Three in one, there is a center combining three shopping streets near the traditional district Naramachi of Nara city. You have already wasted all your money for shops and restaurants along the 250 meter long street Higashimuki and at the southern end of the road, you suddenly see Sanjodori running across your eyes and also Mochiidono right in front of your position. Tourists are advised to not miss any shopping street among three as they are the market selling the soul of ancient Nara. Mochiidono, proud to be one of the oldest shopping streets in Nara, welcomes tourists with so called Naramachi items before leading them to Naramachi.
A legend tells that about 1000 years ago, the nun of Todaiji temple Rigendaishi, along with eight other men headed for Ominesan Mountain to slay a giant snake of many troubles for locals, carrying many rice cakes and dried rice to distribute to those who had been harmed by the snake. Two words mochi meaning rice cake and dono meaning rice were merged to name the young men to thank them for their work and after that, the whole town was called Mochi-i-dono. Mochiidono today enshrining Rigen-daishi with Munakata-jinja Shrine constructed on the 1st floor of the super market in the center of the street, worshiping Shobo Rigen-daishi-do and Mochi-i-dono Benzai-tensh.
Mochiidono is another covered shopping street with dome roof designed only for pedestrians, specialized by friendly and lovely Nara locals with slow and charming manner. They go around with an often light smile on their lips. An old lady watching intently a program on the giant screen, some young girls of some local tourism promoting organization welcoming visitors by dazzling smiles, they all make a vivid picture of the beautiful life in Nara. Originally, Mochiidono was established with a huge number of shops and restaurants. This figure has continued to increase with the appearance of the shared-space establishment Yume Cube made for the stores of entrepreneurs, along with new shops of Nara specialities.
Goods sold at Mochiidono are some of Nara things including round fans Uchiwa, wooden dolls Ittobori, Japanese theatre masks among many other kinds of arts and crafts, ceramics and pottery, charming items made from Nara fabrics of blankets, bags, clothings, handkerchiefs, ink and brushes for Japanese calligraphy. Tourists often enjoy buying a small ceramic with a painting of Fujisan on, a kitchen ware like a handcrafted lacquer ware bowl or a pretty traditional kimono. Among others, Matsumori is an outstanding Japanese lacquer ware and ceramics shop since 1871. You should visit to take a lovely souvenir of tea cup, blows or plates. Shops of 100 yen are also worth to visit. Restaurants along Mochiidono are various from Japanese to Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian. Do not forget to try a tasty rice cake mochi or sweet smelling bean buns.
Vary by shops and restaurants, usually from 10:00 am to 22:00 pm
Vary by shops and restaurants