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Nara, another Old Capital where Japan's heart is still alive
Nara Visitor Center & Inn Grand Opening!
A brand-new accommodation welcoming overseas tourists to Nara Long before Kyoto started to flourish as Japan's national capital of Heian-kyo in 794, there was another place where, in fact, the foundation of Japan had already been established. That place is Nara, another ancient capital -but don't take it as just a small ''Kyoto'' as Nara has so much to offer with numerous excellent cultural and natural heritage sites, which have remained unchanged for over 1,300 years that will impress every visitor.
In July 2015, a new tourist information center to support overseas tourists from around the world was opened in the midst of the serene town of central Nara. Since then, the Nara Visitor Center & Inn welcomes tourists as an information center where friendly staff will provide all necessary information covering Nara Prefecture (English/Chinese spoken). The center also offers an array of interesting and fun daily events.
Finally, November 27th, 2016 marked the grand opening of a brand-new inn whose main target is overseas guests! Located just next to the legendary Sarusawa Pond and with a majestic view of the Five-story Pagoda of Kohfuku-ji Temple, this attractive inn accommodates 24 rooms including Western style twin rooms and Japanese-style rooms (in sizes of 10, 13 or 16.5 square meters). Guests can enjoy comfortable rooms at reasonable prices: Western style rooms are from 5,200 yen, Japanese style are from 4,200 yen (rates vary depending on the season and room size).
Staff members fluent in foreign languages, mainly English, are regularly on duty for the guests' convenience. There is a tourist information center which is ready to provide all kinds of information covering Nara Prefecture and useful services. All rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi. What is more, many other convenient and useful facilities such as a large shared bath (a must-try Japanese cultural experince!), laundry, a meeting room with drink vending machines, and more.
If you are not satisfied with simply visiting sightseeing spots, Nara Visitors Center & Inn can surely offer alternatives according your interests. From December, a variety of fun cultural experience programs for overseas visitors (fee-based) offered in the experience rooms on the 1st and 2nd floors will be organized: A Tea ceremony for feeling the Japanese spirit of hospitality, calligraphy which expresses Japanese characters artistically, and origami folding paper which evolved from a simple child play to an exquisite art form and more. Utensils and sweets provided in the programs are also full of Nara's style and taste, such as chasen (matcha tea whisk) from Takayama Chasen and sweets served in the tea ceremony represent famous motifs of Nara like deer and the Great Buddha.
The Nara Visitor Center & Inn is just within walking distance from both JR and Kintetsu Nara Stations, the main bases of public transportation in the area. Nara Park with its lovely roaming deer, Todai-ji Temple with its magnificent Great Buddha, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Kohfuku-ji Temple and many other World Heritage class sites await you. Come to Nara Visitors Center & Inn -cultural experiences for the day and tranquil and serene nights- and you will experience the true heart of Japan.
For booking and other information, contact the Nara Visitors Center & Inn: Tel: 0742-81-8585 http://www.nara-inn.com/room.html
Join GREAT BUS TOURS and go & learn deeper into the heart of Japanese culture
Very attractive new bus tour programs for overseas visitors in Nara! The bus tour will bring overseas visitors to lesser-known, yet very interesting and fun destinations! This is the perfect opportunity for those who want to not only see but also enjoy a variety of special experiences that Nara can offer with a professional guide!
Tuesday: Course A
''Garden of excellence at Jiko-in Temple & Season's best of Nara'' (no tour on Dec. 27 & Jan. 3)
Try making a bowl of matcha green tea by yourself; relax and enjoy the taste viewing a superb Japanese garden.
Schedule: Depart at 13:00 -> 13:40 Jiko-in Temple (beautiful garden & matcha green tea) -> 15:00 Enjoy season's best of Nara (autumn foliage at Chogosonshi-ji or Shoryaku-ji Temple; or Toshodai-ji Temple after Dec. 20) -> 17:30 Back to the center.
Price: 6,500 yen/person
Thursday: Course B
''Taima Temple & Experience the World of Sumo Wrestling''
(no tour on Dec. 29 & Jan. 5)
Shabutsu Buddhist image copying & try dressing like a real Sumo wrestler and stand on a real Sumo ring.
Schedule: Depart at 13:00 -> 13:45 Taima Temple (temple treasures and Buddhist sutra copying experience) -> 15:30 Sumo Museum -> 17:30 Back to the center.
Price: 6,900 yen/person
Friday: Course C
''Meet the Spiritual Miwa and Asuka'' (no tour from Dec. 1 to Jan. 13)
Taste the seasonal fruits of the village and five kinds of Japanese sake at an established brewery.
Schedule: Depart at 9:15 -> 10:15 Asuka Village (strawberry picking & walk tour) -> 13:10 Omiwa Shrine -> (10 min. walk) 14:10 Imanishi Sake Brewery (brewery visit & sake tasting) -> 16:00 Back to the center.
Price: 8,800 yen/person
*Seat reservations can be made at the Nara Visitor Center & Inn (Email: sarusawainn@quartz. ocn.ne.jp / Tel: 0742-81-7461) or through the JAPANICAN website: www.japanican.com/ en/special/info/nara/index.html
* All tours below depart from the Nara Visitor Center & Inn.
* Transportation, admission & experience fees, meals (Course C) are included.
* An English speaking, full-time tour conductor will join the tour.
* Tours will be cancelled if there are no reservations by noon on the day before the tour. Joining-on-the-day is accepted by noon on the day (by 17:00 on the previous day for Course C) if a tour is on and seats are available.
For more information, contact/visit the Nara Visitor Center & Inn: www.sarusawa.nara.jp
Your journey in Nara starts here
Nara Visitor Center & Inn
A wide range of convenient services and events for foreign visitors. A place to relax and meet other travelers from around the world!
The center provides not only tourist information, but also hosts educational and fun events: Hands-on experiences of calligraphy, tea ceremony, Japanese culinary culture, origami paper folding lesson and easy kimono experience. Join our events, enjoy your time in Nara, and have more fun!
Traveler's Lounge (rest space, free Wi-Fi, cultural events, etc.)
Bicycle rental service
Tourist information (Nara & Japan), currency exchange, temporary luggage storage
Tour & Event Information
Computers with Internet access
Access to Nara from Kyoto
By JR train, take the Miyakoji Kaisoku (approx. 45 min.)
The inn has just opened in November 2016!
Check out the latest information on our facebook Page!