Nara Ko En 1096 Takabatake Cho, Nara, 630-8301, jp
Showing its age, but loads of character
This is a grand old hotel and it's showing its age. The room was very large and furnished with good quality authentic antiques, but they were a bit dark and dreary. The en-suite bathrooms were fine.
The location is good; you can walk to Nara-kôen park and all the sites within. The old and authentic character reins throughout the hotel; the bar and the huge dining room are loaded with charisma.
This is not a modern top-end hotel, but it's worth staying just to experience it. I would stay again and would recommend it to friends.
Directions: 10 minute walk to Nara-kôen park; the other side of Saruzawa Pond from the Kôfuku-ji Five-Storey Pagoda
Lovely Historic Hotel, Great Location
The Nara Hotel is a large, lovely upscale hotel in Nara, the original ancient capital of Japan. Nara is the perfect antidote to Tokyo, and a few days there, at a reduced pace, are a lovely respite.
The hotel is easy to find by bus (or taxi) from the nearby train station. I took the bus after asking directions from the friendly tourist desk at the train station.
The hotel was built in 1909 (there is a new addition) and has the feel of a grand hotel of that era from up-state New York in the Adirondacks. It’s the place the emperor stays at when he comes to visit! A main attraction of the hotel is it’s location – close to the ancient part of the city which is fun to wander through, and almost next door to the famous 1000-acre Nara Park, filled with deer and a number of important and spectacular temples (one with the world’s largest bronze Buddha) and shrines. If you like to jog or take long walks, it’s perfect!
The small single room I stayed in was very comfortable, with a small patio overlooking lawn and trees. It had all the amenities you would expect (robe, phone, toiletries, hairdryer, and cable TV – with stations in French, German and English.) But it also had one of those amazing, automated, toilets. Luckily, there were directions in English! The hotel also has a restaurant where you can get western food if you prefer.
The listed rate is about $150 for a single, but I was able to get it for about half that on www.precisionreservations.com. At this price it is a true bargain.
While not everyone at the front desk speaks English, they are very helpful. And you can buy the beautiful kimono-style blue-and-white cotton robe from the hotel for around $30. This was perhaps the best bargain I found while visiting Japan.
Unique Quality: Beautiful architecture and close to Nara Park.
Directions: Almost across the street from the main entrance to Nara Park
More about Nara Hotel
Did you ever seen an "umbrella-safe " ?
This umbrella-safe is a great idea that I saw in the entrance of the luxury Nara-hotel and when you take a closer look, you can lock each and every umbrella there by a seperate lock, thats a really good idea, especially when you have some expensive umbrella.
And for the hotel the advantage is to keep the wet umbrellas out of the rooms and have them handy when leaving the hotel.
Best Japanese cuisine, but not "my cup of tea"
Having lunch in Japan is something like a cultural shock, especially when you have never tasted that kind of food before. We were served by servants in traditional costumes and all of them spoke at least a bit of english. This traditional hotel and restaurant is where the japanese emperor and all celebrities coming to Nara are going, so it might be a perfect choice for you,too ! Please dont ask me about any names of these dishes, I am even not able to describe any tastes, I just remember that the lunch was served in a wooden box plus some side-dishes, rice and some soup or rather a sauce, where you dip in some of the things from the large box. We got some explanations by our tourguide and I have to admit I did not like that sort of food at all, except for the desert, in my last picture.
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