Nara is one of the most popular destinations in Japan because of the iconic temples here and the famous and friendly resident deer who wander around them. The city is located along an easily accessible train line and makes a wonderful day trip or weekend getaway from the foodie favorite Osaka and other parts of the country. Accommodations in town range from budget hostels to traditional ryokans, modern facilities, and high-end luxury hotels. Depending on your budget and how you want to spend your time in Nara, here are some of the best places to stay in town.

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Super Hotel Lohas JR Nara Eki Breakfast with a view at Super Hotel Lohas JR Nara Eki
Credit: Alyssa L. Ochs
Breakfast with a view at Super Hotel Lohas JR Nara Eki

Super Hotel Lohas JR Nara Eki

If you’re looking for convenience, affordability, and a great mix of modern and traditional the Super Hotel Lohas JR Nara Eki is an excellent choice in Nara. This hotel is right by the Nara train station, making it quick and easy to get around. It is an affordable option with very friendly service and inclusive amenities that help you stick to your travel budget. The included breakfast buffet with a wide variety of foods is absolutely delicious, and the hotel has its own public onsen for guests to use. It is English language-friendly and even provides detailed instructions on the etiquette of using onsens, even providing flesh-colored tape to cover up tattoos. The rooms are small, but well appointed with all the toiletries and tech features you’d want, as well as slippers and yukatas to use at the onsen.

Hotel Asyl Nara Sitting area at  Hotel Asyl Nara
Sitting area at Hotel Asyl Nara

Hotel Asyl Nara

When you stay at Hotel Asyl Nara, you’ll be only about a five-minute walk from the JR/Kintetsu Nara Station. This central location also makes it easy to visit Nara’s historical sites. By bus, you can reach the hotel in a one-minute walk from Aburasaka Funabashi Shotengai-mae, and it is about 90 minutes by mini bus from the Kansai International Airport. The hotel is designed to be a sanctuary for travelers and designed with soothing features, like natural wood. Room styles available are single, semi-double, superior, twin, Japanese style, the Nara Suite, and the Royal Suite. The hotel’s Kaiseki course meals are served fresh and seasonal ingredients from the Nara area. This restaurant is open every day except for Tuesday for both lunch and dinner.

Nara Hotel Exterior of Nara Hotel
Credit: Nara Hotel
Exterior of Nara Hotel

Nara Hotel

One of the most highly recommended places in town to stay is the Nara Hotel, which began operations in 1909. This historic destination offers a variety of accommodations in both the main building and the new building. Part of the former Daijoin Temple Garden is located on the hotel’s grounds, as well as St. Raphael Chapel. Special events are held at Hourai and the Terrace Garden here, and there’s also a Japanese restaurant, tea lounge, and bar on site. Hanagiku serves Japanese specialties, while Mikasa serves French cuisine in the main dining room. The JR Nara train is a 25-minute walk from here, and the Kintetsu Nara station is about a 15-minute walk from the hotel. The Nara Hotel lists events that take place in the area each month on its website to help you plan your trip.

Guest House Oku Exterior of Guest House Oku
Credit: Guest House Oku
Exterior of Guest House Oku

Guest House Oku

Another convenient place to stay in Nara is the Guest House Oku, which is a five-minute walk from the Kinetsu Nara station. It’s also about a 15-minute walk from the JR Nara train station. The hotel is an affordable accommodation option with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and shared bathroom facilities. It also has luggage storage onsite and is perfect for a couple’s trip or solo traveler. You can choose among the options for bunk beds with shared bathrooms, a Japanese-style triple room, room with four bunk beds, or all-male or all-female dormitory rooms. Nearby attractions when you stay here are the Nara Prefectural Art Museum, Kofuku-ji, Gangoji Temple, and the Nara National Museum. The host here is friendly and welcoming to make your stay in Nara a very pleasant one.

Hotel Pagoda Autumn at Hotel Pagoda
Credit: hotelpagoda.jp
Autumn at Hotel Pagoda

Hotel Pagoda

Hotel Pagoda is another good option for tourists to see Nara, with options for a single room, double room, twin room, Japanese-style room, or suite room with a twin or double bed. You can also book a mixed dormitory room with single beds or bunk beds here. Stays at the Hotel Pagoda can be booked for just one night or up to 14 nights. When you stay here, you’ll be about a nine-minute walk from the Kintetsu Nara Station. There are a few free parking lots available here on a first-come, first served basis. In total, the Hotel Pagoda has 25 rooms and offers televisions, free Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, hair dryers, toiletries, and towels. It has a small kitchen, vending machine, and multi-purpose room too for guests to use.

Tsukihitei Ryokan Inside the Tsukihitei Ryokan
Inside the Tsukihitei Ryokan

Tsukihitei Ryokan

It’s always fun to stay in a ryokan, which is a traditional Japanese inn, when you visit Japan, and there are some great ones in Nara to choose from. One is Tsukihitei Ryokan, which is surrounded by the Kasugayama Primeval Forest and a five-minute drive from the JR Nara station. The rooms feature Japanese-style décor, and the ryokan is very close to the Kasuga Taisha Shrine for your day of sightseeing.

Guesthouse Naramachi Inside Guesthouse Naramachi
Inside Guesthouse Naramachi

Guesthouse Naramachi

Guesthouse Naramachi is another great pick in Nara, and this accommodation pick was built in the early 1900s and used to be a traditional merchant’s home. This means that the guest house is full of authentic Japanese character and nostalgic touches. There’s a large common space on the first floor and an event space that occasionally hosts community activities. Both traditional Japanese-style rooms and dormitory rooms are offered here. The rooms also come with free Wi-Fi, two shared shower rooms, hair dryers, toiletries, and air conditioning. Payment is accepted by cash only here.

Hotel Nikko Nara Lobby of Hotel Nikko Nara
Lobby of Hotel Nikko Nara

Hotel Nikko Nara

The last hotel we’ll mention here is Hotel Nikko Nara, a luxury home base for sightseeing that stands 10 stories tall and has 330 rooms. There are five restaurants and lounges here, a parking lot, bathhouse, karaoke room, and large and small banquet halls. Guests receive access to the public bath, and delicious breakfasts served daily. This hotel is directly connected to the JR Nara station’s west exit, providing a very convenient place to stay for your Nara trip.

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