By Bryan Baier
It’s time! The train has arrived at your stop in a city that you’ve been looking forward to visiting. You’ve done your research but there are still some things you’re just not sure of. If this is you in Nara, the Nara City Tourism Association has you covered with visitor information centers that have the answers to all questions at both JR and Kintetsu Nara Stations, the gateways to Japan’s storied and historic ancient capital.
Nara City Tourist Information Center JR Nara Station
With the vast majority of visitors to Nara arriving at JR Nara Station the larger of the two Tourist Information Centers is located at this station. It occupies JR Nara Station’s original 1935 brick building just a one minute walk from the east gate. The bi-lingual and multi-lingual staff offer tourist information is available in 4 languages (Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean). Spanish language literature is also available.
Besides multi-lingual information the Nara City Tourist Information Center at JR Nara Station offers secure baggage storage services (￥410 per baggage item per day), free umbrella, stroller and wheelchair rental and the only foreign currency exchange machine in Nara accepting and changing currencies from 12 different nations in Japanese Yen – but not back the other way. The interior of the Information Center was renovated and reopened on December 1st of 2015 making way for a library section (in partnership with the Nara City library) that has English books and a video presentation about Nara available in 6 languages (Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Korean and Spanish), a computer lab with computers that will soon serve Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean languages, an iPad corner, barrier free toilet, a nursing room for mothers with young babies, and a prayer room to facilitate Muslim services. A café and dining space is also in the works.
Nara City Tourist Information Center Kintetsu Nara Station
The Tourist Information Center at Kintetsu Nara Station is located in a well-marked office on the first floor the station building above the underground platforms. Despite being much closer to the sites of Nara Park than its counterpart at JR Nara Station it receives far less traffic. One will almost never have to wait to receive service. The Information Center at Kintetsu Nara Station offers the same in person multi-lingual information services as their JR counterpart as well as free umbrella and wheelchair rental.
Both locations are open daily 9am to 9pm. They can assist visitors with finding accommodations, sell daily bus passes and connect those who do not speak one of the languages served at the Information Center with a telephone service that does speak their language. Anything you need to know while traveling in Nara? The Nara City Tourist Information Center has you covered.
Was this article helpful?
Seven years of exploring and playing in the wilds of Japan! Now I'm JapanTravel's Tourism and PR Ambassador in Nara Prefecture and the Regional Partner for Nara Prefecture. It's been my experience that there's little if any awareness of Nara and its importance outside of Japan. My goal: remedy that