Higashimuki Shotengai Shopping Street

ひがしむき商店街

15 Higashimuki, Naka-machi
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Description

Higashimuki Shotengai is a shopping arcade leading South from Kintetsu Nara station towards Nara-machi. Here you will find lots of cafes, restaurants and shops.


Mike Bosack

When you need a break from the temples of Nara, this shopping street provides a nice return to modernity. Lots of shops, vendors and cafes. When you are there, try the Akebi fruit--I haven't seen it sold anywhere else in Japan!

Michael Lam

If you ever visit Nara, one thing you should not miss out on is this mochi (rice cake) stand. You will find it in front of a shop located in this shopping arcade. Every season I check for the latest and greatest seasonal mochi as the fillings are always changing. Last autumn they were filled with chestnuts or giant grapes. My favourite thing to look try is the delicious winter strawberry filled mochi. This rice cake is filled with a juicy strawberry and surrounded by sweet red bean paste. The strawberries used are call "Osama Strawberries" which mean King of strawberries. You must eat them within a few days and are best eaten straight away. Each delicious morsel sells for 190 yen and is wrapped in cute strawberry printed paper.

Jennifer Weiss

When traveling to Nara from Kyoto or Osaka you're most likely to end up at the Kintetsu Nara station and that's exactly where you want to be, since it is closer to most of the famous sights than the JR Nara station. From here I recommend you head straight into the Higashimuki Shotengai shopping arcade. It is impossible to miss, the entrance is topped with large writing that reads ひがしむき (Higashimuki). It's a lively covered street that will take you southwards towards Kofuku-ji Temple, Saruzawa Pond and the Nara-machi area full of beautiful old buildings, craft stores and quaint cafes.

There are some nice restaurants - both Japanese and other - and shops selling traditional fare, such as the persimmon leaf covered sushi (柿の葉すし kaki no ha sushi) or tabi (traditional Japanese socks) which can be worn with zori or geta sandals, as well as modernized tabi-styled "Western" socks. Opening times vary from shop to shop, but most open between 10 and 11 am and are open until 5 pm, restaurants longer.

If you're on your way into Nara-machi or coming back to the station from visiting Kofuku-ji Temple I recommend you take this street and experience the real Japanese "shotengai" feeling!


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