Off-the-Eaten Food Experience in Japan. "Meet the People and Places behind your Plates! "

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

[1 Day Nara] Traditional knowledge of plant medicine and fermented foods in Nara


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. 

This is completely off-the-beaten travel from Kyoto or Nara, which takes you to another part of modern Japan. In rural area, wisdom to live with nature is still well 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.

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.


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

 Guiding at Harbal Museum Garden

Yakuso, medicinal plant lunch at a local temple


half day tour

1-5 persons 15000JPY
6 persons 18000JPY
7 persons 20000JPY
8 persons 22000JPY

1 day tour 

1-5 persons 25000JPY
6 persons  30000JPY
7 persons 33000JPY
8 persons 36000JPY

included: Guide fee, hotel pick-up
not included: Lunch (you and guide), transportation fee, entrance fee

Check availability and make a reservation from here