With lots of tour-like features and educational experiences, you’ll learn a lot and have fun, too!

You may already know that, in Japan, schools organize an annual “shugaku ryoko” for their students: a long-distance trip to historical places like Kyoto or Nara. In these school trips, classes as a whole travel together, stay in hotels, and tour local temples and monuments as a part of their school curriculum.

School trips are a great opportunity for students to bond and build great memories–but unfortunately, a lot of those memories don’t involve the actual tours they went on. That’s why we’re pretty excited that Nara inn Waqoo Horyuji is offering a new hotel plan called the “Adult School Trip Plan”, which includes not only a stay just outside Horyuji Temple, one of Nara’s most famous temples and a place everyone should visit once before they die, but a host of educational opportunities.

This plan is different from other tour packages in that it includes one of the inn’s famous storytellers who will guide you through Horyuji Temple, whose main hall is considered one of the oldest buildings in the world. Through stories like “The Battle of Wits between Buddha and Humans” and “The Suffering of the Asura Statue”, they can offer a whole new perspective on Nara and Buddhist history that you won’t find in a textbook or guidebook.

They can also point out spots on the grounds that you might ordinarily miss. With a wealth of knowledge of and stories about Buddha and Buddhist statues as well as the sites within the temple grounds, the storytellers will offer you a more interesting experience of Horyuji Temple that you might not be able to find on your own–or that you might be able to remember from your childhood.

Naturally, the plan also includes a stay in one of Waqoo Horyuji’s rooms, which are luxurious spaces steeped in Japanese culture. With a mixture of Japanese-style leisure and western-style comfort, these rooms offer a nice place to kick back, relax, and sleep away any exhaustion.

In the lobby, there’s also a neat gift shop to peruse that stocks and displays local souvenirs as well as Buddhist statues.

The inn itself also offers various activities. Included with your meals is a tasting of three kinds of local sake, which the chef carefully selects to match your meal.

Dinner is also composed of kaiseki ryori, a Japanese-style multi-course meal, which affords you plenty of time to savor the alcohol.

What’s more, every night “talk shows” are hosted in the inn’s Gallery Bar, where guests can learn about Nara’s history and culture as they enjoy sake or other drinks.

Plus, the inn’s prime location, just a 30-second walk from the gate to Horyuji Temple, means that you can go out to explore the temple any time you like. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll be able to catch an Instagram-worthy shot of the temple’s pagoda at sunset!

The Adult School Trip Plan is available now through July 15, and prices start at 25,200 yen (US$195) per person for a two-person room. Bookings can be made through Waqoo Horyuji’s official site. Even if you’ve been to Nara before or you remember all you saw when you went as a child, this trip offers a different perspective and new experiences, so why not book an adult school trip for yourself? Besides, you can never get enough of the polite deer that hang around the area!

Source, images: Newscast
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