Hip Nara: Cool and Affordable Hotels & Cafes

There’s an undercurrent of cool in Nara, as lower rents and an easier pace of life attract young entrepreneurs and creative types. The best places combine old-school service with new ideas and a fresh approach.

K Coffee

A real original, the young couple that run this offbeat cafe took over an abandoned gas station, installed a fish tank phone booth and roast their own excellent coffee. | Western Cafes | Yamato Koriyama


A new venue in Naramachi has a modern take on the traditional machiya, with spaces for dining, shopping and meeting, plus an amazing circular library. | Japanese Cafes | Naramachi

Cafe & Dining Nagood

From good coffee and decent lunch options to a funky wine bar at night, this cafe is your go-to anytime. | Western Cafes | Nara Park

Ryokan Matsumae

Run by a creative couple - she’s a calligrapher and he’s a kyogen (traditional comic theater) performer, the traditional tatami-floored space is decorated with original art and even has a space for intimate kyogen performances. | Ryokan | Naramachi

Mia's Bread

Originally a graphic designer, the owner opted for a quieter life and found her calling: making amazing sandwiches in her cool DIY shack. | Western Cafes | Nara Park


This cafe and lifestyle complex started the trend to organic and natural, with home cooking, fashion and stylish homewares. | Western Cafes | Shin-Omiya


A stylish, contemporary homewares store in Naramachi; traditional crafts and souvenirs with a modern twist | Souvenirs | Nara Park


Traditional Japanese and western designs combine in this stylish take on a traditional ryokan, with affordable suite rooms. | Ryokan | Gojo

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