Nara in December

Before getting started with my New Year’s post, let me summarize my favorite places which I visited in 2008.

One of favorite places is Nara, which doesn’t mean “United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)” but stands for “the City” in ancient Japanese, and that was the ancient capital of Japan around the 8th century.

Most of us know “Kyoto” as for the Japan’s ancient capital and that 2nd oldest capital is very popular amongst Tokyoite and foreigners. My spirit of perversity, however, makes me prefer Nara to Kyoto. I love “Nara-machi” (old downtown of Nara) very much.

Thanks to US Air Force decision on indiscriminate bombing over Japan’s cities, Nara as well as Kyoto were off-sighted. Those cities haven’t been bombed and those were allowed to preserve over-1000 years heritage.

Evening around Koufuku-temple complex was quiet and peaceful. None could make

break that silence. The full-moon casted the shadow of the temple on the famous pond, “Sarusawano-Ike.”

Here are a couple of Japanese restaurants. One is “Mangyoku”, a Restaurant near Sarusawa Pond and the other is “Kura.” When I was working at ATR, I did bar-hopping so often in Nara-machi. Believe me that those serve traditional Japanese cuisine with good Sake.

(above, Mangyoku outlook)

(above, Kura)

Sake reminds me another restaurant located in Fushimi (just between Nara and Kyoto).

Torisei, that is a kind of tied-house which serves fresh Sake pumped directly from sake brewery tanks and Chicken BBQ.


Nara is not only the city of so-called big temples but also the city of restaurants in the old historic town ,Nara-machi. See also http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~naramachiwalk/

The city was not so commercialized nor popularlized like Kyoto. Thus, the city preserves their uniqueness in terms of peaceful atmosphere.


TAM said...
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TAM said...

Wow, great places!
Drink lover such as me can't ignore them.
I didn't have any chance to be in Nara area, but love to go there next time in Japan, even no business there.

Mick said...

TAM, thanks for your comment. I'll continue this kind of reports. Be my guest, wine/sake lovers.