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Brushing up with the culture of Nara - Strolling through Takahata and Naramachi

With numerous old temples of the likes of Shinyakushi-ji and Byakugo-ji affront a backdrop of Mt. Takamado and the Kasuga Virgin Forest that covers it, the Takahata area was deeply admired by intellectuals from the Taisho to early Showa Periods. Many famous writers and artists had homes there, including author Naoya Shiga of the Shirakaba School and artist Genichiro Adachi.
Known as Naramachi, the area west of Takahata has a long history having grown as the area outside of the Heijo-kyo Palace around the former grounds of Gango-ji Temple because of roads that connected it with the capital. There are many homes of merchants from the late Edo Period into the Meiji Period, which give the area a nostalgic air.

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1.JR Nara Station
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2.Irie Taikichi Memorial Museum of Photography Nara City
This is the first museum in Western Japan to be dedicated entirely to photography.
3.Shinyakushi-ji Temple
This temple was built in 747 by the Empress Komyo as a prayer for her husband's, the Emperor Shomu's, recovery from illness.
4.Naoya Shiga Residence
This is the home where Shirakaba novelist Naoya Shiga lived for 9 years from 1928.
5.Meisho Daijoin teien Culture Center
Daijo-in Temple prospered from the Heian Period to the Muromachi Period as a satellite temple of Kofuku-ji Temple under the name of Monsekijiin.
6.Imanishi Family Residence
This home is valuable for its representative architecture from the middle Muromachi Period characterized by the use of drawing rooms.
7.Gango-ji Temple
Gango-ji Temple is one of the 7 Buddhist temples in the Nara area protected by the government during the Nara Period.
8.Goryo-jinja Shrine
It is said that the gods of Ryoan-ji Temple in Gojo City, Nara Prefecture were moved to Goryo-jinja Shrine in the year 800 by the Emperor Kanmu.
9.Jurin-in Temple
Temple legend has it that the Emperor Gensho built this temple under the name of Chokuganji.
10.Naramachi Lattice Window House
This is what a traditional home in Naramachi looks like.
11.Kojin-do Temple
This small temple in Naramachi venerates a statue of Shomen Kongo of the Kojin faith, a compounded religion that takes elements from Tantric Buddhism, Shintoism, mountain asceticism and magic medicine.
12.Naramachi Gallery
On display are everyday utensils, Buddhist statues of Naramachi, signboards and more.
13.Nara Municipal Historical Records Preservation Center
This museum preserves many valuable historical records of Japan's middle ages and modern period, i.e., old books from Nara, Meiji Period newspapers, etc.
14.Kintetsu Nara Station