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Value for Money Hotels Near Nara's Best Sakura Sightseeing Spots

Value for Money Hotels Near Nara's Best Sakura Sightseeing Spots

Date published: 23 March 2021

Did you know that Nara is the prefecture with the highest number of world heritage sites and national treasures in Japan? And one of the most memorable ways to experience the historic temples and shrines in the region is to go during the sakura season.

When you gaze upon the land covered in the pastel pink hues of the iconic cherry blossom, it brings you closer to the primitive sights of Japan that the ancients were familiar with, and it adds an extra layer of cultural flair to your regular sightseeing trip.

To help you enjoy your Nara sakura tour to the fullest, here's a couple of value for money hotels that aren't just easy on the wallet, but provide convenient access to popular Nara sakura spots like Mount Yoshino and the sprawling Nara Park as well, the latter of which is home many of Japan's famous temples and shrines such as Tōdai-ji, Kasuga Grand Shrine, and Kōfuku-ji.

Besides transportation options, we'll also be sharing some measures being enforced in the hotels o prevent the spread of Covid-19. Stay safe this sakura season!

1. Taikoban Kamkam: Onsen hot spring hotel right on Mount Yoshino, the best place to see sakura in Japan

1. Taikoban Kamkam: Onsen hot spring hotel right on Mount Yoshino, the best place to see sakura in Japan
Nakasenbon, the midway point of Mount Yoshino in its full sakura glory

Mount Yoshino is one of those places that regularly show up when researching iconic sakura viewing spots in Japan - and for good reason! More than 30,000 white yamazakura trees of 200 different types bloom beautifully atop the mountain's slopes when spring season rolls around.

There's even a poetic Japanese saying for the scene: hitomesenbon, which means "thousand trees at a glance", because onlookers can enjoy a panoramic sight of more than 1,000 flowering trees at once every single glance they cast.

Every year, the sakura here bloom from early to late April, starting from the foot of the mountain to its peak. The first blooms will appear in the area on the mountain known as Shimosenbon, then slowly move up to Nakasenbon, Kamisenbon, and finally, Okusenbon.

Hanayagura is an observation deck on the mountain that provides unparalleled views of the trees in full bloom with the town below as backdrop, which makes it a must-visit site if you're in the area.

Illuminations are also set up during the blooming season, so that visitors can have the opportunity see the sakura on Mount Yoshino quite literally in a different light!

Located high up on this very Mount Yoshino itself is Taikoban Kamkam hotel, where visitors can go for lodgings, hot springs, and delicious food harvested from the mountain.

The building is in a quiet and serene environment, surrounded by forests, and is an ideal hiking distance away from the famous hitomesenbon mentioned above. Whether it's sakura, summer foliage, autumn leaves, or pristine snow you're after, this hotel has it all and more throughout the year.

Another highlight of the hotel is the food they serve - a completely original kaiseki course meal made from fresh local ingredients, including wild vegetables harvested from Mount Yoshino itself and fish from the nearby Yoshino River, all carefully prepared to look and taste good.

In summer, you may even be served sweetfish or eel! The generous portions is another reason the meal is extremely popular with hotel guests.

Traditional country food fare made from local Nara ingredients and wild vegetables found in Mount Yoshino

Foreign guests of the hotel have high praise for their experience there. One said, "I like the hotel's quiet location in the middle of Mount Yoshino. The local ingredients used in the food here is a plus point too. Staff members are very helpful and the fact that it's so easy to travel to places of interest like traditional towns and temples from here makes the hotel really value for money." Wi-Fi is also readily available throughout the hotel's premises.

Rest and recover in rooms or hot springs full of Japanese aesthetics

The open design of the Activated Rock Pilgrim Bath makes it a great place to unwind

Don't forget to pay a visit to the hotel's Activated Rock Pilgrim Bath, another one of its main attractions. The large rock bath is said to have beneficial effects for relieving fatigue, stiff shoulders, nerve pain, back pain, and various other ailments.

An activated stone bath refers to an artificial bath made of natural bakuhanseki (barley rice stone), an interesting stone that looks like, you guessed it, a combination of barley and rice!

Looks was not why bakuhanseki was chosen as building material, though. The stone gives the water a smoother quality, which in turn allows the water to warm up those bathing in it right to their core, enhancing the good effects of the bath.

Nothing like dipping into a nice long outdoor bath after hiking up Mount Yoshino for a nice and relaxing end to an activity-filled day!

Don't forget to pay a visit to the hotel's Activated Rock Pilgrim Bath, another one of its main attractions. The large rock bath is said to have beneficial effects for relieving fatigue, stiff shoulders, nerve pain, back pain, and various other ailments. An activated stone bath refers to an artificial bath made of natural bakuhanseki (barley rice stone), an interesting stone that looks like, you guessed it, a combination of barley and rice! Looks was not why bakuhanseki was chosen as building material, though. The stone gives the water a smoother quality, which in turn allows the water to warm up those bathing in it right to their core, enhancing the good effects of the bath. Nothing like dipping into a nice long outdoor bath after hiking up Mount Yoshino for a nice and relaxing end to an activity-filled day!

For guests of the hotel wanting to dive deep into the Japanese culture, there are workshops being held for a fee that introduces you to unusual experiences like making traditional Mount Yoshino konjac jelly or leaf sushi. Feel free to inquire about these activities when you're checking in!

Covid-19 Countermeasures at the Hotel
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of front desk and facilities / Sanitizer installed in lobby, restaurants, and in front of elevators / Front desk procedures shortened / Rooms disinfected between guests / Ventilation measures in place / Staff wear face shields/masks, wash hands, disinfect, gargle, and take their temperature / Guests who feel unwell are refrained from staying at the hotel / Masks required/temperature check enforced / Restrictions on room service (entry) for staff

  • TAIKOBAN KAMKAM
    太鼓判 花夢花夢
    • Address 2041 Yoshinoyama, Yoshinogun Yoshinocho, Nara 639-3115
    • Nearest Station Shuttle service at Yoshino Station on the Kintetsu Line (prior notice required)
    • Phone Number 0746-32-3071
    • Hours: Check-in 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Check-out before 10:00 a.m.
      Room rate: Japanese-style room for 2 pax - 9,000 yen onwards for 1 adult, etc.
      Closed: Open daily

2. Hotel Neiraku: A stone's throw from Nara Park, home to the mystical sight of deer beneath sakura canopies

2. Hotel Neiraku: A stone's throw from Nara Park, home to the mystical sight of deer beneath sakura canopies
Every spring, the deer and sakura trees of Nara Park come together to put on a show that continues to captivate many to this day

The internationally renowned Nara Park where a number of distinguished historic shrines and temples listed as world heritage sites can be found. Some of the more famous ones you may have already heard of are Tōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, and Kasuga Grand Shrine.

And you can't mention Nara Park without also mentioning the lovable deer inside that many people both in Japan and overseas have come to associate with the park. No wonder these deer are listed as one of Japan's national natural treasures!

As for the large and spacious park itself, which covers an impressive area of 510 hectares (about 1260 acres), various species of sakura trees will start blooming here from late March all the way to early May, giving visitors a generous time period to drop by for their sakura viewing sessions.

If you're in no rush to be first in line to the sakura craze, consider scheduling a visit for the late-blooming Nara-no-yaezakura instead, which is a small but classy-looking multi-petaled sakura that can blooms in the park every year between late April to early May.

Peaceful surroundings and convenient access to major hotspots

Hotel Neiraku is located very close to Nara Park - in fact, it's right in front of Kōfuku-ji's famous 50.1 meters (about 164 feet) tall five-storied pagoda, which has also incidentally been designated as a national treasure.

Other places of interest in Nara Park such as Tōdai-ji, Kasuga Grand Shrine, and the scenic Saruzawa Pond are also easily accessible from here, making the hotel an ideal base for your Nara Park sightseeing tour.

Although the hotel does not provide food to guests, there are a few French cuisine restaurants on the building's first floor that have received rave reviews from a number of media outlets, so they may be worth checking out!

If you're peckish for something else, one of the many eateries serving all sorts of cuisines in the neighborhood is sure to be able to satisfy your cravings.

How about a room with a window view of the five-storied pagoda of Kōfuku-ji?

Staff of the hotel can speak English and Chinese. You may also phone or email them in these languages. The hotel has pamphlets in English and Simplified Chinese as well, and Wi-Fi is available throughout the premises.

Featuring a wide variety of room types and contactless check-in

The deluxe suite room can take up to a maximum of four guests

Everyone is welcome at the hotel, and this is evident in the room types available for booking. There are double rooms, twin rooms, family rooms, and many other options for you to choose from.

For the comfort of all, the rooms are equipped with Simmons mattresses, and this is one of the features of the hotel that many guests are extremely pleased about, as it assures them of a good night's sleep after a long day of sightseeing.

Other amenities provided in the rooms are a TV, refrigerator, electric kettle, and air purifier with disinfection functions, as part of the hotel's comprehensive countermeasures against Covid-19.

Payment is online and self-check-in is done in a contactless manner, as rooms have been installed with remote locks that guests simply need to input a password to open.

After you've confirmed your reservation, the hotel or booking website will send you an email containing all the information needed for your stay, including the terms of service and room password. You can check into the hotel and go straight to your cleaned-up and comfortable room to relax at any time after 3:00 p.m.

Contactless check-in minimizes contact with staff and allows for flexibility

Covid-19 Countermeasures at the Hotel
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of front desk and facilities / Sanitizer installed in lobby, restaurants, and in front of elevators / Front desk procedures shortened / Rooms disinfected between guests / Ventilation measures in place / Staff wear face shields/masks, wash hands, disinfect, gargle, and take their temperature / Guests who feel unwell are refrained from staying at the hotel / Masks required/temperature check enforced / Restrictions on room service (entry) for staff

  • Hotel Neiraku
    Hotel 寧楽
    • Address 1122-12 Takabatakecho, Nara, Nara 630-8301
    • Nearest Station 6-minute walk from Nara Station on the Kintetsu Railway
    • Phone Number 090-8054-6289
    • Hours: Check-in 3:00 p.m. onwards; Check-out before 10:00 a.m.
      Room rate: Deluxe suite room for up to four pax - 1,575 yen onwards per 1 adult
      Closed: Open daily

  • Nara Park
    • Address The area covering Kasugano-cho, Zoshin-cho, Takabatake-cho, and Noborioji-cho in Nara, Nara, 630-0000
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Kintetsunara Station (Kintetsu-nara Line)
      5 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 0742-22-0375

These reasonably-priced hotels offer incredible value due to their excellent facilities and fantastic accessibility to top tourist destinations. That means everyone - including solo lady travelers - can feel at ease booking a stay with them.

Hopefully, this helps you to keep your accommodations costs down so that you can use more of your budget to thoroughly enjoy your Nara sakura viewing!

* All prices in the article are including tax.
* Due to Covid-19, operating hours, temporary closures, or facility services are subject to change without prior notification.

Text by Efeel
English translation by Huimin Pan

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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