Nara is an ancient city with a history of over 1300 years, and many of the souvenirs are also traditional Japanese sweets and crafts. Here are five of the most recommended souvenirs.
"Narazuke (奈良漬け)" is a traditional food from Nara. Pickled vegetables such as cucumbers and muskmelons are soaked in sake lees. Because it has a rich flavor and distinctive character, it is more popular to eat as a side dish or as a snack rather than just eating it.
Long-established shops such as "Mori Narazuke Shop (森奈良漬店)" and "Yamazakiya (山崎屋)" are recommended when buying Narazuke. You can also sample at these stores, so you can buy something to your tastes.
Nara is famous as a production center of kaki (persimmon), and sweets using kaki such as dried kaki, kaki chips, and kaki cake are sold at various stores. Among them, "Kakimonaka (柿もなか)" from the kaki specialty store "Ishii (いしい)" in Yoshinoyama is recommended. It is a fragrant thin skin made from mochi rice, and is filled with bean paste simmered with kaki with a gentle sweetness. Furthermore, it is fragranced with Yuzu, and has a moderate accent to it.
"Mikasayaki (三笠焼き)" is a traditional Japanese confectionary of Nara. The dough is a moist and fragrant pancake-like dough, and it is filled with azuki bean paste with an elegant sweetness. It is also characterized by its large size, some of which are about 20 cm, which is great to eat.
"Mikasayaki" is sold at many Japanese-style confectionery shops, but "Kaneido (寛永堂)" and "Tenpyoan (天平庵)" in Nara city are particularly famous.
"Nara Ittobori (奈良一刀彫)" is one of Nara's leading traditional crafts. Also known as "Nara Ningyo (奈良人形)", it is elegantly carved by chisels, and uses wood such as cypress and Lauraceae. It is finished with gold foil and paint. There are various dolls such as hina dolls and the deer in Nara Park, and can be used as interior decorations.
When it comes to Nara Ittobori, “Manyodo (万葉堂)” and “Seibido (誠美堂)” located in the JR Nara Station and Kintetsu Nara Station area are recommended.
"Nara Uchiwa (奈良団扇)" is a historical craft that has been in production since the 8th century. It is a fan made of bamboo and Japanese paper, and a technique called "Sukashibori (透かし彫り)" is used to make cuts in the multi-layered Japanese paper. "Nara Uchiwa" is particularly beautiful in appearance, and it is delicately designed with things such as the Nara’s scenery and deer of Nara, with bright colors such as red and light blue, giving it a feeling of elegance.
“Ikeda Gankodo (池田含香堂)" is the only place in Nara City that currently produces and sells "Nara Uchiwa".
Places to buy Souvenirs in Nara
You can buy the Nara souvenirs and specialty products introduced thus far within JR Nara Station and Kintetsu Nara Station, which is the center of Nara, and in the surrounding shopping districts and shopping malls. You can shop on the way home from Nara sightseeing around the main station, allowing for a smooth transition after shopping.