Take in The Sights and Sounds of The Historical City! 5 Luxury Ryokans in Nara
In order to navigate through Nara's national treasure-class architecture and treasure trove of World Heritages, you might want to be a little more picky about where you're going to stay. Here are 5 ryokans where you can enjoy spending some nice and luxurious time after a long day of exploring.
1. Nara Hotel
Nara Hotel is located among the hills of Nara Park, and boasts over 100 years of history and tradition. Founded in 1909, its main building was designed by Kingo Tatsuno, who is most well-known for designing the terminal building on the Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station. Tatsuno took careful consideration of the beautiful view of Nara and its many shrines and temples in the design of this 2-storied, tile-roofed wooden structure. Widely reputed as the "Western Guesthouse," its furniture and interior design are simply breathtaking! Guests can also enjoy authentic French cuisine at the main dining room Mikasa in an impressive setting surrounded by masterpieces of art and furnishings. Nara Hotel is definitely the place you should go to in order to make your stay in Nara one worth remembering.
Main Dining Room "Mikasa"
2. Noborioji Hotel
Noborioji Hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of the main tourist attractions in Nara, such as Kofukuji Temple, Todai-ji, and Kasugataisha Shrine. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to stay, and with only 12 rooms available, Noborioji Hotel is committed to making its guests enjoy some relaxing quality time. All 12 rooms are coordinated in classic taste, and have large windows and a sofa, allowing guests to take in the view of the greenery that surrounds this property. Aside from that, all rooms are equipped with bath robes, branded amenities, and Simmons beds, ensuring that guests have a luxurious stay.
3. Kasuga Hotel
A mere 2 minutes' walk from Kintetsu Nara Station and right at the doorstep of the main entrance of Nara Park, this long-established hotel exudes an air of nostalgia with its architectural style called Azekura-zukuri, in which logs are placed across each other to form the sides. Conveniently located within walking distance from the main tourist attractions in Nara such as Kofukuji Temple and Todai-ji, Kasuga Hotel has a wide variety of room types, some of then even equipped with open-air bath tubs! There is also a large indoor public bath and 2 open-air baths overlooking a landscaped garden, perfect for relaxing your tired legs after a long day of walking around Nara. Guests can also have a taste of local kaiseki course cuisine at the Japanese restaurant Kasuga, also located within the facility. This hotel is recommended for travelers who not only want to enjoy the sights and sounds, but also the tastes of Nara.
4. Nara Tsukihi-Tei Ryokan
Founded in 1903 as a guesthouse of the Governor of Nara Prefecture, this property is cozily nestled within Kasugayama Primeval Forest, an area that is not only included in the World Heritage List, but is also believed to be protected by deities as part of Kasugataisha Shrine. As Tsukihi-Tei only accepts 3 groups of guests at any day, one can expect to spend a quiet and relaxing time during their stay here. Walking along the red carpets on the connecting passageways and into the guest room, one might get a sense that they have just stepped into another dimension. Surrounded by primeval forests, with the chirping of the birds and the gushing of the river as background music, the tranquility one can experience here is a luxury in itself. Spend some time here, away from the hustles and bustles daily life, to refresh both your mind and body.
Deer sometimes even greet you from the main entrance of this hotel!
Located next to the Ichi-no-Torii gate of Kasuga Grand Shrine, SHIKITEI is another ryokan with an established history of over 100 years. A characteristic of SHIKITEI is that it perfectly melds into the surrounding scenery, and one might even think that this ryokan is actually a shrine! This cozy ryokan has only 10 rooms, but each room is spacious and designed for guests to have a relaxing stay. It is also a famous restaurant, and guests can enjoy the taste of the local seasonal ingredients that are used in the cha-kaiseki cuisine. The cuisine that is so delicately prepared is so beautiful, it is almost too much of a waste to eat. Two thumbs up for both quality and quantity of the cuisine here! SHIKITEI is an absolute must-go for tourists who want to spend some luxurious self-indulging time in Nara.
The historic city of Nara has many hotels and ryokan that are befitting of the setting. You should also try to find your favorite lodging here.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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