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Japanese Food Spots in Nara Area

  • Shizuka (Koen Branch)
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    4.0
    143 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.

    I knew that Kamameshi Shizuka was popular, therefore I decided to go before mid-day. There was already a line at the front of the restaurant, it was not that big, so I went there right away. However...

  • Hiraso
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    4.0
    93 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.

    Small pieces with salmon and pretty much small pieces of everything. My GF eat chicken soup and got 3 pieces. Way to much rice especially compare to the amount of fish. This is the second worst...

  • Sabo Nonnon
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    4.0
    6 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Nishinoshinyachou 43 Nara Orient Hall
    You’ll find this coffee shop inside the “Nara Orient” townhouse, built at the end of the Edo period in the “Naramachi” area of Nishinoshinya Town, Nara City, Nara Prefecture. The most popular dish is the “chagayu (tea porridge) meal” made with roasted green tea or azuki bean tea. There are many other unique local items as well, such as side dishes made with locally grown vegetables and desserts. The Japanese courtyard inside gives the place a traditional feel. The original sweets are popular too, such as the specially made “shiratama ice cream” and “warabimochi” (bracken-starch dumplings).

    We were recommend to try out Chagayu, a local Nara dish. Chagayu is green tea rice porridge served with Japanese pickles, a speciality of the ancient city of Nara. While were were getting lost in...

  • Shunsai HIYORI
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    4.0
    28 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. 

    This restaurant is tucked away in a back street in Nara. It is fairly bustling with a local crowd but has an english menu. The vegetables are all local grown and they serve proper kaiseki cuisine...

  • Izasa Yumekaze Square Store
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    4.0
    65 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.

    As a tourist we think that this restaurant is not a good choice. Expensive and food not good, very bad taste

  • Inaka-ryori Kusanoe
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    5.0
    6 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Rokujouchou 151
    This is a rural cuisine restaurant along Prefectural Route 122 in Rokujo Town, Nara City. They serve herbal cuisine made with Manyo wild grasses said to have medicinal properties, bento boxes filled plentifully with seasonal vegetables, and mini kaiseki courses of rural cuisine. The gabled roof thatched with grass gives the building its own unique appearance and personality.

    Very traditional Japanese setting with great service and very traditional Japanese cuisine. The whole restaurant is non-smoking, one of the very few places in Nara. Food was very good quality at...

  • Kaki No Ha Sushi Hompo Tanaka (Nara Main Store)
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    4.0
    40 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.

    You can see this shop upon exiting Kintetsu-Nara Station. Went on a Sunday but it was pretty quiet. I ordered the set on display since the limited menu is only in Japanese which I do not...

  • Kasuga Ninai Jaya
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    4.0
    58 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.

    After strolling trough the Nara Mt. Kasuga primeval forest and enjoying the soft sun rays bouncing on the leaves we came across this tiny peaceful cafe. It was quite late and near closing time...

  • Nara Nagomikan Restaurant & Cafe Awogaki
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Takabatakechou 1071
    Awogaki is a restaurant within the Nara Nagomikan souvenir shop on National Route 169 in Takabatake Town, Nara City. The restaurant serves a range of dishes including seasonal Japanese set meals, Yamato beef steak, and Yamato chagayu (a kind of rice porridge) made with specialty products such as Yamato beef, Yamato pork, and an old variety of rice known as Yamato rice. There is also a cafe which serves desserts such as deer parfait and pancakes.
  • Pokupoku
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    5.0
    13 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.

    雑誌で見て予約をして行きました。 近鉄奈良駅から路地裏の道を歩いてお店に到着。アットホームな店内です。 こだわりはトンカツだけではなく、サラダ・スープ・お茶…全てに店主の想いを感じます。お値段もリーズナブルです。

  • Akishino-no-Mori Nazuna
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    4.5
    17 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Nakayamachou 1534
    Nazuna is the name of the restaurant within the Akishino-no-Mori complex in Nakayama Town, Nara City. The restaurant serves a variety of course dishes made with seasonal ingredients for both lunch and dinner. Advanced booking is required for lunch and dinner. At lunchtime guests sit and eat at the same time and once finished the next set of diners sit down for their meal.

    11月のコースのお料理を楽しんできました。毎月お料理内容が変わるので楽しみです。 我が家の前に会計を済ませた方は会計と同時に次月の予約をしていました。月に1度の楽しみに良い方法だと感心しました。

  • Nihonryouri Kawanami
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Shibatsujichou 4-6-14 Sawai Building 1F
    This Japanese restaurant is located approximately three minutes on foot from Shin-Omiya Station, in Shibatsuji-cho, Nara City. The menu is rotated daily, according to the vegetables harvested first thing in the morning at their own farm of three acres in Takayama Town. The Japanese cuisine served here is made from homemade ingredients, such as miso, and fresh fish from the nearby sea. The plates and dishes are also handmade.
  • Izasa Sanjo Branch
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    3.5
    4 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Hayashikoujichou 17-1
    This specialty Kakinoha-sushi store is located on the intersection of Sanjo-dori and Yasuragi no michi, approximately four minutes on foot from the Kintetsu Nara Station. It sells Kakinoha-sushi, konbu-saba sushi, and sakura-zushi, bara-zushi, and maki-zushi, as well as other kinds of sushi, including steamed sushi. Its most popular product is its original Izasa-sushi, which is sushi wrapped in bamboo leaves into a triangular shape.

    奈良に行ったら、絶対食べる柿の葉寿司。 何社か製造元がありますが、特にどこが、というわけでもなく、店舗を見つけるとスナック感覚で入ってしまう。 柿の葉の香りをかぎながら 葉を剥ぐと いざさはお酢より塩味が強いかな、という感じがする。 私は定番のサバを食べられないので、サバオンリーをやめ、4種入ったものを購入。 サバ、アジ、シャケ、タイ。こんな取り合わせの物も扱っています。 店舗内にはちょっとした休...

  • Ashibi-no-Sato
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    4.0
    14 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...

  • Kiyosumi no Sato AWA
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    4.5
    5 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Takahichou 861
    This is a restaurant that specializes in Yamato vegetable cuisine in Takahi Town, Nara City. The restaurant offers course menus that mainly use seasonal vegetables from the village of Kiyosumi no Sato. The Awa Yamato Vegetable full course menu comes with a Japanese confectionary called Awanari, using the highest quality millet. The restaurant is reservations only, however, only if there are seats available or after 14:30, the restaurant may be open.

    少し高台にあるので、一面のガラス戸から里山風景が一望できます。広々とした空間にはその日の食材の野菜達がディスプレイされていて、野菜の美しさに気付かされます。50品程の野菜を使った料理はどれも優しい味付けで野菜の味がよくわかり、お肉は少しですが充分満足できました。四季折々に訪れてみたいお店です。

  • Yanagija-ya
    rating-image
    4.0
    9 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Noboriojichou 4-48
    This is a tea house located next to the Kofuku-ji Honbo Temple in Noborioji Town, Nara City. The tea house offers Japanese style course menus and Shokado Bento boxes based on the traditional Nara chameshi cooking, which is the type of food that the monks of the Todai-ji Temple and Kofukuji Temple used to eat. The tea house also serves homemade bracken starch dumplings and matcha-green tea sets.

    we just had matcha tea and at that time we did not know that matcha tea is nowhere cheap. So we didnt try the other foods. The interior is enchanting; also the place is very quiet :-) which was nice...

  • Ajitei Yamazakiya
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Higashimukiminamimachi 5 Inoue Building 1F
    Yamazakiya, a venerable purveyor of Narazuke pickles established in the early Meiji period, opened this restaurant in 1984 with a view of handing down their own flavors of Nara's regional cuisine. In addition to kaiseki meals that change every month and chef's choice courses, the restaurant also has 13 varieties of set meal. Guests can enjoy regional favorites such as cha-gayu (rice gruel cooked in tea), persimmon leaf sushi, Miwa somen noodles, and much more.
  • Jubei Shokudo
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nara Pref. Narashi Yagyuchou 83-3
    Some of the offerings of this tea house-style eatery adorned with a tasteful sign made from a single piece of wood include udon noodles, set meals, and donburi rice bowls. Their most popular item, however, is their Jubei soba / udon noodles, which are garnished with two shiitake mushrooms, an homage to the family crest of the Yagyu family. Their umeboshi (dried plum), skipjack tuna, and konbu (kelp) rice ball bento boxes are available for takeout.
  • Tonmasa
    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.
  • Tou No Cha-ya
    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.

Nara Main 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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