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Traditional knowledge of plant medicine and fermented foods in Nara

by Chisato
(10) Reviews
8h $ 267 Price up to 10 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
267.00 USD

Price up to 10 people
FREE cancellation 14 days prior

Extras (optional)

Special yakuso ryori (herbal medicine) lunch (April to October, except....
$ 40.58
Exploring wild herbs with a local plant hunter(pls check availability ....
$ 31.15
Optional tour to visit indigo atelier (pls check availability first).
$ 178.00
Hotel pick up from Kyoto.
$ 17.80

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, 2.5 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.

Please also see my blog for further information:
https://triplelights.com/blog/visit-producersuda-indigo-2881

[Example Itinerary]

9:40 departing from JR Nara station (9:00 from Kyoto station)
11:30 arriving in Uda city
12:00-13:30 herbal yakuso lunch at Daiganji temple / at a local restaurant
14:00-15:00 waking around Morino medicinal herb garden
15:00-16:00 visiting the important preservation district of historic buildings and some food makers
16:00-17:30 travelling from Uda to Nara (15:50 Kyoto station)


* If you will have time to stay in Uda, I would recommend visiting an indigo dyeing house, or experiencing foraging in the following day.

read more

Organized by

Chisato Licensed Guide
(10) 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

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).

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

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
Meeting Point
At your hotel in Nara city
Ending Point
At your hotel in Nara city
Duration
8 hours
Starting time
09:00 AM ( recommended )   Flexible
Number of people
up to 10 people   Flexible

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.
Reviews ( 10 )
Excellent
1 month ago |   by Luis

“ Great tour in Nara ”

I had a wonderful time in Nara with Chisato as my guide. Chisato helped me schedule a one day tour of Nara with all of the sites that I wanted to see including a tea ceremony experience. She was very attentive as she guided me through Nara and explained the history and details of each site. Chisato communicates very well in English and she is very intelligent. She was flexible during the tour as she allowed me to shop for souvenirs and also took me to tea shops and sake stores that she thought I would find interesting. The Nara deer were fun to feed and Chisato even took pictures of me as I fed them. As I told Chisato that my next stop was Tokyo, she recommended me several tea shops in Tokyo and emailed me a list. I went to one of those tea shops in Tokyo and had a great experience drinking tea and learning about the different kinds of tea. In summary, Chisato gave me an excellent tour of Nara and was very helpful to my learning about tea. I highly recommend her as a tour guide in Nara and I hope to return to Nara in the future. Arigato godzaimasu Chisato!

Very Good
3 months ago |   by Amy

“ Tea Farm Guide ”

I had a great time with Chisato. She met us at the station, showed us around Uji, and took us all the way to the tea farm. She was a nice guide and we had a great time.

Excellent
3 months ago |   by Geoff

“ Wonderful day in Nara and hiking the Yamanobe no Michi "Ancient Trail" ”

During my day with Chisato we spent the morning visiting the Todaji-ji Shrine, Nara Park and other key sites. From there we boarded the JR train and headed to the trailhead of the Yamanobe no Michi ancient trail. We sauntered along the trail visiting the Mika Shrine, the Hirara Shrine, Genpien Temple, Stone Pagoda and garden, a waterfall, fruit farms, a medicinal plant garden, and stopping to chat with local gardeners and other denizens along the way. It was a fabulous day accented by beautiful cherry blossoms all along the way. The hike is a unique way to visit another slice of Japanese daily life away from what one gardener described " the noise of Kyoto." Chisato planned a great day for me and made sure all my needs were cared for. We sauntered/hiked along for close to 8 miles. I was most impressed with her knowledge of topics ranging from native and edible plants to the cultural and historical significance of the sites we visited. My day with Chisato was one of the best days of my recent three weeks in Japan

Excellent
3 months ago |   by Eric

“ Unique and educational tour away from the crowds. ”

It was so nice to get away from the crowded sites in Kyoto and Nara and out into the country and see things that few tourist get to see. Wild plant foraging, kudzu starch, and koji fungus production were real highlights of our trip. If you have a specific interest in wild plants or herbal medicine you'll get a lot out of this tour. Chisato picked us up right in our hotel lobby, and was very accommodating for the tour; letting us set our own pace. We didn't get to do everything she had planned, but I was happy to slow down and have a more relaxing tour. Her English was excellent, and she was well prepared. If you're an adventurous eater, and want to try something truly unique, you absolutely must do the lunch at Daigan-ji temple. It's an experience you'll never forget.

Excellent
5 months 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.

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