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Ruin / Grave / Ancient Tomb Spots in Japan

  • Yoshimi-Hyakuana
    Travel / Tourism
    Saitama Pref. Hikigunyoshimimachi Kitayoshimi 324
    A group of cave graves located in Kitayoshimi, Yoshimi Town, Hiki County. Consisting of 219 caves created some 1,400 years ago during the late Kofun period, this site is the largest of its kind in Japan and has been designated a National Historic Site. A series of tunnels used as an underground military factory during World War II can also be found at the site; in addition, the area is a rare habitat in the Kanto region for luminous moss, a designated National Natural Monument.
  • Ohitayama Tatara Iron Works
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamaguchi Pref. Hagishi Shibuki 10257-5 North side of Yamaguchi dam
    "This is an archeological of ironworks site in Hagi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. The furnace used at the time is called ""Tatara"" and the produced iron by melting the raw material iron sand with the heat of burning charcoal. In 2015, the site was designated as a ""Site of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution including Steel and Ironmaking, Ship Building and the Coal Industry"" by the UNESCO world heritage. The buildings maintained at the site date back to the end of the Edo period (1603–1868)."
  • Kojindani Ruins
    Travel / Tourism
    Shimane Pref. Izumoshi Hikawachoukamba 873-8 In Arashi Kamiya Historical Park
    These ruins were discovered in 1983 and 358 bronze swords from the Yayoi period and other bronze ware were excavated. The discovery of six bell-shaped bronze pots and 16 bronze spearheads deepened interest of the Yayoi period. Have fun at the park with reconstructed dwellings and a museum while thinking of the ancient times.
  • Cemetery of Mito Tokugawa Family
    Travel / Tourism
    Ibaraki Pref. Hitachiotashi Zuiryuchou Tsukanoiri 2092
    A cemetery which contains the remains of generations of the Mito Tokugawa family located in Hitachiota City, Ibaraki Prefecture. Unusual for such a place in Japan, the cemetery was created in a unique shape based on Confucian principals and runs 360 meters east-west, 500 meters north-south, and spans 65 to 134 meters above sea level. In 2007, the cemetery was designated a National Historic Site.
  • Kiusu Earthwork Burial Circles
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Chitoseshi Chuou
    This mass burial site, located near the Chitose-higashi interchange on the Doto Expressway, dates back to the ancient Jomon period. This site is the largest such burial ground from this period in Japan. Comprised of eight burial mounds in total, the mounds are characterized by a donut-shaped earthen embankment surrounding a sunken pit. This style has only been seen in Hokkaido and teaches us about the social systems of the people who lived here regarding burial rites and ancestor worship. Actual artifacts from the site are displayed in the Chitose Archaeological Center to the west in Chitose City.
  • Naniwa no Miya Palace Ruins (Naniwa no Miya Ato Park)
    Travel / Tourism
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Houenzaka 1
    Located a five-minute walk from Morinomiya Station on the JR Osaka Loop Line, this historical park spans across the Hoenzaka area. According to an excavation conducted by Tokutaro Yamane, a professor at Osaka City University, these are the discovered ruins of the Naniwa no Miya Palace whose location remained unknown although there were records. The area is approx. 90,000 square meters, and has been designated as a historic site, and the excavation and restoration of buildings that once existed there is underway. You can see breathtaking views of Osaka Castle from the Daigokuden (Great Audience Hall) restored in the Showa period (1926-1989).
  • Saru Rocks
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Hirata
    These are four rock carvings lined up in front of the grave of Kibihime no Okimi, the holy mother of Emperor Kotoku and Empress Saimei. The engraved rocks are said to represent, from the left, a woman, a mountain deity, a monk, and a man, three of which have a face on the back as well.
  • Hashihaka Burial Mound
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Sakuraishi Hashinaka
    This large-scale burial mound was built around the late third century. One of the oldest and largest national tombs in the shape of a key hole, it is postulated to be the grave of Queen Himiko of Yamataikoku. The Imperial Household Agency manages it as the Mausoleum of Princess Yamato-totohi-momoso-hime-no-mikoto-, the daughter of the seventh generation Emperor Korei. The moat around the tumulus, named the Great Hashinaka Pond, was created in 2010 and selected as one of Japan’s top 100 ponds by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
  • Kitora Tomb
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Abeyama
    This is a special national historical site inside the Kitora-kofun Tumulus in the Asuka Historical National Government Park located in Mt. Abe, Asuka Village. In excavations conducted in 1983, murals were found on the wall of the stone burial chamber and became known as the second mural tomb in Japan. Currently, works continues to restore the site to its original state and the artifacts found are being stored and exhibited in the Kitora Tumulus Mural Experiential Museum Shijinno Yakata. (The murals are open to the public for limited periods of time.)
  • Remains of Heijokyo Sakyo Sanjo Nibo Palace Garden
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Narashi Sanjouoji 1-5-37
    These ruins located on National Route 369 in Sanjooji, Nara City are the site of a Nara period palace garden discovered during an archeological excavation in 1975. The ruins, which center on a palace garden with a pond, have a high historical value for the information they have provided on ancient Japanese gardens. It has been designated by the government as both a Special Historic Site and a Special Scenic Spot.
  • Grave site of Mori Motonari
    Travel / Tourism
    Hiroshima Pref. Akitakatashi Yoshidachouyoshida
    Toshun-ji Temple was built the year after Mouri Motonari’s death in 1571 by his grandson Terumoto as the family temple. His tomb is erected in the precinct. The grave site is planted with Hariibuki, and there are also tombs of the Mouri clan and a Hyakuman Isshin Monument.
  • Tsukuriyama Kofun Burial Mound
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Okayamashi Kita-ku Shinjoushimo
    The keyhole-shaped burial mound boasts being the fourth largest in scale nationally. It is estimated that it was built in the first half of the 5th century, with a total length of 350 meters. A large amount of ironware such as mirrors and bells have been excavated, but the entombed person is still a mystery.
  • Yanagi Palace Ruins Historic Park
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Yanaginogosho
    Yanagi Palace Ruins Historic Park is a historic site in the town of Hiraizumi, Nishi-Iwai County, Iwate Prefecture. Excavations have revealed the remains of earth-fast post construction and groups of compounds, and there is said to be a strong possibility that the site is the remains of the Hiraizumi headquarters of Fujiwara Hidehira. Of the 10 hectare site, about half has been set aside as Yanagi Palace Ruins Historic Park, with the ponds, ditches, and paths restored.
  • Mano Goryo Mausoleum
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Mano 457
    The official name of this site is The Burial Mound of Emperor Juntoku. It is located on the ruins of the Juntokuin imperial crematorium, which was built upon a hill overlooking the Kuninaka Plains in Mano, Sado City, Niigata Prefecture. After the Jokyu Rebellion ended in failure, the emperor was banished to this island, and he was hoping to retake the capital, but died on the island. Pine and cherry trees were planted to mark the remains of the site where he was cremated. Although it is not his grave, it is managed by the Imperial Household Agency as if it was an imperial mausoleum. About 20 minutes' walk from the mound, is Manogu Shrine, where Emperor Juntoku is enshrined.
  • Mori-Shogunzuka Kofun, Chikuma City
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    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chikumashi Yashiro 29-1 In the village of the genius in the historical park
    This National Historic Site is in Mori, Chikuma City. The roughly 100-meter-long keyhole-shaped tumulus was built in the fourth century. It's thought to be the grave of a king who once ruled the area. It was restored based on an excavation, and today features facilities like Shinano-no-sato Historical Park and the Mori-Shogunzuka Museum.

    埴科古墳群は長野県千曲市にある古墳群で、その中の森将軍塚古墳、有明山将軍塚古墳、倉科将軍塚古墳、土口将軍塚古墳はいずれも国の史跡です。この辺り周辺は他にもたくさんの古墳があり古墳ファンにはたまらない場所でしょうね。 森将軍塚古墳は多くの古墳がある長野県で最大の全長100メートルに及ぶ前方後円墳で、千曲市森将軍塚古墳館のある山の麓辺りから古墳のある山頂を見上げるとうっすらとその姿が見えますが、近づい...

  • Koboyama Ancient Tomb
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Namiyanagi 2-1000
    Eastern Japan's oldest rectangular-shaped ancient tomb, it is located in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture. It has been designated as a national historic site and a cultural property of Nagano Prefecture. A mirror with four beasts, ancient magatama (curved bead ornaments) and other artifacts that were excavated from the ancient tomb are exhibited in the Matsumoto City Archaeological Museum. In addition, it is a famous cherry blossom viewing spot, and bustles with many people who come to see the 2,000 Yoshino cherries and late-blooming yaezakura cherries when they bloom.
  • Takarazuka Kofun Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Mie Pref. Matsusakashi Takaradukachou 120-1
    Located a 20-minute drive from the Matsusaka Interchange, this park is centered on the large ancient tombs that remain in Takarazuka. Tomb No. 1 is a keyhole shaped tomb that is square at the front and rounded in the rear, and tomb No. 2 is an early keyhole-shaped tomb mound that is scallop shaped, and they were both created more than 1,600 years ago. Tomb No. 1 is especially famous for the rare large clay boat haniwa (terracotta tomb figurine) that was unearthed there, and many of the excavated items have been designated nationally Important Cultural Properties. Inside the park, the shape of the tombs and their original state is maintained in an easy-to-understand way, and it is decorated with many restored haniwa. In addition, you can also enjoy the Matsusaka Castle ruins and large panorama nearby from tomb No. 1.
  • Toyotomi Family GraveMarkers
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama prefecture Ito-gun Koya-machi Okuninin entrance
    This tombstones are along the walkway approaching Okunoin Temple, the most sacred spot at Koyasan in present day Wakayama Prefecture. Koyasan was founded by Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai) in 816. The graves of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, his mother, his half-brother Hidenaga, and his wife are all there. Succeeding Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi prepared to attack Koyasan, but called it off at the urging of the high priest Mokujiki Ogo of Koyasan. After that, Hideyoshi became a devotee of the priest and worked for Koyasan's revival. Surrounded by large cedar trees and well maintained, the tombstones have been designated a Prefectural Historic Site.
  • Komorizuka Burial Mound
    Travel / Tourism
    Okayama Pref. Soujashi Kambayashi
    Koumorizuka Burial Mound is a National Historic Site located in Kanbayashi in the city of Soja. This large keyhole-shaped mound, 100 meters long, is believed to be the tomb of a ruler in the ancient province of Kibi. At the rounded back end of the tomb is a burial chamber 19.4 meters long, made of huge stones and accessed by a passageway. It is the 4th largest such burial chamber in Japan, and archeologists have found large numbers of clay and metal artifacts in it.
  • Nishi Miyakobaru Burial Mounds Special Historic Site Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Miyazaki Saito Ichimiyake

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