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Nara Hotel – Audrey Hepburn Stayed 🦌

Posted by Satomi

Nara Hotel is a long-established traditional hotel established in 1902. It is a semi-Western style building by architect Tatsuno Kingo who designed Tokyo Station and Bank of Japan headquarters.

From the elegant interior, you can feel the history that has continued since the establishment.

At that time, as a State Guest House in Kansai, it is known to have invited guests from overseas such as Audrey Hepburn, Helen Keller, Dr. Einstein, and Charles Chaplin.

Staying in an elegant old hotel

The Nara Hotel is located on a hill in Nara Park and is an excellent location with views of Mt. Wakakusa and the five-storied pagoda of Kofuku-ji Temple.

This is a coveted hotel with a classic glamour and elegant atmosphere from the Meiji and Taisho periods that has been passed down since its establishment.

Nara Hotel

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Harmony with the ancient city of Nara

It consists of a main building that has been built since ancient times and a new building that is modern and functional. If you take a step, the space separated from daily life will expand.

Experience the history and tradition of the main building

The main building opened in 1909. It is a luxurious hotel that costs twice as much as Rokumeikan.

The main building has a wooden two-story tiled roof with a shibi (ornamental ridge-end tile) and its walls are finished with white plaster. This design takes into consideration the landscape of Nara where there are many temples and shrines.

In 1913, it was nationalized, and until 1945, it was a facility for state guests and members of the Imperial family in the Kansai region.

For this reason, it is also called the State Guest House in Kansai. The entrance of the main building, which welcomes guests, still retains its dignified appearance!

It’s as beautiful as a museum!

The interior is a mixture of Japanese and Western styles with gorgeous Japanese designs and heavy German designs.

The main building itself looks like an art museum, decorated with famous paintings by representative Japanese-style painters of the time and pictures of the imperial family and celebrities who visited the hotel.( *︾▽︾)

When you enter the entrance, there is a wide open ceiling and you will be attracted to the stairs covered with red carpet.

Japanese elements such as chandelier imitating hanging lantern and temple style handrail are firmly incorporated.

The lobby Sakuranoma has a retro atmosphere, and the large clock was set to celebrate the enthronement of the Heisei Emperor.

Look at each piece of furnishing.

The main building has a history of over 100 years, and there are many historical episodes in the building. There is also a guided tour by the hotel staff. It is limited to guests, so please include it in your schedule when you stay.

The ornamental caps for lobby staircase
The ornamental caps were originally made of brass, but were offered as metal during World War II. As a substitute, it made at the request of the local Oshio Shonin Kiln of Akahadayaki in Nara have gained popularity and have since become one of the Nara Hotel’s specialties.

The mantelpiece of the fireplace
This is the mantelpiece of the fireplace that still remains as interior decoration. At the time of opening, fireplace was used for heating, but after that, a radiator type steam heater was used for central heating. The mantelpiece in the lobby has a torii gate and there are Komainu beside it. It has a unique atmosphere.

The piano in the lobby
Many state guests and celebrities stay at Nara Hotel. This piano, which Dr. Einstein is said to have played, is displayed in the Sakuranoma room in the lobby, and even now there is a concert using this piano once a month.

Classical guest rooms used by the Imperial family

There are 62 guest rooms in the main building, and among them, I will introduce you to the rooms that have a strong atmosphere from the time of establishment. There is no doubt that you will be able to enjoy a nostalgic time with the history of each piece of furnishing.


Deluxe Twin Room
The interior includes a lattice ceiling, a bamboo blind, and a carpet designed with Shosoin pattern. Beautifully decorated steam heaters are still in use.


Standard Twin Room
You will be fascinated by the retro furnishings such as the high lattice ceiling, classic lighting fixtures, and the curved old glass windows. The mantelpiece at the time of establishment is left as decoration in many rooms.

Nara Hotel

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Comfortable stay in the new building

The new building, a four-story reinforced concrete building, began operations in 1984. An architectural style using slope unique to Yoshino region of Nara prefecture is used.

When you look from the front, the part you can see on the first floor is the top floor of the building. The inside of the building has a different taste from the main building, and there are rooms with more modern and gorgeous designs.

There are 65 guest rooms in the new building. There are guest rooms downstairs from the lobby floor. Basically, they have single, twin and double Western-style rooms, but they also have a few Japanese-style rooms.

Below are some of the rooms.


Crown Suite Room
All the rooms in the new building face the courtyard full of greenery, making it a relaxing space as if you were in a forest. This room has a comfortable living space with a calm interior.


Standard Twin Room
Japanese paintings go well with the gorgeous wallpaper with a moist atmosphere. The interior of the new building is decorated with an oak mantelpiece in harmony with the main building.

Superb restaurants in the hotel

Main Dining Room “MIKASA"

It is an open space with an eye-catching Japanese chandelier on the high ceiling of about 6m.

It is a long-established restaurant that retains the splendor of the days when it was the State Guest House in Kansai with famous paintings and furnishings displayed on the wall including Yokoyama Taikan.

You can enjoy the traditional French cuisine that has been handed down from past chefs. The flavor and aroma of carefully selected seasonal ingredients are brought out by carefully prepared sauces and dressings.

The view from this restaurant is also a must-see. The five-storied pagoda of Kofukuji Temple is lit up at dinner time, and you can enjoy your meal while looking at Mt. Wakakusa with its vivid green at breakfast time.

Nara Hotel

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Japanese Restaurant “HANAGIKU"

This is a Japanese restaurant that uses carefully selected seasonal ingredients from all over the country, mainly local ingredients from Nara prefecture, and makes use of the flavors of the ingredients with careful preparation.

The monthly kaiseki course has a seasonal menu with delicate arrangements and refined plates. You can enjoy carefully prepared dishes that utilizes the techniques of Japanese cuisine.

From the large glass window, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the mountains of Nara that stretch out to the south.

There is no unnecessary decoration in the clean interior, and the seats are arranged in a relaxed manner.♪(´▽`)


It is a bar with beautiful warmth of wood and etching glass at the time of establishment. You can enjoy alcohol gathered from all over the world.

Head bartender Miyazaki was 3rd in “Diageo World Class 2013," the bartender world conference.

You can enjoy a special night with Miyazaki’s cocktail, which makes you want visitors to know the goodness of Nara through cocktails.

Tea Lounge

It is an entrance where you can feel the warmth of trees, and the bar and the tea lounge are attached. Here, you can enjoy coffee, Ronnefeld tea, patissier’s original cake and more. There are sandwiches, so you can have a simple lunch.

I recommend Golden Darjeeling Earl Grey. It’s served in a sleeping pot. Try the aromatic tea in the Ronnefeldt pot that can be tilted to 3 levels to make the ideal leaf tea.

Let’s have a tea while looking at the beautiful garden trees and Mt. Wakakusa from the large windows up to the ceiling.

When the season is good, terrace seats are also recommended. Cute deer may come to play.♡

Buy Nara Hotel original goods

The shop on the first floor of the main building has a variety of souvenirs, from Nara specialties such as sake and Yamato tea to Nara Hotel original goods.

Original goods include canned hashed beef and curry, as well as coffee and tea. The original cookie set is a popular product with a cute retro can designed with Shosoin pattern.

You can also buy the Nara Hotel original coffee cup used in the tea lounge as a souvenir. The cups are decorated with the iconic flower of Nara Park, Asebi.


Nara Hotel Original Cookie

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Nara Hotel Original Curry Cans

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Nara Hotel Original Blend Tea

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A morning awakened by the bell of Nanen-do in Kofuku-ji Temple.
The restaurants where you can enjoy gorgeous space and traditional dishes.
The furnishings have a history of more than 100 years.
Deer eating grass on the premises.

Why not spend an elegant and luxurious time in a nostalgic, extraordinary space?

Nara Hotel

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#luxury  #museums  #traditional

Experience 7 Rental Villas in Nara – Rural Life in Japan ⛺

Experience 7 Rental Villas in Nara – Rural Life in Japan ⛺

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