Nara Kitamachi (奈良きたまち)

Nara Kitamachi is the area which refers to the old urban district to the north of Naramachi in Nara City, Nara Prefecture.


In Nara Kitamachi, an old townscape from the Edo to Showa periods still remains and you will find a traditional townhouse using the style called 'horen-goshi lattice,' the Nara juvenile prison of Western-style architecture, the Memorial Hall of Nara Women's University which is an important cultural property, and so on. In the Edo Period, the Nara Kitamachi area flourished centering on Nara-Kaido Road leading to Kyoto as a north gateway of Nara to Todai-ji Temple, etc., in which hatago (inn with meals) and shops stood side by side. Today, the Nara Kitamachi area refers to the overall area of north side of Kintetsu Nara Station (Omiya-dori Street).

Nearby Ichijo-dori Street flourished as sando (an approach to the temple) leading to Todai-ji Temple from the station of Daibutsu Railway (Daibutsu Tetsudo) at one time in the Meiji Period. Tamonyama-jo Castle which commands a panoramic view of the town was built by Hisahide MATSUNAGA in the middle of the16th century, and has the four-layered tenshu (main keep or tower of a castle) which became a model for modern castles. The missionary, Luis FROIS praised its beauty. It is said that Tamonyama-jo Castle influenced the erection of Azuchi-jo Castle.

In August, 1998, 'Nara Kaido Machizukuri Kenkyukai' (Nara-kaido Road Community-Planning Society) was established, and its members have operated under the catchphrase of 'the town full of joy', 'the nostalgic town', and 'the town that people wish to come again' (Kitamachi).

In 2004, Nara Kitamachi was approved as 'Nara Machikado Museum' by Nara City, and thirteen facilities are opened to the public.


Narazuhiko-jinja Shrine
Nara juvenile prison - western style brick architecture built in 1908

Uemura Farm
Hannya-ji Temple
Yuhi Jizo
Kitayama Ju Hachi Kenko
Mikaeri Jizo (Looking-Back Jizo)
Gokoin Temple
Hosoda House - The oldest farm in Nara Prefecture

Kawase House - one of registered tangible cultural properties in Japan
Kitamuki Jizo (North-facing Jizo)
Kukai-ji Temple (Asahi Jizo)
Shiki MASAOKA's garden
Todai-ji Temple, Buddhist temple
Nanto Bank Tegai Branch
Omon Market
The Memorial Hall of Nara Women's University - wooden architecture built in 1909

Ancient tomb of Emperor Shomu and Empress Komyo
Shomyo-ji Temple (Nara City) (One Thousand Jizo)

Information for nearby spots

Nara Park
Heijo-kyo (the ancient capital of Japan in current Nara)
NHK Nara Broadcasting Station


10 to 15-minute walk toward north from Kintetsu Nara Station.
Take Nara Kotsu Bus bound for Narazaka or Aoyama Jutaku from Kakunara Station, and get off at 'Imakoji' or 'Tegai-cho.'

[Original Japanese]