Built in the early 1900s, this traditionally styled ex-Merchants home is the ideal setting for a quiet, cozy guest house. Located just a short walk away from many of Nara’s top tourist attractions, Naramachi Guest House is both convenient and very affordable, while keeping true to its roots of old Japan.
Owners Shunju and Kumiko have put tremendous effort into keeping the traditional feel of the guest house alive, while offering a wide range of advice and activities to help make their guests not only feel comfortable in their home but also during their time as guests in Japan.
From the second you step inside the front door at Naramachi Guest House, it is immediately apparent that you are staying somewhere rather special. The first proper room you enter is now used as a communal space, but it once housed a small performance stage, complete with elevated viewing platforms, which were accessible via sliding doors. This unusual setup makes for an interesting place to relax and catch up with fellow travelers, after a day exploring the town, over a cup of hot green-tea.
The sleeping quarters, which are split over two levels, are made up of dormitory-style shared rooms and, at a slightly higher cost, traditional Japanese-style private bedrooms with tatami mat floors. The backside of the house has a small, but very beautiful Japanese garden.
None of the rooms have en-suite bathrooms, but, in true traditional Japanese style, you are spoilt for choice with a selection of onsen and sento – public bath houses located in and around the surrounding area. These bath houses range from cheap and simple, for those who want to stick with the theme of old Japan, to more modern and well-equipped bath houses. Make no mistake, either of these options will help sooth your body and weary legs after a hard day exploring the area! For more information about these facilities, be sure to ask either Shunju or Kumiko, who will also provide maps detailing their locations. For guests who don’t fancy bathing in public, there are two shower rooms on the first floor of the guesthouse.
During the day, you are within easy reach of popular tourist attractions, such as Nara Park and the various places located inside the park, including the Big Buddha at Todai-ji, as well as the numerous old houses and cafes that are dotted around the streets of Naramachi. These are all accessible via foot, although the guest house also has rental bicycles that can be taken out for as little as 500 yen per day.
On occasion, the guest house host extra activities for those interested in learning more about Japanese culture, including origami workshops, tea ceremonies, and traditional Japanese painting methods. These activities have no fixed timetable, please ask for further information during your stay.
All of the above information and more can be looked up on their website, which is also where you can make enquiries about accommodation – http://nara-naramachi.com