Friday, November 20, 2015
Higashimuki is a great place place to spend some time shopping for traditional Nara souvenirs and crafts - especially if it is raining, as you are completely under cover from the elements.
The larger businesses are located closer to Kintetsu Nara Station and shops tend to become smaller and more local as you walk south towards Mochidono Center-gai another covered arcade and the Naramachi merchant district.
Recommended shops in the Higashimuki arcade include Mafu Okai Higashimuki-ten which specializes in beautiful hemp bags and Shop Tabi-ji Higashimuki for brightly-colored design tabi boots and socks. Both shops have another branch in Nara.
The Daiso chain 100 yen shop also has a large branch in the arcade on the right as you walk south.
Other more traditional stores on Higashimuki sell Nara's signature round fans, eggplant and cucumber tsukemono pickled in sake lees known as narazuke, fine, silk kimono, green tea and Buddhist statues. Yamazaki-ya is particularly famous for its narazuke pickles.
There are lots of places to eat and drink on Higashimuki including the usual fast-food chains, the Lion Spice Indian restaurant and a fair smattering of izakaya and upmarket cafes.
Places of note include Cafe Fluke, located in a restored Edo Period building, for delicious desserts and tropical fusion food and Osyaberinakame, a long-standing kissaten serving hearty meals, ideal for a filling lunch.
Ichijyou Higashimukidoriten is a popular lunch and night-time izakaya specializing in seasonal fish and Nara sake. Genkishin Ramen serves tsukemen, noodles dipped in a separate bowl of sauce.
Higashimuki arcade developed after the opening of Kintetsu Nara Station in 1914 and has become one of the city's main shopping thoroughfares.
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