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“Great Hostel in a beautiful old house!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nara Backpackers

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Nara Backpackers
2.0 of 5 Japanese Guest House   |   31 Yurugicho, Nara 630-8283, Nara Prefecture   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 17 Specialty lodging in Nara
5.0 of 5 stars 80 Reviews
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Hostel in a beautiful old house!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

I went to Nara for one night to catch the Omizutori ceremony and stayed here. The staff was extremely helpful and friendly and the location was perfect! They also rent bicycles and there are a few public baths nearby for which they provide discounted tickets.
The house is also charming. It used to belong to a tea ceremony instructor apparently and one of the private rooms is actually the old tea room. When I first walked in I was beckoned towards the warm kotatsu to check in.
I stayed in the mixed dorm and it very clean and quiet. The other guest were also lovely.
Perfect if you are on a budget and still want to stay somewhere charming and well located!
If I go back to Nara I will definitely try to stay there again!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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80 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

Beautiful old Japanese tea house. Very quiet and tranquil. Had a lovely stay here the staff were absolutely lovely. Felt a bit of a giant Westerner as everything is so delicate- paper walls, tiny stairs. Would definitely go back.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Perth, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

This place is based in a traditional Japanese house that is over 100 years old, complete with rice paper walls, tatami floor mats, sunken tables, and a picturesque Japanese courtyard. I stayed in a double room round the front of the house, which was pretty chilly until we left the gas heater on for a while.

The staff were very helpful, and the price was pretty amazing. Shortly after we arrived, we headed out to find the Nara Fire Festival, which was on the night we were there. Only a couple of blocks from the hostel, it was an amazing experience (they burn an entire hillside), and is highly recommended if you are in the area in late January.

Overall helpful staff, comfy accommodation and at an amazing price.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

We've got the true experience of staying in a 100-year-old traditional Japanese house here. The hostel is located quite far from the train stations, and there was only a tiny sign in front of the hostel that tells you that is the right place. We took quite a while and various wrong routes to reach there. Staff were friendly. Accessible on foot to various attractions in Nara. There are quite a handful of rules, though, to stay there (to speak softly, keep the toilet doors open, walk quietly etc.). The most surprising was the fact that we had to wake up every 3 hours to click on a button on the heater, otherwise it would stop functioning. We were told that this was a safety measure, a bit annoying though. For the experience sake, it was great that we had stayed there. We were nonetheless relieved when we moved on to our next destination.

Room Tip: The large room for 4 persons is quite comfortable. Try to avoid the room used for tea ceremony as it...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Tokyo, Japan
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

The place was relatively easy to find after a short bus ride from JR Nara station, it's a short walk from Kintetsu Nara station and all the restaurants and shops in that area. This place wins for price and location: It's a walkable distance to most of what you'll want to see and do in Nara. We had reserved a dorm room but I enquired via email about upgrading to a private room a day before arriving and this was easily and quickly done. Staff were friendly and the house is lovely.

We stayed in the smallest room, an old tea room I believe. The room was very cold but we were given a heater and the futon had a heated cover. We couldn't get an internet signal there though.

We used the kitchen area for breakfast and it was nice and clean. Staff also kept our bags after we checked out so we could make the most of the day without having to carry our stuff.

If I were to complain, it would be about the internet, the fact there were two of us and only one (double) futon was provided, no blankets and the common areas closing at 11pm. Also one of the other guests was looking for staff to rent a towel at around 11pm and no-one was around.

Room Tip: We stayed in a small private room, got choice if you're short and don't feel cramped in smal...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Munich
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

Guesthouse Nara Backpackers
A little piece of home in Nara
We had a very nice stay at this hostel. Here you find it all:
• superb location (only a short stroll from all the major sights in Nara and right around the corner of the Kintetsu Nara station)
• very nice and helpful staff (they showed us one of the best restaurants I have ever been to)
• a wonderfully preserved old house with a long history
• cheap prices
All in all it is one of the best hostels I have been to and maybe the best choice in Nara for travellers on a budget.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

First of all I have to say that the guesthouse is simply beautiful, I'd really love to live there. It is a wooden traditional two-storey house with windows facing a lovely japanese garden in the middle of the property.
The first feeling while stepping into this guesthouse was like i was going to homestay at a japanese friend's place BUT i found the "welcoming ceremony" performed by the girl of the staff a little false with all those dry smiles and rules so that even if i enjoyed chatting with other guests in the living room or having a cup of tea in the kitchen i really couldn't feel so welcome and homey as I felt in other japanese guesthouses (being forced to leave the common areas at midnight or paying for a couple of towels didn't help....) I didn't find her friendly at all nor interested to chat with us...i mean a guesthouse is not only about staying in local people's house but much more about feeling like you're a guest, a part of the host family even just for few days. Maybe this is due to the fact that almost no travelers stay more than one night in Nara, so the staff is simply not interested in having any kind of comunication with guests beside "here's the bathroom, there's the kitchen". On the other hand we met the owner twice during the cleaning time (when you cannot stay in the house even in the common areas) and he was very nice and kind and allowed us to drop our luggage before check-in and after check-out.
For our one night stay we had the biggest room, it's on the first floor, facing the greenery of the garden. The room was big for the two of us and very cheap, but the paper of the sliding door on the hallway was teared up in few points and even if they put a signal at the entrance of the hallway saying that the passage was forbidden to guests (other than us) we didn't feel having so much privacy with those holes in the door...they should really fix it!
Beside these few cons, Nara Backpackers was a good value for money.

Room Tip: Ask for big room on the first floor facing the garden.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nara Backpackers

Address: 31 Yurugicho, Nara 630-8283, Nara Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Nara Prefecture > Nara
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 17 Specialty lodging in Nara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Nara Backpackers 2*
Number of rooms: 8
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