Meet Nara's Culinary Masters

Nara is the perfect location for gastronomy tourism. Discover Nara's special terroir, and meet the farmers, chefs and makers behind Nara's internationally renowned cuisine.


This elegant modern restaurant and accommodation in Nara Park celebrates what they call "human terroir": cherishing the local environment, and also the values, processes and people behind the production of locally grown food. Nara's producers put their passion and skill into fresh ingredients, which chef Hiroshi Kawashima and his staff use to create innovative modern dishes. The word akordu means "memory" in Basque, and the cuisine here is a modern take on Spanish cuisine. Dishes are arranged like artworks, to express the beauty of Nara's seasons and natural environment. After a delicious meal, stay at the onsite accommodation in a serene room, with a view of Mt. Wakakusa.

L'Auberge de Plaisance Sakurai

In France, as gastronomy tourism developed, people began to travel long distances to visit particular restaurants, in search of fine cuisine prepared with fresh local ingredients. The auberge, or local inn, played a key role, offering travelers the opportunity to relax in local surrounds and enjoy the cuisine. L'Auberge de Plaisance Sakurai which is operated by Japan's leading luxury restaurant group "Hiramatsu" follows that philosophy, serving as a destination for fine food, and as an opportunity to explore the beautiful rural landscape of Sakurai. Local ingredients including Yamato vegetables, Yamato beef and Yamato chicken, are prepared with the techniques of French cuisine. The NARA Agriculture and Food International College is next door, passing on Nara's culinary culture.

Horiuchi Fruit Farm

Generations of the Horiuchi family have carefully tended their fruit orchards in the hills above Gojo, since 1903. Every season brings its bounties and its challenges, as the family aim to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Gojo is renowned for its persimmons, and some of the persimmon trees at Horiuchi Fruit Farm are 120 years old. The farm also produces fruits such as plums, quinces, blueberries and apples, and are planning to grow citrus fruits and strawberries in the future. You can enjoy innovative seasonal sweets and smoothies or buy dried fruits and jams at the Horiuchi Fruit Farm Sanjo store.

Okuyamato Beer

Brewer Yoshinori Yoneda combined his love for Belgian style beer and a knowledge of herbs from his previous career, to launch a micro brewery in Uda. Since Uda is known for its medicinal herbs and fruits, it was natural to create beers with an emphasis on herbs and seasonal flavors. Okuyamato Beer launched in 2018, and Yoneda renovated an old folk house to be a stylish tap room with a guesthouse, Tap to Bed. The concept is ideal for beer lovers: take time to enjoy the various beers on tap, learn about the brewing process, explore the charming local area and soak in the soothing onsen waters of nearby Akinonoyu, before relaxing in your comfortable room.

Umenoyado Sake

The Yoshida family has been brewing high quality sake at the foot of Mt. Katsuragi for over 130 years, and have a long history of producing award-winning sake, thanks to their dedication to quality and innovation. Kayo Yoshida is the fifth generation and first female president of the company. She has made it her mission to promote sake to a younger generation, fostering a new sake culture by opening up more international markets and launching innovative products, including fruit sakes and gin, while still maintaining the high quality of the company's traditional sake. Umenoyado's fruit sakes have been embraced by renowned mixologists in the US.

Narazuke Iseya

Nara's destinctive pickles, narazuke, have a history, stretching back around 1,400 years. The distinctive flavor comes from sake lees, which lends the pickles a delicate flavor, and goes very well with sake. Select vegetables are preserved in a mixture of sake lees, mirin, sugar, and salt for up to 5 years. Iseya has been in Uda since 1866, and the historical store is a traditional wooden machiya in the preservation district of Uda. Current owner Makoto Shimizu has a permanent smile, as he explains his products on his blog and YouTube channel, aiming to bring the charm of his hometown and traditional pickles to a wider audience.

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