JW Marriott NaraMori Trust announced that the Marriott International hotel group will open their first JW Marriott luxury branded hotel in Nara City in 2020. The JW Marriott Hotel Nara will be built on vacant land across the street from the Nara City Hall and near the former Heijo Palace – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mori Trust acquired the 4,000 sqm block from the prefecture and will start construction of the 15,000 sqm (161,400 sq.ft) hotel next year. The 6 ~ 7 storey hotel will have 150 guest rooms, restaurant, bar and pool facilities.

Nara’s Prefectural Governor had been campaigning for a leading hotel in Nara City. Nara has always been a ‘day-trip’ tourist destination and was lacking in luxury hotels. The prefecture plans to spend approximately 22 billion Yen to built a conference centre, tourist facilities and a bus terminal on an adjoining site near the hotel.

In 2014, 663,000 foreign tourists visited the prefecture, an increase of 45% from 2013. Domestic tourist numbers were 38,110,000 in 2014, up 7.4% from the previous year. However, just 6% of the tourists stayed in hotels, with the rest presumed to have only visited for a day trip.  Of the total hotel guests, foreigners accounted for just 4% in 2014.

There are currently 75 hotels in 25 countries operating under the JW Marriott brand.

The Sankei Shimbun, March 3, 2016.
The Mainichi Shimbun, March 3, 2016.
Mori Trust Press Release, March 3, 2016.