Nara is often passed over for Kansai’s flashier cities like Kyoto and Osaka. While mostly treated as just a day trip, Nara has the same conveniences as bigger cities, but at more affordable prices, plus adorable deer. Looking for a cool place to stay on a hostel-budget? No worries, Culture Trip has you covered. These five budget stays are the best in Nara for experiencing that famous Japanese hospitality and ambiance without breaking the bank.
History buffs will love staying at Naramachi. A converted soy sauce factory and cultural property of Nara, Naramachi was newly renovated and opened in 2016 as a hostel and restaurant. The traditional interior has been largely preserved, and parts of the soy sauce factory are still intact for guests to enjoy, but the facilities are thoroughly modern. Don’t forget to check out their bar after the sun goes down. Designed with a speakeasy in mind, they offer bar snacks and cocktails made with Japanese liquors.
Guesthouse Tsunoya has plenty of good points, but the best thing about it is location, location, location. Only a ten-minute walk from Kintetsu-Nara Station, Tsunoya is perfect for those wanting to be a little closer to Nara’s city center. There are Japanese and Western-style private rooms, but the Japanese-style dormitories are beautiful with private pods and sliding paper doors. The café area is great for meeting people and has an unusual menu for Japan. Try out their berry smoothie bowl and shakshuka if you’re feeling a little burned out on Japanese food.
Located in the traditional Naramachi district, Haruya Naramachi has given travelers that Japanese atmosphere at serious low prices. Haruya Naramachi is a renovated machiya in one of Nara’s most charming areas. Details such as painted paper doors, tatami floors, and wall scrolls make Haruya feel like a retreat into another world. Don’t miss the traditional gardens outside to fully experience everything this hostel has to offer.
Close to Kofukuji, Guesthouse Kamunabi is a centrally located Nara hotel that is clean, modern, and comfortable. An onsite café offers drinks and breakfast for guests, and at night offers dinner and drinks. Kamunabi has bicycle rentals, perfect for those looking to cruise around Nara. After a day of cruising, guests can come back to a quiet neighborhood to relax. If you’re worried about language barriers, Kamunabi has English-speaking staff who can assist with all of your traveling needs.
What’s better than waking up in the morning to a lawn full of grazing deer? The answer is nothing. Nothing is better. The Deer Park Inn is a unique place to stay right inside Nara’s deer park. This cozy hostel gives travelers the chance to enjoy every moment with Nara’s most famous residents. Within ten minutes to Kasuga Taisha and Todaiji, this is a perfect place to stay for those wanting to be right in the middle of some of Nara’s most important sites.