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Nara Hotel: Enjoy Traditional Japanese Architecture in a Historical Guest House for Visiting Dignitaries!

This article will introduce recommended spots for foreign visitors that offer a sense of Japan’s unique history and tradition! Nara Hotel, located in Nara Prefecture, is one of Japan’s leading historic hotels. Established in 1909, it has a history of more than 100 years! The hotel was designed Tatsuno Kingo, an architect also famous for designing Tokyo Station. Don’t miss traditional Japanese architecture with a profound atmosphere developed over the course of time! Nara Hotel’s special history and prestige attract both Japanese and foreign guests!

■Nara Hotel (Established in 1909): Previously a State Guesthouse for Many Dignitaries

Nara Hotel has been in business for 113 years. It’s located in Nara Park, about a 15-minute walk or five-minute cab ride from Kintetsu-Nara Station. The hotel is also approximately a minute away from the “Nara Hotel” bus stop.

Nara Hotel is otherwise known as the “state guest house of the Kansai region”, as it was formerly used as a state guesthouse*, and has passed its history onto the present day. In the past, the hotel has hosted famous historical figures such as Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Audrey Hepburn, Helen Keller, Emperor Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi of China, and many others.

*State Guesthouse: A facility for entertaining state guests and members of the royal family for dinners and overnight stays.

■Architectural Designs by Tatsuno Kingo, the Architect Who Designed Tokyo Station

Nara Hotel has two buildings, the main building and an annex. The main building was designed by Tatsuno Kingo, a renowned architect who also designed Tokyo Station and the Bank of Japan’s head office. The exterior is characterized by its elegant and solemn design in the prestigious Momoyama Goten-style, and is made of hinoki cypress, a high-grade wood representative of Japan.

The new building is built in the Yoshino-style, an architectural style unique to the Yoshino region of Nara Prefecture. There are few flat areas in the Yoshino region, and guest rooms are located on the sloping parts of buildings. The entrance and the ground floor look like the first floor, but in this style of architecture, it’s actually counted as the fifth floor.

■Experience Japan’s Unique History Everywhere You Turn

Inside the hotel, the warmth of wood and rare designs of window frames, glass decor, furniture, and lights can be seen everywhere you turn!

Mantelpieces (fireplaces) from when the hotel was first built still remain. What’s more, much of the decor, such as paintings, pianos, and clocks, convey the weight of the hotel’s history and the reverberations of multiple generations-making it feel like a museum.

Japanese-Western style guest rooms …

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