In July 2015, a new tourist information center to support overseas tourists from around the world was opened in the midst of the serene town of central Nara. Since then, the Nara Visitor Center & Inn welcomes tourists as an information center where friendly staff will provide all necessary information covering Nara Prefecture (English/Chinese spoken). The center also offers an array of interesting and fun daily events.
Finally, November 27th, 2016 marked the grand opening of a brand-new inn whose main target is overseas guests. Located just next to the legendary Sarusawa Pond and with a majestic view of the Five-story Pagoda of Kofuku-ji Temple, this attractive inn accommodates 24 rooms including Western style twin rooms and Japanese-style rooms (in sizes of 10, 13 or 16.5 square meters). Guests can enjoy comfortable rooms at reasonable prices.
Staff members fluent in foreign languages, mainly English, are regularly on duty for the guests’ convenience. There is a tourist information center which is ready to provide all kinds of information covering Nara Prefecture and useful services. All rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi. What is more, many other convenient and useful facilities such as a large shared bath, laundry, a meeting room with drink vending machines, and more.
The Nara Visitor Center & Inn is just within walking distance from both JR and Kintetsu Nara Stations, the main bases of public transportation in the area.
New Bus Tours (Check for Most Recent Updates)
The bus tour will bring overseas visitors to lesser-known, yet very interesting destinations. This is the perfect opportunity for those who want to not only see but also enjoy a variety of special experiences that Nara can offer with a professional guide.
Tuesday: Course A
”Garden of excellence at Jiko-in Temple & Season’s best of Nara” (no tour on Dec. 27 & Jan. 3)
Try making a bowl of matcha green tea by yourself; relax and enjoy the taste viewing a superb Japanese garden.
Schedule: Depart at 13:00 -> 13:40 Jiko-in Temple (beautiful garden & matcha green tea) -> 15:00 Enjoy season’s best of Nara (autumn foliage at Chogosonshi-ji or Shoryaku-ji Temple; or Toshodai-ji Temple after Dec. 20) -> 17:30 Back to the center.
Price: 6,500 yen/person
Thursday: Course B
”Taima Temple & Experience the World of Sumo Wrestling”
(no tour on Dec. 29 & Jan. 5)
Shabutsu Buddhist image copying & try dressing like a real Sumo wrestler and stand on a real Sumo ring.
Schedule: Depart at 13:00 -> 13:45 Taima Temple (temple treasures and Buddhist sutra copying experience) -> 15:30 Sumo Museum -> 17:30 Back to the center.
Price: 6,900 yen/person
Friday: Course C
”Meet the Spiritual Miwa and Asuka” (no tour from Dec. 1 to Jan. 13)
Taste the seasonal fruits of the village and five kinds of Japanese sake at an established brewery.
Schedule: Depart at 9:15 -> 10:15 Asuka Village (strawberry picking & walk tour) -> 13:10 Omiwa Shrine -> (10 min. walk) 14:10 Imanishi Sake Brewery (brewery visit & sake tasting) -> 16:00 Back to the center.
Price: 8,800 yen/person
Can be made at the Nara Visitor Center & Inn
Email: sarusawainn@quartz. ocn.ne.jp or Tel: 0742-81-7461)
or through the JAPANICAN website: www.japanican.com/ en/special/info/nara/index.html
All tours depart from the Nara Visitor Center & Inn.
Transportation, admission & experience fees, meals (Course C) are included.
An English speaking, full-time tour conductor will join the tour.
Tours will be cancelled if there are no reservations by noon on the day before the tour. Joining-on-the-day is accepted by noon on the day (by 17:00 on the previous day for Course C) if a tour is on and seats are available.
For more information, contact/visit the Nara Visitor Center & Inn: www.sarusawa.nara.jp