Nara is an ancient city with one of Japan’s world heritages. Many sightseeing spots still appear as the outer city of Heijokyo, the former capital city. Heijokyo remains are now being developed as a huge park with excavation and Nandaimon Gate being restored.
On the other hand, “Gekyo” (the part that protrudes outside Heijokyo) is visited by many people as the largest tourist spot in Nara, where many traditional temples such as Todaiji Temple, Kofukuji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine remain.
Naramachi is a corner of Gekyo. By the way, “Naramachi” is an area that points to a corner of Nara Town, where the precincts of Gangoji Temple existed. This “Naramachi” is a historical area where many townscapes from the Edo period remain, and is known as a major tourist spot in Nara.
Traveling with Nara parks such as Kofukuji, Todaiji, and Kasuga Taisha, which were also Gekyo, will make your trip more fulfilling.
Gangoji Temple is a historical temple that is also recognized as a World Heritage Site, and its former precinct has become “Naramachi”. In other words, it is a symbolic existence at the center of Naramachi, and it is a major tourist spot visited by many people.
In Naramachi, “Nigiwai no Ie of Naramachi” has a history of over 100 years. This is also known as a typical townhouse that remains in “Naramachi”, a building with a narrow frontage and a long, narrow interior. You can enjoy a Japanese house full of emotion from the Edo period and the Meiji period, which are 100 years old.
“Naramachi” has many highlights as the streets of Edo that remain in the ancient city of Nara. You can enjoy the remnants of the town, which was once located in the precincts of the world heritage Gangoji Temple, that developed as a center of commerce and industry in the Edo period.
You can also visit one of Japan’s most famous world heritage sites in the nearby Nara Park along with Todaiji Temple, Kofukuji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Why don’t you visit Naramachi as one of Nara tourism?
Naramachi originally developed as an extension of Nara Capital Heijo-kyo where numerous temples and shrines were located. However, since it is commonly called “Naramachi”, it is a name not mentioned on the map.
In this area, there are town houses and well-established stores from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji era as well as temples, and in recent years there are topics such as cafes and sweets. This is a town mixed with charm of each era. In this town with many narrow alleyways, you will be able to see a peaceful and warm life of the people living in this area.
“Naramachi” is very close to the world heritage “Kofukuji Temple”. It spreads south from the banks of Sarusawa-ike Pond. Machiya (a type of residence or store in the central part of a city) leaving the atmosphere of the Edo period and the Meiji period is lined up on both sides of the street with atmosphere, and it makes the walking feeling exciting. There is also a taste in the alley where many branches from the main street. There, you may be able to meet your favorite grocery store and tavern.
The “House of Naramachi Koshi” (Lattice Windows) is a facility that faithfully reproduced the townhouse in Nara town in the late Edo period. In that time, it was said that the building was constructed with a narrow frontage and a deep structure because tax was decided by the width of the site of the house. There, ingenuity of lighting that “outside can be seen from the inside of the lattice, but inside is hard to see from the outside” has been done. In addition, you can know a lot of life and wisdom at the time such as “Hako-kaidan” (box-using stairs) which has the functions of staircase and storage space, doma (furnace) with furnace. “House of Naramachi Koshi” is a free spot for admission, so it is a perfect spot to visit the inside and a break during walks.
When visiting “Naramachi”, it is recommended to visit stores such as grocery stores and restaurants. Old shops are also tasteful, but the number of shops that reconstruct old-fashioned town houses and arrange interiors only in contemporary style has been increasing, and it is getting popular.
The number of tourists of Nara prefecture is less than Osaka and Kyoto. However, “Naramachi” which is a little away from the main spot such as Todaiji etc. line with old town houses, there are many fashionable shops, taverns where many female customers come and churches like temples. Recently, it is also popular area for foreign tourists.
|Name:||Naramachi (Historical old town)|
|Address:||Nakanoshinyacho Nara, Nara 630-8333 Japan|
|Access:||JR Kansai-honsen Line “Nara-eki Station” (17 minutes walk)|
|Tel:||(+81) 742-22-3900(Nara City Information Center)|
|Official site:||Nara travellers guide