NaraExplorer

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Enjoy Nara’s great food selection

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Nara Explorer is Nara's first and only English tourist magazine.

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dining
POKU POKU 
(Central Nara/ Yamato pork cuisine & café)
Tender and juicy Nara’s Yamato pork
<Overview>
POKU POKU specializes in Yamato pork (Nara’s locally grown pig) dishes. Yamato pork tastes lighter than other pork kinds due to its quality fat. Even if a diner chooses their large pork cutlet, it won’t cause a heavy stomach feeling. Crispy pork cutlet must be complimented with natural salt from Bretagne (France) which enhances the taste of the pork itself. Beside pork cutlet, grilled pork with sweet soy sauce ‘and garlic is another must-try at POKU POKU. They offer a lunch menu throughout the opening hours (i.e. late lunch is OK!).
<Recommended Items>
Tonkatsu or Tonteki Set (Yamato pork cutlet or steak, special soy milk, salad, rice, soup, seasonal vegetable dish): 1,400-2,000 yen / Curry and rice with Yamato pork cutlet: 1,200 yen
<Shop Data>
Tel: 0742-31-2537 / 23 Shonami-cho, Nara, near the Naramachi Joho-kan Information Center / Open: 11:00-20:00 / Closed: Tues.
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Wakakusa Curry Hompo  
(Central Nara/Curry )
Spicy & healthy original curry
<Overview>
Wakakusa signifies a lush green color, representing the color of Mt. Wakakusa that forms the backdrop of Nara city. The same as the restaurant's name, their most popular menu item is Wakakusa Curry, using a lot of spinach. The owner, who has worked as a teacher in a cooking school for over 20 years, completed the recipe that forms a perfect balance of spinach, onion, tomato, minced chicken and several kinds of spices. Choose your favorite topping with your curry (steamed vegetables, cheese, etc.). For vegetarians, curry using mushroom and beans is recommended.
<Recommended Items>
Wakakusa curry: 700 yen / Chicken curry: 950 yen / Omelet Wakakusa curry: 850 yen / Vegetarian curry: 1,000 yen
<Shop Data>
Tel: 0742-24-8022 / About 15 min. walk to the west from JR Nara Sta. along Sanjo Street, enter the Mochiidono Center Arcade and the shop is on the left / Open: 11:30-22:00 (L.O. 21:30) / Closed: Thurs. / http://www.wakakusacurry.jp/
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cocoro 
(Central Nara/Healthy diner)
Healthy dishes with natural tastes for your body
<Overview>
Nothing gorgeous and exotic, but what diners can expect at cocoro is tasty, simple and healthy food. They offer just three set menus including one vegetarian friendly set every day. Most of the ingredients are grown in Japan and they try to use as few additives as possible so as to accentuate the food's natural taste. A popular cocoro Plate includes 3 dishes (fish, meat and vegetables) with brown rice and miso soup. The vegetarian-friendly seasonal dish in winter is hamburger steak made of lotus root (renkon) & tofu served with a thick Japanese broth (fish and meat-free). Refills of brown rice are served gratis.
<Recommended Items>
cocoro Plate: 934 yen / Plate of the day: 724 yen (choose main dish from fish or meat) / Lotus root (Renkon) & tofu hamburger steak: 829 yen + 189 yen for drink, +262 yen for dessert (Soy milk pudding with brown sugar syrup, sorbet, ice cream) +399 yen for both drink and dessert
<Shop Data>
Tel: 0742-23-5556 / In Nalala (dining & shopping complex), 1 min. from #4 exit of Kintetsu Nara Sta. / Open: 11:00-15:00 (L.O. 14:30), also open 18:00-21:00 (L.O. 20:00) on Sat. & Sun. / Closed: Thurs. / http://www.nalala.jp/kokoro/
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Kinatei 
(Central Nara/Vegetarian restaurant)
100% vegetarian & vegan friendly restaurant in Nara
<Overview>
The owner & chef, Ms. Yoshiko Nishizawa, herself has been a vegetarian for most of her life and her dishes are full of consideration for health and life. No animal products and strong smelling vegetables like onions are used while almost all vegetables and ingredients are organic and chemical free. The lunch set includes four different dishes (salad, Chinese, simmered, fried, etc.) and is served with brown rice (100% or 70%) and soup. Yoshiko cooks her broth with only shiitake mushroom and kelp. She speaks Chinese and English and her husband speaks Spanish and English, so communication is no problem. Every bite at Kinatei is safe, delicious and healthy.
<Recommended Items>
Lunch set (with coffee and dessert): 1,500 yen / Udon noodle with deep-fried tofu: 500 yen / Udon noodle in thick soup with five toppings: 700 yen / Dinner course (reservation only; Japanese or Taiwanese): from 2,500 yen
<Shop Data>
Tel: 080-6119-6105 / A 5-min. walk to the south from JR Nara Sta., in front of Nara Life-long Study Center Open: 11:30-14:30, reservation only for dinner time / Closed: Mon. & national holidays / *Depending on the situation, pickup service is provided from/to major tourist sites in Nara (Todai-ji Temple, for example); Call and enquire directly.
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Koruri 
(Central Nara/Curry & Cafe)
Japanese people's favorite "Japanese home curry"
<Overview>
"A café in such a place…?" First comers will wonder and possibly grow worried upon entering the impossibly narrow lane to reach to Koruri. Koruri is a small eatery and café in the very local and nostalgic Naramachi area. Diners can try "Japanese-style" curry and rice here which is quite different from spicy Indian/Asian curry. Choose from special curry of the month using seasonal vegetables and ingredient or Koruri's regular curry menus like chicken & spinach, ground meat & mixed peas, etc.. All curry (except grilled curry) is available at half size & price as "Oyatsu Curry," which is perfect for a light meal and a snack during the day.
<Recommended Items>
Summer vegetable curry: 700 yen / Chicken & spinach curry: 700 yen / Grounded meat and mixed peas curry: 600 yen / Coffee: 400 yen / Sweets: from 100 yen / *100 yen off for drinks with curry; *All curry (expect for grilled curry) are available as half-size, half-price "Oyatsu curry"
<Shop Data>
Tel: 0742-24-3648 / At the back of Jurin-in Temple; Exit from Jurin-in Temple and go left (east), then turn left (north) at the first narrow lane. / Open: 11:00-20:00 (until 19:00 in winter) / Closed: Tues. & end/beginning of the year
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Uri 
(Central Nara/Japanese home dishes)
Tastes of a Japanese home in a cosy atmpsphere
<Overview>
Enter Uri and take off your shoes as if you are visiting a familiar friend's house. Uri is a small eatery which looks like just an ordinary Japanese house. Indeed, Uri's dishes are based on the foods Japanese people enjoy in every day life, but of course Uri's owner always adds bits and pieces of originality to each dish with a playful mind. Lunch set of the day comes with a daily special and a few other seasonal vegetables dishes. Enjoy healthy and satisfactory servings at a very reasonable price: 850 yen! Uri offers a relaxing and homely Japanese atmosphere and welcomes you with the tastes of a Japanese home.
<Recommended Items>
Lunch set of the day: 850 yen / Lunch set of grilled fish: 850 yen / Coffee: 350 yen / Draft beer: 480 yen
<Shop Data>
Tel: 0742-24-0106 / A 20 min.walk from JR Nara Sta., 1-min. walk from Jurin-in Temple / Open: 11:00-16:00 (L.O. 15:00), appointment only for dinner time / Closed: 1st & 3rd Sun., 14th of every month
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Konamon-ya Hachi 
(Central Nara/Octopus dumpling)
Hot and delicious taste of Kansai Tako-yaki!
<Overview>
Takoyaki is a popular ball-shaped Japa- nese dumpling or more like a savory pancake made of batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan. Typical takoyaki is filled with diced octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger and green onion. Everyone loves takoyaki both for a meal and a snack. Hachi's takoyaki has a crispy outside while the inside is hot & meltingly soft. Choose your favorite sauce and add toppings (mayonnaise, green onion, bonito flakes), then enjoy while it is hot! Hachi's super friendly shop manager loves to chat with customers. A combination of delicious takoyaki & enjoyable conversation is a must-try!
<Recommended Items>
Takoyaki 6 pieces: 350 yen, 9 pieces: 500 yen / *Choose from Japanese thick Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, miso (salty red bean paste) or green onion & sour soy sauce / +100 yen for takoyaki with cheese
<Shop Data>
Tel: 090-9887-0809 / About 10-min. walk from Kintetsu Nara Sta., in the Mochiidono Center Arcade (in front of the entrance of Okest Super- market) / Open everyday: 10:00-21:00
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Hana 
(Central Nara/Original cuisine using vegetables, millet, salty rice mold)
A variety of hearty and healthy dishes for your complete contentment
<Overview>
Hana is in a quiet local residential area a little away from the main tourist area. However, Hana, situated in an old Japanese house, is full of light and warmth. Dishes you will enjoy at Hana are all healthy and will appeal to both your body and mind. They use vegetables that are directly brought from local farmers and a variety of millets with some meat (vegetarians welcome too!). Instead of sugar and salt, they use a special salty fermented rice and raisins as seasonings which takes more time and effort to cook, but will make the dishes even more tasty. Each dish is served separately on a small plate. Take time to fully enjoy Hana’s special taste and hearty food.
<Recommended Items>
Lunch course: 2,480 yen, 3,580 yen / Dinner course: 2,700 yen, 3,800 yen, 4,300 yen / *Lunch course include about 12 dishes (seasonal soup, fried dish, salad, home-made bacon, vegetarian sushi, rice, dessert, etc.). *Vegetarians and vegans welcome!
<Shop Data>
Tel: 0742-24-2178
Take Nara Kotsu Bus #4 from Kintetsu Nara Sta. and get off at Takabatake-jutaku and walk about 10-min.
Open:11:30~, 17:30~ (dinner time open only Fri., Sat., Sun.) / Closed:Wed., Thurs.
http://www.hana-nara.com
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Tori Tamura 
(Central Nara / Yakitori skewered grilled chicken)
Enjoy Sizzling Hot and Tasty Yakitori, “Japanese-style BBQ Chicken Kebabs”
<Overview>
Yakitori is a popular Japanese dish. Chicken pieces are skewered on a stick and roasted with a sweet soy sauce-based sauce or salt. From a counter seat, you will enjoy watching up-close how the chefs quickly and skillfully cook your yakitori. You can order just one skewer of yakitori (from 120 yen) or try the chef’s selection set menu (from 2,500 yen) which includes the best of everything! Salad, drinks and other a la carte dishes from the menu are also worth trying.
<Recommended Menus>
You can order just one skewer of yakitori (from 120 yen) or try the set menu (from 2,500 yen) which includes the best of everything and one drink!
<Shop Data>
Tel: 0742-24-5665
A 3-min. walk to the northeast of JR Nara Sta., on the east side of the street
Open: 11:30-14:30 (L.O. 14:00), 17:00-24:00 (L.O. 23:00)
Closed: irregularly
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Yobareya 
(Central Nara/ Oden hot-pot)
Try taste of Japanese home dish, Oden!
<Overview>
Oden is a popular Japanese hot-pot dish. Vegetables, meat and seafood are cooked in a large pan with Japanese broth – flavored with sea kelp and dried bonito flakes. Every locality has its special oden taste. Yobareya offers Nara style oden with its own unique broth flavor and ingredients. There are also several kinds of local Nara sake which the shop manager has carefully selected for customers. Enjoy the perfect combination of hot steaming oden and sake!
<Recommended Menus>
Oden: from 200 yen, white radish: 250 yen, potato: 400 yen, meat-stuffed cabbage: 450
Roast beef of Nara’s local beef marinated in sake: 1,890 yen
Nara’s local sake: from 400 yen
<Shop Data>
Tel: 0742-24-5575
In the Mochiidono Shopping Arcade, about 400 meters from the north entrance on the left side
Open: 17:00-23:00
Closed: Wed.
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Fusion Food IDEA JR Nara shop 
(Central Nara/ Dining & bar)
Comfortable dining & bar with stylish lighting and interior
<Overview>
As the name of the restaurant suggests, I DE A comes from the English word “idea”, welcomes customers with a bunch of big and small ideas. For example, coasters set at women’s places have a special effect and reflect light from the bottom to make a romantic atmosphere. With IDEA’s unique approach and cooking techniques, regular ingredients are transformed into tasty. They also have their own restaurant rules. Sculling drinks and being rowdy is not allowed (if you do, you have to leave!). It may sound very strict but this is so that everybody can have a comfortable time at IDEA.
<Recommended Menus>
IDEA salad: 520 yen (full volume!)
Tacos with chorizo (spicy Spanish sausage): 480 yen
IDEA original pasta with thick broth: 680 yen
Drinks: from 260 yen
<Shop Data>
Tel: 0742-25-0888
One minute walk from JR Nara Sta., walk along Sanjo St., on the right side, 3F of F & F Square Bldg.
Open everyday: 17:00-24:00 (L.O. 23:00)
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/c601800/
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Hiikiya Nara 
(Central Nara/ Japanese style dining bar)
Enjoy a variety of Japanese dishes!
<Overview>
Hiikiya is a popular Japanese style dining bar conveniently located just in front of JR Nara Station. You can watch how the chefs cook from the counter seats. Hiikiya offers a wide range of Japanese dishes: robata-yaki (grilled with hearth fire), teppan-yaki (grilled on an iron plate), sushi, deep-fried, oden hot-pot, and many more. In winter, the hot-pot menu is recommended.
<Recommended Menus>
Yakitori skewered chicken (2 pieces): from 294 yen
Small portion of hot-pot: 619 yen
Assorted sushi(5 pieces): 619 yen
Draft beer: 525 yen
<Shop Data>
Tel: 0742-23-3465
In front of JR Nara Station
Open: everyday: weekdays:17:00-23:00 (L.O. 22:30), from 16:30 on Sat., Sun., holidays
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Fujin 
(Central Nara / Japanese style bar)
Enjoy traditional ‘ochazuke’ in our Japanese style bar
<Overview>
Ochazuke is one of the most popular dishes with Japanese people. Japanese tea or tasty broth is poured over hot rice topped with seasonings. It has been a longtime favorite with people - a recipe for ochazuke appears in a book written in the early Edo period (1600-1868). You can choose from15 kinds of toppings for our special ‘dashi chazuke’. What is more, Fujin offers more than 100 different kinds of dishes on their Japanese bar-style menu, including reasonable lunch sets.
<Recommended Menus>
Fujin’s special broth chazuke: from 500 yen
Daily lunch set: 800 yen
Tompei-yaki (egg roll with pork): 580 yen
3 kinds of Sashimi: 980 yen
<Shop Data>
Tel: 0742-26-1008
2F of Asakawa Harvest Bldg., on the east side of the north entrance of Higashimuki Shopping Arcade
Open everyday: 11:00-15:00, 17:00-24:00 (closed Mon. lunch time)
new shop new shop
Fusui 
(Central Nara / Japanese Bar & Teppan-yaki grill dishes)
Meat, seafood, vegetables, and more. Enjoy a wide range of food grilled on an iron plate!
<Overview>
At Fusui from more than 70 kinds of dishes to choose from – take your time! Fusui offers a wide range of teppan-yaki (grilled food on an iron plate) using fresh seasonal ingredients as well as their original a la carte menu. They also serve over 100 different kinds of beverages including beer, wine, shochu (distilled Japanese vodka), local Nara sake, cocktails, soft drinks, and much more! Recommended is Fusui’s ‘grilled chicken meat balls with nankotsu (gristle)’.
<Recommended Menus>
Grilled chicken meat balls with gristle (Ontama tsukune teppan-yaki): 850 yen
Home-made fresh tofu: 580 yen
Seasonal fish sashimi: from 700 yen (3 kinds)
Course menu: from 2,500 yen (7 dishes)
<Shop Data>
2F of Manzoku-kan Bldg., a 3-min. walk from JR Nara Sta. to the east along Sanjo Street; the building is on your left
Open everyday: 11:30-14:00 (L.O.), 17:00-23:00 (L.O.)
Tel: 0742-20-6628
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SHIMURA 
(Horyu-ji Area/Traditional Japanese)
Try Shimura’s famous plum flavored udon noodles
<Overview>
Shimura offers unique udon dishes (thick noodles made from flour). The plum flavored or special salt flavored udon are famous in the area. The plum flavored udon kneaded with fresh plum fruit and shiso (perilla Japanese basil) are especially recommended! These udon noodles go well with Kakinoha sushi, one of Nara’s specialties - a piece of sushi topped with vinegared fish and wrapped in a persimmon leaf. Other large rice bowl dishes and set meals are available too.
<Recommended Dishes>
Plum flavored udon with Kakinoha sushi: 735 yen
Salt flavored udon with Kakinoha sushi: 890 yen
Large rice bowl dishes: from 600 yen
Bento sets: from 780 yen
<Shop Data>
On the east side of the approach to Horyu-ji Temple
Open everyday: 10:00-17:00
Tel: 0745-75-3202
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