"Nabe-ryori" refers to a type of dish where meat, fish, vegetables, and other ingredients are boiled in dashi (broth). It is particularly popular during winter, as it helps warm the body, which is why so many restaurants include it in their menu. This article features some restaurants in Nara that serve this delicious dish. Check them out when you go there for vacation!
1. Washokuya Happo
Washokuya Happo is conveniently located at about a minute's walk away from Nara Station. The restaurant offers dishes that showcase the culture behind traditional Japanese cooking in a homely space adorned with mud walls, recycled wood, and bamboo. Their vegetables, meat, and other ingredients are mainly produced in Nara, which is blessed with good produce thanks to its cool climate and rich soil. They have plenty of dishes to choose from, but if you want some rich-flavored shabu-shabu (sliced meat parboiled with vegetables) with a generous serving of Nara Go pork, you can try their [Nara Go Pork no Dashi Shabu (2,980 JPY plus tax)] or their [Chanko Nabe Lunch with Nara Go Pork (1,100 JPY plus tax)] that also comes with plenty of vegetables.
Open: [Weekdays, Saturday] 11:30 am - 10:30 pm (Food L.O. 9:30 pm, Drinks L.O. 10:00 pm)
[Sunday, National Holidays] 11:30 am - 10:00 pm (Food L.O. 9:00 pm, Drinks L.O. 9:30 pm)
Closed: Monday *Open if it's a national holiday
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 880 JPY
Address: 22, Higashimuki Naka-machi, Nara-shi, Nara
2. Waki Aiai
Waki Aiai is an izakaya (Japanese pub) and restaurant with a family-friendly atmosphere. They serve a variety of dishes that go well with alcoholic drinks, as well as desserts, to cater to customers' preferences. Among the dishes that they offer, one of the best is the [Beef and Offal Chiritori Nabe], priced at 1,500 JPY per serving. It is a very satisfying and popular dish filled with savory Yamagata beef and vegetables in a broth seasoned with spices like sweet-yet-spicy homemade gochujang (Korean red chili paste).
Open: [Friday, Saturday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] 5:00 pm - 3:00 am (L.O. 2:30 am) [Monday - Thursday, Sunday] 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Average price: 3,000 JPY
Address: 1F, Mochi no Ki Bldg., 1030, Odono, Sakurai-shi, Nara
Offering dishes made of seasonal seafood, Gen is owned by a fishmonger with 35 years of experience, which gave him a very keen eye in selecting ingredients for delectable seafood dishes. The restaurant has a wide variety of à la carte dishes, including sashimi, but they also offer classic hot pot dishes. In fact, it is recommended to try their hot pot courses, of which they have 2 varieties: the [Chanko Nabe] (hot pot that's known as a staple food for sumo wrestlers), which is a course meal consisting of bounties from the sea, traditional Nara vegetables, and branded meats like Yamato Niku-dori (Yamato Niku Chicken) and Yamato Pork; as well as the [Tecchiri Nabe] (blow fish hot pot) that uses fugu (blow fish) freshly caught from the restaurant's fish tank.
: [Monday, Thursday - Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm), Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)
[Wednesday] Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)Closed
: TuesdayAverage price
: [Dinner] 3,500 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPYAddress
: 457-2, Imaizumi, Kashiba-shi, NaraMore Details
4. SEOUL NO IE
Soul no Ie is a reputable restaurant in Nara that offers authentic Korean cuisine. Aside from their hearty and delicious samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly) and bulgogi (grilled marinated beef with vegetables), they also have a wide variety of à la carte dishes, as well as [Jjigae] (Korean nabe). To name a few, they have [Tofu Jjigae (800 JPY)], [Doenjang Jjigae (800 JPY)], [Pork Kimchi Jjigae (1,000 JPY)], [Keh Jjigae (1,500 JPY)], and [Seafood Jjigae (1,500 JPY)].
Soul no Ie
: 5:00 pm - 4:00 amClosed
: IrregularAverage price
: 3,000 JPYAddress
: 101, Lumiere Shin Okubo, 6-4-8, Omiya-cho, Nara-shi, Narahitosara (Japanese)
5. Shunkai Jaya Fukuda
This Japanese restaurant is run by a veteran cook who not only has been handling fresh fish for 45 years, but is also famous as a master of kaigyo (live fish and shellfish) cuisine. He prepares a wide variety of dishes using carefully selected fresh seafood directly shipped from the market every day. His customers can enjoy dishes like delicious sashimi assortments and seasonal course meals. The hot pot dishes are also quite popular, and include the luxurious [Katsu Hamo Nabe (2,800 JPY per serving)] (fresh pike conger hot pot) for summer and the lavish [Katsu Fugu Nabe (Tecchiri) (3,800 JPY per serving)] (fresh blow fish in a hot pot) for winter. They offer various seating options, such as counter seats for solo diners, as well as private rooms for groups.
Shunkai Jaya Fukuda
: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)Closed
: Monday, 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the monthAverage price
: 3,500 JPYAddress
: 3-9-7, Denen, Gojo-shi, NaraMore Details
Kajika is a izakaya that caters to a wide range of customers. Their dishes do not belong to a single particular cuisine, as they offer both Japanese and Western food, from kushiyaki (grilled skewers) to salads. Some of their best-selling dishes include hot pots, such as their [Homemade Tsukune no Miso Chanko Nabe (980 JPY)] - a hot pot consisting of homemade tsukune (chicken meatballs) and vegetables in a broth with lots of miso paste, ordered à la carte. They also have course meals where you can choose what type of hot pot you'd like as the main dish, such as a hot pot with chicken and pork, a motsu nabe with boiled beef or pork offal, and so on.
Open: 11:30 am - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Average price: 2,500 JPY
Address: Yell Kashiba, 41-1, Isokabe, Kashiba-shi, Nara
Conveniently located about 3 minutes away on foot from Kintetsu-Nara Station, Hanashiba showcases creative dishes made from in-season seafood. The owner visits the market daily to carefully select seafood that will be used for the restaurant. Aside from their delectable sashimi, the restaurant is also known for their seasonal hot pots. They use hotaru ika (firefly squid) for spring, hamo (pike conger) for summer and autumn, and kaki (oysters) or buri (Japanese amberjack) for winter hot pots. You definitely should try their [Tennen Buri Shabu (1,980 JPY)] - a hot pot with slices of fatty buri, which is best enjoyed when dipped in its rich dashi. They also have a wide selection of alcohol, including ji-zake (Japanese local alcohol) brought from all over Japan, to provide a great match with their meals.
: [Lunch] 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm) / [Dinner] 6:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)Closed
: IrregularAverage price
: [Dinner] 4,500 JPY / [Lunch] 900 JPYAddress
: 8-2, Hanashiba-cho, Nara-shi, NaraMore Details
Sushimasa offers a great selection of dishes made with fresh seafood. They are known not only for their signature sushi, but also for their wide variety of hot pot options. Customers can choose their favorite seafood as the main ingredient, as well as their preferred flavor of soup stock. Seafood that can be used in these hot pots include fugu (blow fish), tai (sea bream), hamo, taraba-gani (red king crab), buri, and kue (longtooth grouper). Another thing that is highly appreciated by many customers is the restaurant's flexibility, as they offer both high-end marine products caught in the wild and reasonably priced farm-raised seafood.
Open: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)
Average price: 7,000 JPY
Address: 101, 1F, Heartful 21, 146-5, Nishi Kitsuji-cho, Nara-shi, Nara
Harukawa offers authentic Korean dishes that are adjusted to cater to Japanese taste buds. They have à la carte dishes, like [Buchimgae] (Korean savory pancake) that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, as well as a wide variety of hot pots. Some recommended hot pot dishes are the [Harukawa-style Harihari Nabe (1,180 JPY plus tax for 1 person)], which uses chicken, pork, beef offal, and vegetables, and the sweet-yet-spicy [Harukawa Dak-galbi Nabe (980 JPY plus tax for 1 person)], whch is a stir-fried hot pot of vegetables seasoned with homemade miso paste. Both dishes offer a uniquely delicious taste that will get you hooked. As you dine, enjoy the view of the restaurant's interior that is adorned with paintings and ceramic artworks made by various Japanese artists.
: [Lunch] 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm), [Dinner] 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)Closed
: NoneAverage price
: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPYAddress
: 1F, Tomio Sunny Heights, 4-1-26, Tomio Moto-machi, Nara-shi, NaraMore Details
10. Dining Kagura
Here, you can enjoy healthy cuisine with generous servings of fresh seafood, ji-dori (local chicken), and freshly picked vegetables. They have à la carte dishes that go well with alcohol, as well as a wide selection of hot pots. Some of their must-try hot pots are the [Ji-dori Sukiyaki Nabe (1,800 JPY per serving)], which is made with umami-rich (umami refers to the Japanese savory taste) ji-dori, and the [Korean-style Teppan Nabe (1,400 JPY per serving)] - a spicy hot pot with beef and vegetables cooked in an iron pot. Feel free to try any of these!
: 5:00 pm - 12:00 amClosed
: None Average price
: 3,000 JPYAddress
: 2-1-29, Jinraku, Yamatotakada-shi, NaraMore Details
11. Yataizushi Tenri Eki-mae-cho
Yataizushi offers delectable sushi in a lively dining atmosphere. You can enjoy delicious sushi for as low as 59 JPY (plus tax) per piece, creative dishes that go well with alcohol, and their popular hot pots. One of the reasons why this place is so well known is their [Motsu Nabe (1,980 JPY plus tax for 2 people)] that can be enjoyed with 5 kinds of soup (milky white soup, shoyu, miso, salt, and jjigae), along with generous servings of beef or pork offal and vegetables. With the hot pot's umami-rich, fresh, and sweet-tasting offal, as well as its crisp vegetables, you can feel your entire body warm up and gain energy with each sip.
Yataizushi Tenri Eki-mae-cho
: 4:00 pm - 2:00 am (L.O. 1:30 am)Closed
: None *Please inquire if reserving for the beginning or end of the yearAverage price
: 2,700 JPYAddress
: 801, Kawaharajo-cho, Tenri-shi, NaraMore Details
12. Nikusho Geihinkan Tahara Main Branch
Nikusho Geihinkan offers affordable yet tasty dishes made from direct-from-the-farm, high-quality beef. The restaurant uses carefully selected ingredients, including Yamato beef, which is a type of Kuroge Wagyu (a type of high-quality beef) that was raised at the restaurant's own farm. Although they are known for their yakiniku (Japanese BBQ), they are also loved for their hot pot options, which are mainly Korean-style. For example, there's the [Kimchi Jjigae (1,980 JPY)] and [Tecchan Nabe (1,980 JPY)] with beef offal cooked in a hot pot. Both of these can only be ordered by groups of 2 people or above.
Nikusho Geihinkan Tawara Main Branch
: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)Closed
: NoneAverage price
: 3,500 JPYAddress
: 584-2, Yao, Tawaramoto-cho, Shiki-gun, NaraMore Details
Nabe-ryori is filled with nutrients and the umami of various ingredients. Drop by any of these restaurants if you are visiting Nara during the winter!
Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.