View the google map of my walking route in Naramachi HERE
Here are some of the highlights along my walking path:
- Start at Sarusawa-ike Pond, with photo taking session. It is a home to many tortoises. Here, you can have a photogenic view of the pagoda of Kofuku-ji temple from the southern part of the pond.
- Stroll along Sanjo-dori street to eat and watch the dramatic mochi-pounding process at Nakatanidou, followed by some window-shopping. Check out Ikeda Gankodo, a traditional store that makes and sells intricate Japanese fans in Nara and Ishii, a store dedicated to products made from Gojo's persimmons.
- Do a U-turn and enter Mochiidono Shopping Street, a roofed market street where you find typical Japanese teisyoku restaurant, shops of simple kimono/yukata and geta, tempura of minced fish meat, etc.
- Walk about in Kiratto Nara to see some interesting designs in the small retail outlet.
- Take a left turn to find Yu Nakagawa for some souvenirs shopping.
- Within this street is a local FM Station with friendly DJs who will waved at you as you passed by.
- At the end of Mochiidono Shopping Street is the Shimomikado street, where you can have lunch/early dinner at Edogawa Grilled Eel with their Unagi set and some Umeshu.
- Take a right turn to explore the Naramachi craft Museum and enjoy a good cup of caffeine at Coffee & Teishoku Minamo.
- Next, retrace your steps back to pedestrian crossing to have some amazing wagashi at the 150 years old Nakanishi Yosaburo tea house, which I would recommend to take your time to enjoy the atmosphere and the traditional sweets.
- Explore Naramachi Lattice House to have a look at a typical traditional townhouse for a middle class merchant.
- Before Naramachi development into a merchant district, the area used to be occupied by the once spacious Gango-ji Temple, known for its beautiful roof. So check it out!
- Finally, end your walk at Daijoin Temple Garden Cultural Hall.
Each time I return to this area, it feels like I stumble on something new. So don't hesitate to venture into new streets or shops!