Where to Stay in Nara? The Best Areas and Places to Stay in the Ancient Japanese Capital

Japan’s first permanent capital, Nara is stuffed with interesting heritage sites, fascinating historical treasures, and comfortable hotels. But because it’s so close to the iconic destinations of Kyoto and Osaka, many overlook the city, or only visit for a few hours.

But our advice is this: spend lots of time in Nara! With fantastic temples, excellent nature, great festivals and the incredible deer park, it’s an excellent place to visit.

And because relatively few tourists visit the city, it’s friendly, warm and hospitable. If you like laid-back destinations which feel relatively authentic and untouched, you’ll love Nara. The locals are friendly, the city is quiet and it’s surrounded by fantastic natural places.

Though the city is much less traveled than places such as Osaka, Kyoto, and (obviously) Tokyo, the ancient Japanese capital still has lots of accommodation options, so it can be difficult to choose where to stay in Nara.

But in this guide, we’re going to help you find a fantastic place to stay in Nara that suits your specific needs, by giving you a breakdown of the best areas in the city – and the best accommodations in those areas – as well as particular options for different kind of travelers.

Whether you’re traveling solo, with your partner, or on a super-tight budget, we’ve got you covered. No matter how you like to travel or the type of place you like to stay in, we’ve found something perfect for you.

Let’s dive in! 🇯🇵

Where to stay in Nara Japan

If You’re In A Hurry, Here’s Our Advice In Short

Stay in the Naramachi area of Nara.

With excellent eateries, great people-watching opportunities and a fascinating combination of hipsters and history, Naramachi is a fantastic place to spend time. A large area with excellent proximity to all of Nara’s other interesting zones, Naramachi is packed with fun and excitement.

It offers some of the city’s best drinking and dining opportunities along with lots of fantastic attractions.

To be right in the centre of Nara – and experience the modern-day contradictions which make the city so interesting and exciting – stay in Naramachi.

Top attractions in Naramachi

  • Harushika Brewery
  • Gangoji Temple
  • Shikishima Onsen
  • Fantastic food and drink
  • Excellent central location for all other Nara districts
  • … and so much more!

Practical Information About Nara

Before we give you all the best hotels in Nara, here are some facts about the city:

  • Currency: Japanese Yen Â¥
  • Language: Japanese, but some people – especially younger people – speak some English, so it’s typically pretty easy to travel around. Make sure to learn some basic Japanese phrases before you go.
  • City Population: in 2019, almost 370,000 (source)
  • Tourists per year: In 2017, around 16 million people visited the city (source)

Before you become one of those tourists yourself, take a look at our advice on where you should stay. To begin, here’s our guide to the different areas in Nara:

Best Areas and Best Hotels in Nara

Here are the four areas of central Nara you need to know about:

  1. Downtown
  2. Naramachi
  3. Nara Park
  4. Nishinokyo

There are other areas on the outskirts of the main city, which are great for hiking, hot springs and small villages, but these are all best explored as a day trip.

Though areas such as Asuka, Totsukawa, and Ikaruga are interesting, very few tourists will want to overnight in them, unless they’re in the area specifically to experience these places.

For the vast majority of tourists, we recommend staying in the city proper and visiting these places as day trips.

Most attractions within the city centre of Nara (such as the famous deer park) are all pretty reachable by foot. As Nara is a compact city, many tourists explore Nara without using public transport.

Deer in the Nara park are very friendly
Deer in the Nara park are very friendly – by Nicholashan/Getty Images

That said, if you want to fully explore all four areas extensively, there’s an excellent network of buses and trains in the city, which you can use to get around.

Taxis are also surprisingly affordable, and can be useful if you don’t enjoy navigating public transport networks.

Pointer in Nara, Japan
It may be an odd thing to highlight, but Nara had great signage – very easy to navigate – by throgers (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

No matter how you decide to travel around, here are the four areas you need to know about:

1. Nara Downtown

Quite where the downtown area begins and ends isn’t exactly clear, but it’s generally considered to be the area around (and between) JR Nara Station and Kintetsu Nara Station.

This area isn’t great for historical sites, but it’s full of great places to eat, shop, drink and stay. If you like lively areas with the hustle and bustle of inner city life, along with plenty of cool places to hang out, you’ll love it here. The heart of modern-day Nara, it’s a great place to base yourself if you want easy access to public transport and the other areas of the city.

Though a very small part of Nara with no real attractions, it’s a great place to get a feel for the city.

Downtown house in Nara
House in the downtown of Nara, Japan – by m-louis .® (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The best hotels in the Downtown area:

1. Luxury pick: Onyado Nono Nara Natural Hot Spring

If your idea of luxury is a traditional hot spring with traditional Japanese decor, it doesn’t get much better than this. The decor is homely, romantic and traditional, the spa is indulgent, the food is great and the location is excellent.

2. Mid-range pick: Nara Washington Hotel Plaza

This is a mid-range hotel doing what a mid-range hotel should do. The decor is clean and modern, the beds are comfortable, the breakfast is great and the location is excellent. This is nothing particularly special, but it’s great for the price.

3. Budget pick: Yuzan Guesthouse

Halfway between a guesthouse and an ancient Japanese home, guests here can stay in traditionally-decorated rooms. There’s a great kitchen for those traveling on a budget, and the garden is small but charming. If you’re on a tight budget, the dorm rooms are fantastic.

Here are the top things to do in the Downtown area:

  • Sanjo-dori Street: Nara’s main shopping street, this is a great place for eating, people-watching and enjoying the sights and sounds of Nara’s central areas. With mochi stores, fantastic restaurants and excellent shopping arcades, it’s a great place to explore the modern side of Nara life.
  • Eat! As with any downtown area, this part of Nara offers fantastic restaurants. This area is a great place to gobble down some of Nara’s best traditional foods, which include rice porridge, green tea rice and persimmon leaf sushi.
View on Sanjo-dori Street in Nara
View on Sanjo-dori Street in Nara – by Steve (CC BY-NC 2.0)

2. Naramachi

This is south of – and much bigger than – the Downtown area. Somehow both hipster and traditional, it’s diverse, unique and interesting. Trendy stores sit alongside traditional restaurants and ancient architecture. While the Downtown area is full of mid-range large stores, Naramachi is much more charming, with hipster joints sitting beside traditional sights and stores.

Naramachi has great food, interesting buildings and an excellent insight into some of Japan’s ancient culture. Lots of tourists decide to stay in Naramachi, as it’s large, close to public transport links and close to all other central areas of Nara.

Historic houses in Naramachi area in Nara, Japan
Historic houses in Naramachi area in Nara, Japan – by Ankur Panchbudhe (CC BY 2.0)

The best hotels in Naramachi:

1. Luxury pick: Noborioji Hotel

If you want luxury in Nara, this is your top choice. Huge rooms, comfortable beds, elegant decor, great food and even better massages all make for a great way to indulge yourself while you’re in Nara. The breakfasts are great and the location is right between Naramachi and the Downtown, making for a fantastic place to stay.

2. Mid-range pick: Hotel Obana

Affordable, clean, tidy and well-located, this place is great for the price. The staff are very friendly, and the breakfast offers a great combination of western and Japanese food.

3. Budget pick: Haruya Naramachi

Named after the district it calls its home, this guesthouse is a cozy little place, with lots of tradition. With both dorms and private rooms, and excellent traditional decor, it’s a very homely place to stay. If you value friendly, helpful, knowledgeable staff, you’ll love this place.

Here are the top things to do in Naramachi:

  • Harushika Brewery: in a small, humble building lies one of Nara’s most interesting cultural attractions. Harushika Brewery crafts beautiful sake, making it an excellent place to sample some of the nation’s national drink. This isn’t a place for mindless drinking – instead, it’s a place to enjoy small mouthfuls of – and learn all about – the delicious delight of Japan’s national drink.
  • Gangoji Temple: the first temple in Japan, this place is humble and tiny, but it’s very significant and charming. Nara has many large, ostentatious temples. This one is in direct contrast, and provides an interesting insight into the smaller-scale side of religious buildings.
  • Shikishima Onsen: like much of Nara, this place is quaint, traditional and rough around the edges. Onsens are Japanese public baths – and while many throughout Japan are now geared towards tourists, this one is as old-school as it gets. If you want a real, but no-frills, onsen experience, this is fantastic.
Gango-ji temple complex
Gangoji Temple in Nara is included in UNESCO World Heritage – by shankar s. (CC BY 2.0)

3. Nara Park

Nara Park is the biggest attraction in the city – and the main reason most people pay a visit here. One of the oldest parks in Japan, the place has offered a green oasis in the centre of the city since 1880.

But it’s way more than just a park – though it’s full of beautiful greenery (and the legendary Japanese cherry blossoms in spring!), it’s also packed with ancient sites, great landmarks and even wild deer.

Tourists feed deer in Nara Park
The whole of Nara is a deer park – by shankar s. (CC BY 2.0)

The best hotels near Nara Park:

1. Luxury pick: Nara Hotel

Classy, retro and elegant, this place is very close to the park itself. The hotel is grand and historical, and the two on-site restaurants offer fantastic food. After a long day of sightseeing, you can enjoy an excellent massage here.

2. Mid-range pick: Mountain Home Lodge in Deer Park

If you want to stay right in the hart of Nara Park, this place is great – it’s perfectly-located hotel for full exploration of the park, its attractions and its furry residents. You’ll probably even see deer pass by your hotel windows. Considering the great location and the excellent comfort, the price is great.

3. Budget pick: The Deer Park Inn

Again, this place is located right in the heart of the park. Half hostel, half wood cabin, this place offers both private rooms and dorms. It’s very welcoming and comfortable, and offers a great way to base yourself right in the heart of Nara’s nature without spending too much money.

Here are the top things to do in Nara Park:

  • The Park! The park itself is a fantastic attraction, and its highlight is the hundreds of wild deer that roam freely here. Fully ingratiated with the public, the deer come very close to those who visit the park, and sometimes even eat out of their hands! You can buy special crackers at the park to feed the deer.
  • Todaiji Temple: perhaps the most famous temple in the whole of Nara, this beautiful place makes the park its home. The largest wooden building in the world, Todaiji Temple houses a Buddha which reaches lofty heights of 15 meters. There are many other temples in the area, including Todaiji Nigatsudo and Kasuga-taisha.
  • Yoshikien Garden: traditional Japanese gardens are beautiful. And this one is a fantastic example of the style. With a pond, beautiful flora, flower arranging and a traditional teahouse, it’s like stepping back in time.
Tourist crowds near Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan
Tourist crowds near Todaiji Temple (Nara Park) in Nara, Japan – by Bill Hails (CC BY-ND 2.0)

4. Nishinokyo

Nara is the first capital of Japan – but this area is the specific part which was the capital! If you want to experience the place where Japan began as a country, Nishinokyo is a must-visit. Though there aren’t a huge number of attractions here, this part of the city retains much of its historic charm, and feels pretty different from the more modern areas of Nara.

Aside from world heritage sites and being the prestigious site of Japan’s former capital, Nishinokyo also has some excellent Michelin-starred food.

Nishinokyo Yakushi-ji temple in Nara
Located near Nishinokyo station in Nara, Japan, Yakushi-ji is the head temple of the Hosso sect of Buddhism – by jpellgen (@1179_jp) (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Few tourists stay in this area. Instead, they stay in busier areas and travel to Nishinokyo from their centrally-located accommodation. But if you decide to stay in Nishinokyo, these are your best hotels options:

1. Luxury pick: Guesthouse Yashikawa

Though this place isn’t particularly luxurious, it’s the best you’ll get in Nishinokyo. With traditional Japanese decor and quaint rooms, it’s on the humbler side of luxurious, but the staff are very friendly and it’s a very quiet place to stay, which will appeal to some.

2. Mid-range pick: Takamado

Simple, uninteresting and no frills, but the rooms are clean and a good size, and the staff are very welcoming.

3. Budget pick: Guesthouse Nara Komachi

This place is pretty far from Nishinyoko, but it’s the closest good budget accommodation to the area. With very affordable rates, very friendly staff and both western and Japanese-style rooms, this place has all you need to sleep on a budget.

Here are the top things to do in Nishinokyo:

  • Yakushiji Temple: one of the oldest temples in the whole of Japan, this place has been around since the 7th century. With a strict symmetrical layout and a huge history, it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in religious relics.
  • Toshodaiji Temple: the second of Nishinokyo’s iconic temples, Toshodaiji was founded in the 8th century as a training ground for priests. While the buildings in this temple aren’t quite as beautiful as those at Yakushiji, the grounds are very scenic, with tree-lined paths surrounding the temple’s buildings.
  • Michelin-rated restaurants: many people visit Japan just to enjoy its excellent food. If you’re one of them, eating in Nishinokyo is essential. With many Michelin-rated restaurants, it’s a foodie’s paradise. Two of the best include Kobetei and Wa Yamamura.
Shinji Yamamura & Wife @ 和やまむら Wa Yamamura, Nara Prefecture
Visiting Wa Yamamura – Michelin-rated restaurant in Nara – by spektrograf (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Areas to Avoid in Nara?

Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. Locals are very friendly and crime is low.

This is even truer in Nara, which is a very safe place to visit, it’s a small city and the locals are particularly cheerful. If you want to stay safe, you should simply exercise the same cautions which you would in any other city in the world – that should easily be enough to keep you safe. There are no particular areas you need to avoid.

A word of caution on Nara Park: most of the deer are very friendly and approachable, but a small few can become aggressive when being fed. If any deer seem aggressive, simply don’t interact with them.

You should also avoid any of the areas we haven’t listed. Not because they are dangerous, but because they are largely uninteresting. If you want to enjoy your trip as much as possible, stay in one of the areas we’ve recommended – as with any city, Nara has residential districts which don’t offer any interest for tourists.

Deer in front of the Todai-ji lake
Deer in front of the Todai-ji lake in Nara – by Gilbert Sopakuwa (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Where to Stay in Nara for the First Time?

If it’s your first time in Nara, you should stay in Naramachi. It’s very close to other areas, it’s full of fun things to do, and it offers a great range of the city’s perks, from its hipster eateries to its traditional old-school homes. Both hipster and traditional, Naramachi is the best way to get acquainted with all that Nara has to offer.

If you stay in this area, you won’t have to spend too much time traveling to other districts – and you’ll be well-located for enjoying all that Nara has to offer.

Naramachi houses in Nara
Japan style houses on Naramachi street in Nara – by Wally Gobetz (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Above, we’ve already listed the best three hotels options in Naramachi. Here they are:

1. Luxury pick: Noborioji Hotel

If you want luxury in Nara, this is absolutely your top choice. Huge rooms, comfortable beds, elegant decor, great food and brilliant massages make for a fantastic place to stay.

2. Mid-range pick: Hotel Obana

Affordable, clean, tidy and well-located, this place is great for the price.

3. Budget pick: Haruya Naramachi

This guesthouse is a cozy little place – it’s homely and friendly with lots of traditional decor. For an affordable and traditional stay, this is great.

Where to Stay in Nara on a Budget?

Japan is rightly infamous for being an expensive tourist destination. And while some things are expensive, it’s actually pretty easy to find very affordable accommodation. Though many hotels are pricey, Japan offers plenty of affordable hostels and guesthouses, which all offer a cheap sleep.

In Nara especially, there are many affordable guesthouses. Because relatively few tourists visit the city overnight, there are lots of very inexpensive options.

Here are the three best affordable accommodation options in Nara:

1. Yuzan Guesthouse

This place is halfway between a guesthouse and an ancient Japanese home. If you want to stay in traditionally-decorated rooms, this is an excellent choice. There’s a great kitchen for those who want to save money by not eating out, and the dorm rooms are fantastic for those on a budget. While basic, this place is very clean and tidy.

2. Haruya Naramachi

This is even more traditionally-decorated than the Yuzan Guesthouse above, and is very well-located for those who want to explore both the park and the centre of Nara. They have great bicycle rental for those who want to explore the city by bicycle.

3. The Deer Park Inn

If you want to stay in Nara Park but you’re keen to stick to a budget, this is an excellent choice. With both private rooms and dorms, there are lots of budget options here. Very welcoming and comfortable, this place feels much more pricey than it really is.

Interior of Yuzan Guesthouse, Nara
Persimmon breakfast in Yuzan Guesthouse, Nara – by Cristina Bejarano (CC BY 2.0)

Where to Stay As a Solo Traveler in Nara?

If you’re traveling solo, you should stay in the Downtown. Busy, bustling, and close to all other areas, it’s a great place to make friends, whether they be locals or fellow travelers. Hotels and hostels close to this area are busy, so they’re a good place to stay if you want to encounter others.

But no matter which area you stay in, it’s important to book yourself into a sociable accommodation. If you’re a solo traveler, they’re the best places to make friends. Even though most hostels are pretty sociable, some do the job better than others.

Woman tourist feeding deers in Nara
Woman tourist feeding deers in Nara Public Park – by Gagliardi Photography/GettyImages

Nara has some hostels which are great for making travel buddies. Here are our three favorites:

1. Hostel and Gallery GisGood

With events, free drinks and mega-friendly staff, this place is definitely the most sociable hostel in Nara. The hostel promotes a very friendly atmosphere, so if you want to make friends, you should stay here. The location is great – it’s only a short walk from Nara train station.

2. Guesthouse Nara Backpackers

A 100-year-old teahouse, you wouldn’t necessarily expect this place to be very sociable. And although it’s not particularly loud and exciting, the common areas are very friendly, with a great garden, a luxury lounge and a small library.

3. Yuzan Guesthouse

Again, this guesthouse isn’t a place for a super crazy party, but it has a great communal kitchen and another common room, making it a nice place if you want a good chat with other travelers.

Where to Stay for Couples?

If you’re traveling in a couple, you should stay in Nara Park. With beautiful hikes, majestic deer and traditional Japanese ryokan, it’s a great place to spend time with the person you love. One of the best parks in Japan, it’s idyllic, cozy and enchanting.

It’s especially beautiful in springtime, with countless cherry blossoms. If you can make it to Nara Park in early April, Nara Park with a backdrop of blossoms is one of Japan’s most romantic experiences. Staying overnight here is even better, as it allows you to experience the quaint romance of the park without countless other tourists.

Couple kissing behind the temple in Nara
Couple kissing on the opposite side of the temple in Nara – by Bryant Wong (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

But no matter which area of the city you stay in, there are lots of accommodations in Nara which are perfect for couples of all descriptions. Here are our three favorites:

1. Asukasou

If you want a stay in a traditional ryokan with woven straw flooring, paper doors, public baths and great green tea, this is fantastic. The food is excellent, the welcomes are warm and the location is perfect. Staying here feels like vacationing as a Japanese couple in the 1960s.

2. Hotel Asyl Nara

Again, this offers traditional welcomes, but with the option of western rooms. Highlights here include a great breakfast, traditional public baths and an incredibly quaint and cosy hotel library. Just like Asukasou listed above, this is a uniquely-romantic experience, and one you can’t get outside of Japan.

3. Noborioji Hotel

If you want to stay in somewhere a little more western rather than a traditional ryokan, this is a great pick. With aromatherapy massages, incredible food, comfortable beds and spacious rooms, this has everything you need for a romantic stay.

Where to Stay with Kids?

If you’re visiting Nara with kids, you should absolutely stay in or close to Nara Park. The park is one of the best kid-friendly attractions in the whole of Japan. There aren’t many more places a kid would rather be than surrounded by hand-fed deer!

Undoubtedly, the Nara highlight for kids is Nara Park. Aside from its deer and its attractions, it’s great for a picnic, has lots of space to run around and it’s full of cool places to play hide and go seek. In short, it’s basically a kid’s dream. And because it’s outdoors, it’s full of sunshine and fresh air!

Just a shot of a kid playing with one of the free ranging Sika deer in the grounds of the Todai-ji temple
Just a shot of a kid playing with one of the free-ranging Sika deer in the grounds of the Todaiji temple in Nara, Japan – by shankar s. (CC BY 2.0)

Whether you stay in Nara Park or not, there are lots of excellent kid-friendly hotels in Nara. Here are our three favourites:

1. Mountain Home Lodge in Deer Park

If you want to stay right in the hart of Nara Park, it doesn’t get much better than this. Deer roam freely close to the hotel and the place has designated family rooms. Though this place is pretty quiet, your kids will absolutely love the location.

2. Guesthouse Yashikawa

Lots of traditional ryokan accommodations don’t accept young children. But this place has designated family rooms and is very warm and welcoming. Your kids will really enjoy the experience of staying somewhere traditional – and here, they can experience it with lots of hospitality!

3. Nara Royal Hotel

The location is pretty good, the hotel has designated family rooms, the on-site food is excellent and the rooms are very spacious. In short, this place is perfect for families. There is a great buffet breakfast and you can rent bicycles, which your kids will love.

Where to Stay for a Luxury Vacation in Nara?

If you want to experience the luxurious side of Nara, there’s no one district to do it. Instead, you should stay in a traditional ryokan. While many ryokan in Nara are traditional and rustic, others offer a more luxurious experience, perfect for those who are seeking a little indulgence.

The most indulgent ryokan offer thermal baths, mega-comfortable beds and decadent spa treatments.

Ryokan Kankasu
Ryokan Kankasu with view on the garden in Nara – by Neil Hunt (CC BY-NC 2.0)

If you want to experience both tradition and luxury these ryokans are the perfect option for you. These are the three most luxurious ryokans in Nara:

1. Asukasou

Halfway between a traditional ryokan and a modern hotel this place offers a great combination of Japanese tradition and western luxury. The public baths are beautiful, the rooms are super comfortable and the decor is decadent. The hotel’s food offers a succulent spin on traditional Japanese cuisine.

2. Kotonoyado Musashino

With both indoor and outdoor onsens, incredible food and a beautiful location in the verdant greenery of Nara, this place is very special. The decor offers an incredibly elegant and luxurious twist on traditional Japanese fixtures and fittings for a perfect balance between luxury and zen.

3. Kasuga Hotel

A little less quaint and quiet than your average onsen, this place is great if you want the onsen experience inside a relatively-larger hotel setting. With excellent breakfasts, very comfortable rooms and fantastic baths, there’s lots of luxury on offer here.

Where to Stay to Experience Local Vibes of Nara?

If you want to experience Nara without feeling like you’re too much of a tourist, the best area to stay is Naramachi. Because the area combines old Nara with new Nara, it’s a great insight into both what Nara once was and what it is now. Full of a cast of locals going about the daily business, it’s the best place to see the authentic side of Nara life.

Tōdai-ji, Nara-shi, Japan

As listed above, here are the three best places to stay in Naramachi:

1. Luxury pick: Noborioji Hotel

Huge rooms, beautiful decor, scrumptious food and indulgent massages make this a great pick for those who love luxury.

2. Mid-range pick: Hotel Obana

Clean, tidy, well-located, and friendly, this is a great choice if you want somewhere affordable but pleasant.

3. Budget pick: Haruya Naramachi

Homely, friendly, traditional and humble, this is a convenient and cozy way to experience traditional Nara on a budget.

Where to Stay for Hiking Near Nara?

There are two main types of hike on offer in Nara. Your first option is to enjoy day hikes in Nara Park, which can typically all be tacked in just a short few hours. More dedicated hikers might be interested in the multi-day pilgrimage hikes which are on offer way out of the city.

If you want to explore the bigger hikes, in the wider Nara prefecture, you should stay outside of the city – but where you stay will depend upon which hikes you want to do, how long you want to do them for, and where you want to begin the hikes.

If you want to tackle a lengthy hike in the area, we recommend the Kumano Kodo, a series of ancient pilgrimage routes. But depending on where you want to begin these hikes, you have different accommodation options, so we can’t recommend any one particular place.

But for those who simply want to explore shorter jaunts while enjoying Nara city, we recommend staying in Nara Park, right in the heart of the city’s best walking spots, including the fantastic heights of Mount Wakakusa.

The amazing view from Mount. Wakakusayama, in Nara, Japan
The amazing view from Mount. Wakakusayama, in Nara, Japan – by Will (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

If that’s your plan, we recommend the three Nara Park accommodations we’ve already listed above. In case you missed them, here they are again:

1. Luxury pick: Nara Hotel

All the fixtures and fittings are retro, making you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Perfectly situated both for hiking and inner-city exploring, this is a great option for casual hikers who only want short walks.

2. Mid-range pick: Mountain Home Lodge in Deer Park

With excellent views and a fantastic location, this is great for rambling and roaming in Nara Park. Considering the great location and the excellent comfort, the price is very reasonable.

3. Budget pick: The Deer Park Inn

Again, this has a fantastic location for those who want to hike in the park. Halfway between a hostel and a remote wood cabin in the woods, this is rural, rustic and fantastically-located.

Wrapping Up

Nara is one of Japan’s real hidden gems. With ancient temples, chic hipster zones and its iconic deer park, it’s a small package packed with plenty of interest for travelers of all descriptions. It’s fantastic for couples, solo travelers and families.

But along with lots of attractions and areas of interest also comes lots of options for accommodation. But they’re not all made equal! While some are fantastic, others are subpar. But in this list, we’ve included only the best overnight stays that Nara has to offer.

Whether you want a luxury hotel or a green oasis right in the heart of Nara Park, there’s something here for you.

Our number one pick from all of Nara’s accommodations is this one:

Hotel Obana: This is the perfect Nara compromise. With a great Naramachi location and clean, tidy and affordable rooms, this place is great for the price. The food is fantastic and the staff are very friendly and helpful. Click on the link or on the following buttons to discover the hotel.

For budget travel, this is our top pick:

Haruya Naramachi: With an excellent location, bicycle rental and beautiful traditional decoration, this offers way more interest and excitement than your average budget accommodation.

Many travelers skip the chance to travel to Nara – but you shouldn’t. It’s quaint, charming, and vastly different to the surrounding (and much bigger!) cities of Kyoto and Osaka.

You’ll love it!

Paul McDougal - TravelCenter Writer

Paul McDougal

Paul is a handsome and hilarious travel writer and travel journalist from the UK. He’s hiked, hitchhiked and laughed his way through more than fifty countries, and he’s always looking for a new place to call home. Originally from Newcastle, he’s lived all over the UK, spent more than three years in Asia, and most recently lived in Vietnam. Here’s his website.