Walking tour of Imaicho

A town that developed uniquely within the compound of a Buddhist temple to maintain a distance from samurai forces


Walking Tour of Historic Streetscape from the Edo Period

Imaicho in Kashihara, Nara still has the appearance of an antiquated town. It was built between 1532 and 1555 with a Buddhist temple at its center, and while clashes continued with samurai forces, they were granted a license to trade from Oda Nobunaga in 1575, and the town was absolved of any wrongdoing. During the Edo period (1603–1868), this became an important location for the transportation of goods, and by developing into a commercial town, they were given permission by the Edo shogunate (government) to distribute their own currency. At the time, it had been developed into a cutting edge town on par with Osaka and Sakai.

See an experience report for this facility!


  • The Imai Streetscape Cultural Exchange Center built in 1903 has a characteristic construction that blends Japanese and Western styles that can be felt in every single detail from the ceiling to the windows.
  • You can learn what the town used to be like with a model of Imaicho from 1877.
  • The streetscape with houses that have dignified architecture has been used in the filming of samurai period dramas.
  • You can also tour the inside of the houses such as at the Imanishi family residence which has the oldest history out of the other residences in town (there are also facilities that charge a fee).
  • The Tsuneoka Main Soy Sauce Brewery continues to maintain a traditional recipe that uses cedar tubs.
  • At the Kawai Brewery that is the sole sake brewery in Imaicho, you can sample their "Shusse Otoko" sake that has a refreshing taste.


  • Chris

    I loved the Edo-style architecture of the interior and exterior of the buildings. A lovely historical city with a peaceful and stylish ambience.

  • Benjamin Nicholson

    Looking inside a traditional house, and learning how people lived in the Edo Era

  • Byz

    Lovely down and interesting tour

  • Emily

    Imai town is an Edo era historical site of residence streets. It feels like strolling back in time. Some of the residences are open to the public with a reservation, but walking around learning the history with a local guide makes a memorable experience.

  • Fernando

    The Imaicho area is just captivating! Great atmosphere. Perfect for a lazy and relaxed tour.

Experience information

Name of experience
Walking tour of Imaicho
*It does not have any established programs.
Name of facility
Imai Streetscape Cultural Exchange Center "Hanairaka"
2-3-5 Imaicho, Kashihara City, Nara 634-0812
Business Hours
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Imai Streetscape Cultural Exchange Center "Hanairaka")
The New Year holiday (Dec. 29 to Jan. 3) (Imai Streetscape Cultural Exchange Center "Hanairaka")
The guide is free of charge, with 1,000 yen for traveling expenses. There are meal fees if mealtime overlaps with it. Some of the facilities have admission fees.
Payment method
Many stores in town only take cash
Number of guests accepted (groups)
Up to 15 people are assigned to a single guide
Telephone number
Requesting a guide: 0744-20-1123 (Kashihara City Tourism Association)
Foreign language support
Available (English only)
Official Website
Official Website (Japanese)