of your tour can be customized to your convenience (ex.: your hotel, nearby stations, etc.). Don't worry, we will take care of you! Some tours may have an extra fee for this service, make sure to check the tour page.

What happens after I book a tour?

After booking a tour, the guide will accept (or decline) your booking within 24 hours. Then you will be noticed by email from Triplelights.

Is the price per person or per group?

The price is charged per group. Which means that you make a one-time payment for your entire group and the price will not change if it is less or more people.

Can I add more people to my booking?

Some guides accept extra people (more than the specified number) for an extra charge. Please check for the extras on the tour or booking page, or contact your guide directly to clarify.

Will there be other tourists in my tour?

No. Your tour is private, only for you and your family or friends, there will be no other group of tourists together in your tour.

Can the guide pickup me at the airport?

Yes, but there will be additional charge for that and it is not by car. The guide will go pick you up using public transportations. For further details, please contact your guide directly.

I'm travelling alone. Can I book this tour?

Yes, you can and you may be able to get a discount if you are traveling alone. Price depends on which guide you choose.

View More Frequently Asked Questions read more

Cancellation Policy

  • If you cancel at least 14 day(s) in advance of the meeting date, there is a 100% refund.
  • If you cancel between 2 and 13 day(s) in advance of the meeting date, there is a 20% charge.
  • If you cancel within 1 day prior to the meeting date, there is a 40% charge.
  • If you cancel on the meeting date, there is no refund.

About Chisato


Licensed Guide

(6) Reviews

Contact Chisato
Response Time 19 hs

Languages spoken
  • English ( License )
  • 繁體中文 ( Intermediate )

Hello. I am Chisato living in Uda city, south part of Nara.

I completed master degree of organic agriculture in the Netherlands in 2011.
Especially, my specialization is agriculture, anthropology and food culture.
I often travel around rural villages in japan for my research on traditional knowledge, ethnobotany and local cuisine, "kyodo ryori".

My style of guiding is "experience the local communities"; visiting the ingredients where it grows, listening to the stories of local life, where generations have lived.

My town Uda city is famous as a medicinal plant town. In the historical record, it is reported that Empress Suiko visited Uda to hunt medicinal herbs (AD611). Developed as a castle town, the city is designated as one of the Important Preservation Districts. The streets have some facilities associated with medicine and herbs, including Morino Kyuyakuen (medicinal herb garden) and Kusuri-no-Yakata (the museum of medicine). I am learning traditional knowledge of wild herbs from local villagers.

I try my best to organize a trip with unique experience for you in the off-the-beaten rural villages, especially in Kyoto and Nara. Please let me know your special interests, and I will suggest your trip schedule, such as cooking with locals, visit farmers, or stay at a farmhouse.


Example Theme:
- tea tour (harvesting and processing tea, tea house, matcha poder making, tea museum in Kyoto)
- traditional handicrafts (visit workshops, pottery making experience, kiln in hidden valley)
- culinary experience (food processing workshop such as tofu, soba, yuba, somen noodle, traditional knowledge of food preservation)
- fermented food products (learning how to make sake, shoyu, miso, amazake, pickle, nattou, umeboshi by yourself)
- plant and ethno-ecology (sansai wild plant harvesting and cooking)
- learning rural livelihood (charcoal making, weaving trees, paper making from mulberry plant, silk worm, visit to temple of plant medicine)
- temple stay (meditation, shojin ryori at mount koya)


IMPORTANT:
Please inquire at least 1 month before the tour departure date, when it is totally customized tour.
Please note that spring (March-April) and autumn (Septenmer-October) are peak travelling season in Japan, and it may not possible to offer special interest tours.
I recommend to reserve accommodations at least 2 months before your travel (half year before during peak travelling season).

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Reviews ( 6 )

Excellent
2 weeks ago |   by Quentin

“ Nara soy sauce expedition ”

I had a really great day being driven around the Nara prefecture by Chisato. She has a passion for traditional Japanese food production, and was the perfect guide with whom to visit four traditional soy sauce manufacturers and a miso maker, all on one snow-filled day. We started early and finished late, and Chisato's enthusiasm and professionalism never wavered even when we realised the rental car did not have snow tires. A highlight was finding a cafe for lunch that offered a set menu that used some of the soy sauces we'd tasted only a few minutes earlier at the factory. Chisato also followed up the next day with contact details for people who might be able to help me pursue my interest further. It was great fun, and I highly recommend Chisato as guide, especially to those with an interest in traditional Japanese food production.

Excellent
2 months ago |   by Dev

“ Uji / Wazuka tea farm tour ”

Chisato took me on a day trip from Kyoto to visit a great new tea company & farm in Uji. I have long been an avid tea drinker, but I did not know the history and farming process for Green Tea. Chisato provided great reading material on the way to the Farm, which helped me familiarize myself with the tea plant and process to grow and harvest tea. When we arrived, we were taken on a nice tour of the tea plantation with the owner, where I asked many questions. He was a great host. The scenery was amazing and I took a ton of great photos. The tour ended with us hand picking tea leaves. When we returned to the cafe at the base of the farm, we sampled a lot of tea and ate a meal that incorporated matcha in many ingredients. It was a fun experience. After the tour, Chisato took me around the rest of the area for hiking and a visit to the local tea market. I would recommend this tour for anyone with an interest in tea and a desire to get outside of Kyoto for a day!

Excellent
3 months ago |   by Kirsten

“ outstanding tea-experience ”

chisato organised an excellent tea experience for us. She has customised the tour precisely to our wishes. We visited a tea farmer family. We got the opportunity to pick tea flowers on their farm. Afterwards the tea farmer served various dishes containing tea leaves. We did taste different kinds of tea. At last we visited local tea traders. We owe her an unforgettable day and this unique tea experience in Wazuka.

Excellent
3 months ago |   by Andrew

“ An exceptional tour guide ”

We asked Chisato to help us with two unique and custom agricultural and craft tours, and not only did she research and organize what we were looking for but she did considerable additional work on her own time to make sure everything went smoothly. We would highly recommend Chisato for any tour.

Excellent
4 months ago |   by Sandra

“ Fantastic 5 days! ”

I spent 5 days with Chisato; 2 of which were spent exploring medicinal herbs and farming outside of Kyoto. Chisato is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgable about agriculture. She is always eager to share her experiences which makes the trips so much more than your usual run-of-the-mills tours. Chisato is a wonderful, detail-oriented guide that I would not hesitate to recommend to others!

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