A helpful tourist information center in Nara, Part 3: It’s right by JR Nara station! Nara city General Tourist Information Center speaks 4 languages!

The Nara city General Tourist Information Center is considered “The best” tourist information center by the Japanese Tourism Department. They speak 4 different languages and it’s available anytime. The building was renovated on December 1st of last year and new booths are open.

Nara city General Tourist Information Center


The center is built in a semi-foreign style structure

You’ll see unique decorations on the roof and wind bells on the 4 edges of the building. It looks like a temple mixed with the style of a Western palace. It was designed by architects based on other temples in Nara. These types of buildings are rarely seen compared to Western styled architecture in Nara, and were used as JR stations until 2003. It was almost demolished to build a new station, but was renovated as a tourist information center because of its historical value.

Nara city General Tourist Information Center
Nara city General Tourist Information Center

New booths are open!

The center is easy to find for those who coming to the JR Nara station for their first time.
They have multilingual guidance in every booth; Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean. They also have free Wi-Fi, a nursing room, and a praying room. The praying rooms are separated for men and women, and you can get in up to 2 people in, at the same time.

Signboard leading to the center
Signboard leading to the center
A desk for multilingual guidance
A desk for multilingual guidance

An abundance of information with multi lingual support!

When you come to the Nara for the first time, you may want to know how to get to a destination, and detailed information about the area. You can get pamphlets in many languages such as English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and even Spanish. You can also get information for other areas as well. If you want to look up information by yourself, you can also do so. In the library section, there are more than 200 books about Nara and Japan, and you can even watch HD guidance video in English.

Pamphlets in multi language
Pamphlets in multi language
Take a seat and read, or watch video in HD.

Get ready! Currency exchange service and a Cloakroom are available!

If your baggage is within the size of 2m and weighs under 30kg, you can leave your luggage here between 9:00 to 19:00. The maximum length is 3 days. The price is 410 yen a day, and changes depending on how many pieces of luggage you will leave with them. You can exchange foreign currency to Japanese yen at the currency exchange desk. American Dollars, Euros, Australian dollars, Taiwan dollars, Hong Kong dollars, Chinese Yuan, Korean Won, and Thai Baht are available.


Rental services for different needs!

If it starts to rain, you can also borrow an umbrella. Wheelchairs and baby carriages are also available to borrow. You can return the umbrella to any of the three tourist information centers in town. You can charge your phone and look up the tourist information at the tablet booth.
In 2016, Starbucks coffee will open, so you can chill out at the coffee shop and research information here.

As a local resident of Nara, I recommend these three below!
Nara Karakuri Omocha-kan
Yagyu Ittoseki
Sarusawa-ike pond
You can refer to this for more information!


1082 Sanjohonmachi, Nara city, Nara Prefecture 630-8122

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Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.


Address 1082 Sanjohonmachi, Nara city, Nara Prefecture 630-8122
Hours Opening hours 9:00〜21:00 
Multi language support 9:00〜21:00
Price Free
Close No scheduled holiday
Access 1 min walk from JR Nara station.
Phone 0742-27-2223
Language Japanese