Japanese Food Spots in Nara Area

  • Shizuka (Koen Branch)
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    4.0
    168 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Noboriojichou 59-11
    A kama-meshi (rice, meat and vegetable dish served in a small pot) specialty restaurant located near Nara Park and the Nara National Museum in Noborioji Town, Nara City, Nara Prefecture know for the constant line outside its door. Each serving of kama-meshi is cooked to order over an open fire. The harmony between the hearty portion of toppings, dashi-steeped rice, and toasty okoge is exquisite. The most popular item on the menu is the Nara seven variety kama-meshi, which has seven toppings, including shrimp, crab, and conger eel. The inside of the restaurant is quiet and spacious; come here to enjoy a meal in between sightseeing.

    After we visited Nara Deer Park and the surrounding temples, our legs were tired and stomach hungry. We stopped by at Shizuka for kamameshi. We were not surprised by the queue in front of the...

  • Hiraso
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    4.0
    100 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Imamikadochou 30-1
    A long-standing persimmon leaf sushi restaurant located a 10 minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station which was founded in 1861. Persimmon leaf sushi is fatty mackerel served on a bed of vinegared rice and wrapped in a persimmon leaf, which has an invigorating fragrance. In addition to persimmon leaf sushi, Hiraso also serves chagayu tea gruel, a traditional priest’s meal, as well as seasonal local cuisine made with an abundance of Nara ingredients. The nearby Sarusawa Pond, considered one of top eight sights of Nara, reflects the Kohfukuji Temple’s five-tier pagoda; this lovely scene attracts many tourists who also like to stop by Hiraso for lunch. Hiraso also offers classes on making persimmon leaf sushi.

    we did a lot of research and landed on this impeccable establishment for lunch for our day in Nara. Although the web and their posted hours has them as open they were inexplicably closed the day we...

  • Izasa Yumekaze Square Store
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    4.0
    76 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Kasuganochou 16
    This specialty Kakinoha-zushi store is located in the Yumekaze Square, across from The Nara National Museum’s East Wing, in Kasugano Town, Nara City. The sales corner on the first floor has Kakinoha-sushi, Oshi-zushi, and Izasa-sushi (salmon and sushi rice wrapped in bamboo leaves) for sale. The restaurant on the second floor sells creative steamed sushi and Gozen course meals.

    I had lunch at this restaurant and 10 minutes later I felt sick, resulting in having to call an ambulance and visit a hospital as I was violently ill due to food poisoning. I ate the ¥2,600 set but...

  • Senjutei Somen Chaya
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    4.5
    31 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Sakuraishi Shiba 293
    This somen noodle restaurant located in Shiba, Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture is operated by longstanding Miwa somen shop “Ikeri.” The shop has a pure Japanese aura with an elegant ambience and contains large windows with tables seating. The flagship dish, “hiyashi somen,” features a smooth and refreshing flavor that goes down well. There’s also local Nara cuisine with a focus on “nyumen” (somen noodles and various ingredients in a soy sauce broth), as well as other seasonal dishes. One popular option is the “senjutei afternoon meal,” which includes nyumen, Nara delicacies, and persimmon leaf sushi.

    三輪駅から少し歩いて、開店時間の11時より10分ほど早く到着すると、開店を待つ列の2番目でした。 三色の冷やし素麺とビール、そして相方は冷やし素麺に天ぷらなどが付いたセットを注文しました。 素麺は家庭でも食べることが多いですが、お店でいただくと、やはり一味違います。

  • Kasuga Ninai Jaya
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    4.0
    66 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Kasuganochou 160
    This is a teahouse on the grounds of Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Kasugano Town, Nara City. Ninai Jaya, which serves tea to shrine visitors, has a long history and is referred to in Edo period texts. Their famous Manyogayu rice porridge is made with light brown miso, and there are a great number of regular customers who enjoy tasting the new ingredients as they are changed every month.

    We had been walking around the Nara park and this cafe appeared in the woods close by the Kasuga temple. We had some chicken and tea and sat outside relaxing, looking people walking to temple and...

  • Tonmasa
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    3.5
    19 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Yamatokoriyamashi Minamikoriyamachou 363-23 Meihana Heights 1F
    This restaurant is famous for serving Japan's biggest tonkatsu (fried pork cutlets), but they're about more than just size. Each of their side dishes is prepared with care by an experienced chef using only the freshest ingredients. Besides their tonkatsu, their wild-caught head-on shrimp, wakadori katsu (fried spring chicken cutlets), and fried oysters (depending on the season) are all served in generous portions.

    Do you know another category of Japanese dish called Yoshoku? Japan, you know, has a long history of traditional Japanese dish. It also has a new comer Yoshoku. it After the end of...

  • Kaki No Ha Sushi Hompo Tanaka (Nara Main Store)
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    4.0
    53 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Higashimukinakamachi 5-2
    This is a Kakinoha-zushii specialty shop near the entrance of Higashimuki shopping district close to Kintetsu Nara Station. They serve many famous Nara specialties starting with Kaki no Ha Sushi, original sushi, and local sake. In the adjoining tearoom they offer Kakinoha-zushi set “Sushi A La Carte” and Jukushi (ripe persimmon) with a thick taste.

    The sushi was decent for the price. My friend and I both ordered the bento set which had a good amount of variety. It tasted a bit sweeter than most other sushi.

  • Hiraso (Horyuji Store)
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    4.5
    37 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Ikomagunikarugachou Houryuji 1-8-40
    This eatery in Ikaruga Town, Ikoma County, Nara, sits in front of the gate of Horyuji Temple. It opened in 1861 and has been making persimmon-leaf sushi ever since. The interior has a chic color tone giving it a Japanese-modern feel and take-away goods area available as well. The shop’s feature product, the persimmon-leaf sushi, is a Yoshino specialty in which local Nara grown rice and fatty mackerel are wrapped in a persimmon leaf. They also offer a variety of other menu options from savory to sweet including seasonal noodle dishes and shaved ice. You can even try making persimmon-leaf sushi for yourself.

    In Nara Kakinoha Zushi, a kind of Sushi enveloped by a leaf of Kaki, is very famous. If you go to Nara, I recommend you to try it. Hiraso is a restaurant of Kakinoha Zushi specialty. You can eat...

  • Shunsai HIYORI
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    4.0
    35 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Nakanoshinyachou 26 Yuya Club 1F
    This is a vegetable cuisine restaurant offering mainly Yamato vegetables, located in Nakanoshinya Town, Nara City. For lunch they offer Yasai Biyori, a set of vegetable cuisine using Yamato vegetables from a contract garden and kodaimai (wild rice), the Hidamari which comes with Yamato beef, and Hinata that comes with either char or prawn. They also offer a popular Yasai Kaiseki (vegetable course) full of vegetables from start to finish (reservations needed by the previous day). This can also be made into a set with Yamato beef, char, Yamato pork or Yamato chicken. 

    simple, nourishing, clean food, in WINTER, a must- take the daily carte, miss the traditional simple pleasures of vegetables , especially root vegetables and their local meats

  • Asuka-no-yume-ichi / Yumeichi-chaya
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    4.0
    32 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Shimashou 154-3
    A soba noodle restaurant located near Ishibutai Tomb, a popular sightseeing destination, in Asuka Village, Takaichi County, Nara Prefecture on the second floor of the Asuka-no-yume-ichi shopping facility. Inside, tables and chairs made from thinned timber from the forests of Asuka stand side by side; smelling faintly of wood with light pouring in through the windows, the restaurant has a comfortable atmosphere. The set meals, made with an abundance of Nara ingredients like ancient rice varieties and local vegetables, are well-reviewed. A warming Asuka nabe hotpot set is also served in winter. The first floor of the facility is a souvenir shop selling local Asuka specialties and handmade knickknacks.

    First of all, you probably need your own wheel to explore Asuka. If you end up in Asuka during lunch hour and your stomach is calling, this place is a very good option (you can of course drive to...

  • Yakko
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    4.0
    26 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Yoshinogunyoshinochou Yoshinoyama 543
    A renowned persimmon leaf sushi restaurant located in front of the Kimpusen-ji Temple’s Zao-do hall in Yoshino Town, Yoshino County, Nara Prefecuture. This long-standing restaurant continues to follow the same traditional recipes used since it was established in the Taisho period. Persimmon leaf sushi is mackerel sprinkled with salt on a bed of vinegared rice wrapped in a persimmon leaf, which has antibacterial properties. This traditional local dish was originally conceived of as a way to bring fish deep into a mountainous region far from the sea. Each piece is carefully pressed by hand to create a delectable treat with the proper flavor balance; in addition to being available for purchase as souvenirs, the shop has an eat-in space where you can enjoy some persimmon leaf sushi right there. The shop’s seasonal noodle dishes and set options are also popular.

    Spent a week in yoshino and this charming restaurant cafe offers one of the best tasting kudzu Mochi which we have tried during the entire week. The Mochi is very delicate and has a fine, light taste...

  • Tou No Cha-ya
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    4.0
    22 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Minamijoudochou 18
    This is a chagayu (tea-flavored rice porridge) specialty shop in Minami Jodo Town, Nara City. They serve cha-gayu cuisine including their cha-gayu kaiseki monthly special course that can be enjoyed with the changing seasons, and chagayu bento lunchbox. They also sell green tea, roasted green tea and teabags in the famous cha-gayu recipe set souvenir, to enjoy Nara cha-gayu even at home.

    名古屋の揚輝荘を見学しているとき、お店から来れそうですかと電話があった。当日台風が来ていたためだった。行けますと答えたが、予定していた関西本線が不通となり、振り替え輸送で京都に行き奈良線で奈良についた。早めに名古屋を出たので、予約していた時刻より1時間早めてもらったが、快く了解してくれた。 個室に案内してくれ茶がゆ懐石をいただいたが、移転してまだ新しいつくりだが 落ち着いていて、ゆっくりできた...

  • Pokupoku
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    5.0
    15 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Shounamichou 23
    Pokupoku is a cafe located in Shonami Town, Nara City. The menu, made up of dishes using the Nara brand Yamato pork, has become somewhat of a specialty. Guests can enjoy the full flavor of Yamato pork in dishes such as pork cutlet with salt, and pork steak. They also have a cafe menu too with drinks and other treats.

    娘が予約したので、行きました。正直、正月で胃が疲れていたので気乗りしませんでしたが行ってみました。ヤマトポークということで、150gのとんかつ定食にしました。キャベツ等の野菜の量が半端でなく、汁にもたくさんの野菜が入っており、とんかつよりも、こちらの量に圧倒されてお腹が苦しくなりました。とんかつは、基本特別な塩で食べることを推奨されていますが、正直なところ、半分くらいは、ソースを頼んで食べた方がよ...

  • Restaurant Asukano
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    3.5
    20 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Shimashou 165-1
    This is a restaurant near the Ishibutai-kofun Tombs in Shimasho, Asuka Village. The restaurant offers Makunouchi, which is rice with side dishes made using red spotted trout caught in the Asuka River and local vegetables produced in Asuka. Also, a traditional Japanese course dinner called Asuka-no-en is served. In this course dinner, visitors can enjoy ancient dishes such as an ancient cheese called So that has been modernized. In addition, there are souvenirs such as Asuka-no-so cheese and persimmon leaf wrapped sushi.

    石舞台古墳の向かいにある食堂でした。この売店のお勧めは明日香村名産の苺「あすかルビー」の果肉をたっぷり使ったソフトクリームです。果汁ソフトが400円で、100円高い果肉ソフトは500円です。果肉ソフトと果汁ソフトを知人とシェアしましたが、果肉ソフトの方がお勧めです。果肉を破砕し、ミックスしますので断然苺の食感が違います。量も多く、コーンもワッフル風です。

  • Naiyabingi
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    4.5
    15 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Ikomashi Monzenchou 12-9
    A café which only offers private room seating located in Monzen Town, Ikoma City, Nara Prefecture house inside a remodeled historic priest’s quarters along the approach to the Hozan-ji Temple. Using no meat, fish, dairy, eggs, or other animal products, Naiyabingi serves dishes where home-grown vegetables taking center stage. The café’s lunch, which come with numerous small dishes, are particularly popular; there’s also a full café menu including vegetable cakes and natural fruit juices. The equatorial-style terrace seating offers a superb, sweeping view of the town. An advance reservation is required for food orders.

    生駒山宝山寺の参道にある、旅館をリノベーションしたカフェです。 個室でゆっくり、奈良盆地の景色を眺めながら食事ができます。

  • Ashibi-no-Sato
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    4.5
    15 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Wakidochou 29
    This is a wedding hall located in Wakido Town, Nara City. With its spacious open plan design, the hall is available for full-day private wedding ceremonies, and wedding receptions as well as after parties. The facility is run by Ashibiya Honpo, a long-established store selling Nara pickles and visitors can also taste pickles and purchase them on site. Visitors can enjoy lunch, a cafe, traditional Japanese cuisine (reservations required), concerts and other events.

    This is a delightful restaurant with outdoor seating hidden down a green tunnel in the Naramachi area. Lunch options were limited to one of two sets that included fish, pickles, rice, tempura and a...

  • Genmai-an
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    4.5
    11 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Ikomagunikarugachou Houryujihigashi 1-3-24
    This is a Japanese restaurant on the east side of Horyu-ji Temple in Ikaruga Town on the Prefectural Route 9. The restaurant is a traditional wooden building made with Kumano Cedar. It serves brown rice and brown rice mochi-rice cake cooked in a cedar stove with dishes that have been seasoned with naturally fermented condiments. The restaurant offers a small side dish set and steamed vegetable course (reservations are required three days in advance). Guests can also enjoy desserts such as sweet red bean paste served with brown rice mochi rice cakes as well as an Irori sunken fireplace course (dinner is available from four people and reservations are required three days in advance).

    We went here for lunch after visiting Horyuji and it was amazing. The food was delicious and the presentation was beautiful. It’s also impossible to imagine better service. My sone accidentally...

  • Fukushindo
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    4.0
    13 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Sakuraishi Miwa 1237-1
    This Japanese restaurant located on the approach leading to Omiwa Shrine in Miwa, Sakurai City offers hand-pulled Miwa somen noodles. Whether served chilled or hot, the noodles can be enjoyed along with local dishes like persimmon leaf sushi. The restaurant also offers kaiseki-style banquets by reservation only.

    そうめんよりも柿の葉が食べたくていきました。名物料理だけにお値段は安くはないですが味は美味しい!三輪のそうめんは有名ですが、ぜひ寿司も試すべきとおもいました。片手でペロリできます。

  • Hashimotoya
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    3.5
    13 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Udashi Murou 800
    This is an old restaurant ryokan built in 1871 in Muro, Uda City. Located in front of Muro-ji Temple, famous as a “Nyonin Koya” meaning Koya for women (original Koya is only for men), Hashimotoya offers sansai ryori (wild vegetable cuisine) with special grated yamato-imo potato, known as a favorite of photographer Ken Domon. As well as courses and a la carte options, they also offer a Women's Special Sansai Lunch limited to 20 per day where one can try lots of little dishes.

    室生寺の表門にわたる橋の手前右側にある食事処です。午前中に談山神社に参拝して、午後に室生寺参詣となり、昼食には遅すぎですが、呼び込みのおばさまに引っ張り込まれました。夕食は京都に戻ってからと思っていたので、軽い目の食事にしました。「とろろそば」をいただきました。そばは普通の感じですが、とろろは自然薯です。粘り気と弾力が半端じゃなくて、お餅かと思うくらいです。出汁と絡めたらすごく美味しいです。八百屋...

  • Mendoya
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    4.0
    12 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Oka 40
    This local restaurant is located in Oka, Asuka Village. The restaurant serves local cuisines from Asuka Village or Nara area, made with organically grown vegetables and good-quality well water, free of any chemical flavoring. The Gourd Bento, a lunch filled with local ingredients, and the Asuka Pot, made with free-range local chicken, stewed in milk soup, are very popular, and the pot course also includes kakinoha-sushi and warabi-mochi (bracken-starch dumpling). Homemade sesame tofu and warabi-mochi can also be purchased as souvenirs.

    明日香村にある「めんどや」へ訪問しました。 お目当ては、飛鳥鍋です。 牛乳入りの出汁で、地元の鶏肉や野菜をいただきます。立派な鶏肉や新鮮な野菜もよかったですし、牛乳入りの出汁もお鍋で煮ていくことでさらにおいしくなっていきました。 他にも、奈良の名物がありますので、楽しめると思います。

Nara Areas

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With a reputation almost as stellar as that of Kyoto, Nara is a must-visit for those searching for the remains of "traditional Japan." The largely green Nara city holds the majority of the prefecture’s treasures, such as the iconic Todai-ji Temple, in which a 15-meter tall Great Buddha sits, and Nara Park, where deer flock to befriend passersby. While mountains are by no means hard to come by in this area, for hiking with a reward, head to the Kii Mountains’ Yoshino district in spring, when the hillsides put on an impressive display of white and pink cherry blossoms.

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