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'Nara-machi' zone in the heart of Nara City, Nara Prefecture, is lying in the ancient area,

Nara-machi has been developed on the overhanging part of 'Heijo-kyo', the capital of Japan before Kyoto. It is an old zone along the ancient grid-pattern roads in the 8th century. Ganko-ji Temple found here originally had extensive precincts though, these precincts had gradually been transformed into a commercial zone from the 16th to 19th century. It had become a busy zone with a variety of wholesalers and retailers dealing in writing brushes, Indian ink, mosquito nets and the like. This is one of the rare cities which escaped the air raids during the Second World War, as it was a relatively small city without big factories. Nara-machi, accordingly, is still dotted with many old buildings as shown in the pictures, and some of them are converted into bars, restaurants, variety shops and lodging houses to attract many people as a new tourist spot of this former capital. Licensed tour guide, travel consultant, Masahisa Takaki.

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