Nara is the capital city of Nara Prefecture located in the Kansai region of Japan. 

The political and religious heart of ancient Japan is easily accessed from Osaka and Kyoto and has shrines and temples that are among Japan’s oldest. Many of these sites have cultivated flower gardens that enhance their surroundings. Nara Park is home to the famously tame deer wandering freely, and adjacent Todaiji Temple houses the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue. Important pilgrimage routes run through the Mt. Yoshino area, a World Heritage site and a stunning cherry blossom spot in the spring.
Below are a few local specialties of Nara that not many people are familiar with! Take a look.

Yamato Tea

Formerly called Yamato, Nara is one of Japan’s main tea-producing areas. Tea first started being produced in the region 1200 years ago, when the legendary monk Kukai brought black tea plant seeds to Japan from China. Nara is now famous for green tea as well.

Yamato Tea, Nara

 

Sasanoha Sushi

Sasanoha sushi is made with vegetables and cooked or cured fish placed in a wooden mold and covered with sushi rice. The mix is then compressed into a rectangular shape, removed and wrapped in a bamboo leaf.

Sushi ( Source: Wafood Japanese Recipes)

Nara Brushes

A Buddhist monk returning from China introduced brushmaking to Japan. First made in Nara some 1,200 years ago, Nara fude are characterized by their blend of hairs, selected from 10 or more different animals. These brushes must balance hardness, softness, length, elasticity, and flexibility.

Nara Brushes

Nara-zuke

A method of pickling vegetables and fruit that has been practiced in Nara for over 1,300 years. The balance of salty and sweet is a perfect complement to freshly steamed white rice. Narazuke refers to vegetables of the gourd family that are pickled in sake lees.

Nara zuke

Miwa Somen

Very thin noodles made from flour and the soft waters of Miwa. Somen boils in under two minutes and is a favorite in the hot summer months when it is eaten cold in an icy soy sauce and fish stock broth.

Miwa Somen

Takayama Tea Whisks

Takayama produces almost all of the tea whisks in Japan. These utensils vary in shape, bamboo type and design details depending on their usage and the tea ceremony school.

 

Takayama Tea Whisks

 

SOURCE : Official Tourism of Japan.