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Spots in Asuka / Kashihara / Sakurai Area

  • Omiwa Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Sakuraishi Miwa 1422
    Omiwa Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan and the site has been sacred ground for some of the earliest religious practices. The Miwa Torii (shrine gate), the gate marking the transition from the profane to the sacred, and the worship hall have been designated as important cultural assets of the country. Although we know from records that the worship hall was founded in the Kamakura period, the shrine as we know it now was rebuilt by Tokugawa Ietsuna, the fourth Tokugawa shogun. The enshrined deity is revered as a guardian deity of human life in the sense of building a nation. People are welcome to join the festivals held here throughout the year. Omiwa Shrine is approximately five minutes on foot from JR Miwa Station.
  • Kashihara Jingu Shrine
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    4.0
    228 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Kashiharashi Kumechou 934
    This shrine is dedicated to Emperor Jimmu and his wife. The shrine was erected by Emperor Meiji in 1890 based on the Nihon Shoki, one of Japan’s oldest history books, which records that the Emperor Jimmu was enthroned at the site. Located at the foot of Mt. Unebi, the hinoki bark thatched, bare-wood main shrine and kagura hall harmonize perfectly with the thick and verdant forest which surround the shrine’s gravel path. The main shrine was a sanctuary in the Kyoto Imperial Palace that was moved here.

    Hi my name is Kevin I'm Australian but Ive started managing a log cabin cafe near Kashihara Jingu mae (In fact I can see the unebi mountain from the cafe and the Kashihara Jingu shrine just on the...

  • Hasedera Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Sakuraishi Hase 731-1
    This prosperous temple, the head temple of the Shingon-shu Buzan-ha sect of Buddhism, is the eight of 33 temples on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. It was said to have originated with the installation of the Douban Hokke Sessou Zu (a bronze plaque carved with the Hokke Sutra), a National Treasure, by Domyo Shonin for Emperor Tenmu in 686. It is famous for its large collection of cultural properties, including the Juichimen (11-headed Kanzeon Bodhisattva), the temple's principal object of worship. The temple has a number of historically and cultural significant points of interest, including the 399-step stone stairs (an Important Cultural Property) leading from the Deva gate to the main temple (a National Treasure), the hanging lanterns suspended from the ceiling, and more. In late April, more than 7,000 peonies bloom in the temple gardens.
  • Murouji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Udashi Murou 78
    A temple of the Omoto school of Shingon Buddhism, unlike sacred Mt. Koya, this temple was open to women, thus resulting in its nickname, the Woman’s Mt. Koya. The temple was erected in the Nara period in prayer for the recovery from illness of Emperor Kammu. The rooves of buildings such as the main hall and nave are shingled and thatched with hinoki bark in place of clay tiles. The temple’s five-tier pagoda, a designated National Treasure, is Japan’s smallest outdoor five tier pagoda. The temple enshrines numerous Buddhist statues designated National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties, such as the standing figure of Gautama Buddha that is the main object of worship as well as a standing image of Maitreya.
  • Tanzan Jinja
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Sakuraishi Tounomine 319
    This Shinto shrine’s origin dates back to when statesman Fujiwara no Kamatari’s son, Fujiwara no Joe, had his father’s ashes moved here and built a 13-tier pagoda in 678. Prior to the official separation of Buddhism and Shintoism in the country, the shrine was a Buddhist temple called the Tonomine Temple. The pagoda, rebuilt in 1532 and a designated Important Cultural Property, is the only extant 13-tier pagoda in the world. Beyond the shrine stands a mountain said to be the location where Emperor Tenjin and Fujiwara no Kamatari discussed the Taika Reform. The mountain thus came to be called “Tanzan,” or the Mountain of Discussion, hence the shrine’s name. In the spring, a 600-year old usuzumi cherry tree and designated Natural Monument comes in to bloom, and the shrine is thus known as a beautiful site for cherry blossom viewing. In addition, in autumn, visitors can enjoy the shrine’s fall foliage when it is colored by over 3,000 maple trees.
  • Abe Monjuin
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    4.0
    79 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Sakuraishi Abe 645
    This is a Kegon sect Buddhist temple in Abe, Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture, and was built as a shrine for the Abe Kurahashimaro family in the Taika Reform in 645. The principal object of worship is the Monju Bosatsu known for the proverb 'Two heads are better than one.' The national treasure Wooden Image of Kishi Monju Bosatsu and the four flanking images created by Kaikei boast Japan's largest size. Inside the grounds are three ancient burial mounds, as well as the highlight Kinkaku Ukimido Reihokan which holds representations of Benzaiten and Abe no Nakamaro. In spring and autumn the cosmos bloom in profusion, and in September visitors can enjoy a cosmos field maze.

    本尊の渡海文殊像は国宝、桧造りで7mもあるらしい。すぐまじかで拝観することが出来ました。仏像も堂塔も歴史も、境内の古墳を含めて超一流、創建1400年に迫ろうかと云う素晴らしい寺院でした。池に浮かぶ金閣浮御堂は水面に投影されて一層素晴らしい。毎年の干支を表示している庭の巨大な花畑はテレビ局が撮影に来るほどのもの。檀家を有さない寺院の経営は大変かとは思うが、和尚の余りにも商売熱心なのは神聖な寺院として...

  • Okadera Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Oka 806
    A Shingon Buzan Buddhist temple located in Asuka Village, Takaichi County, Nara Prefecture and the seventh station on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. The temple is said to have been founded by the high priest Gien on the site of a hill palace he had received where Prince Kusakabe, son of Emperor Tenmu, once lived. The temple’s official name is the Ryugai-ji Temple. Long worshiped as sacred ground providing protection from evil and harm, the temple is visited by great numbers of worshippers seeking to ensure their safety during unlucky years. The temple has many highlights, including Nyoirin Kannon Zazo (seated figure of Cintamani-cakra, a designated Important Cultural Property and Japan’s oldest earthen image) and a crimson-lacquered Deva gate and. In mid-April, some 3,000 rhododendrons come into bloom on the temple’s grounds; the fall foliage in autumn is also spectacular.
  • Minami Hokke-ji Temple (Tsubosaka-dera Temple)
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    4.0
    49 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Takaichi-gun, Nara Prefecture Takatori Town Utsusaka 3
    This old Shingon sect Buddhist temple, known as the sixth temple on the Saigoku Thirty-three Kannon Temples Pilgrimage, is said to have been built in 703. The eleven-faced, thousand-armed Kannon (Bodhisattva or Goddess of Mercy) enshrined there as the honzon (principal object of worship) has a miraculous effect on eye disease, and attracts a great many worshippers from across the country. The three-storied pagoda and Reido have been designated as National Important Cultural Properties.

    An invitation from a monk brought me to Tsubosaka Temple. I was not disappointed. My guide told me many of the folklore stories about the temple and its creation and the significance of many of the...

  • The Museum, Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Kashiharashi Unebichou 50-2
    This museum displays actual materials dug up by the Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture as part of its excavation and research ancient ruins. Focusing on items excavated in Nara Prefecture, visitors can catch a glimpse of the history of Nara from the Paleolithic era to the Muromachi period. Particularly famous pieces in the museum’s collection include Japan’s largest cylindrical Haniwa statue, an Important Cultural Property excavated from the Mt. Mesuri Tumulus; and a gilt bronze horse harness excavated from the Fujinoki Tomb and a designated National Treasure. Original merchandise such as Haniwa key chains, can be purchased in the museum shop.
  • Takamatsuzuka kofun (tomb)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Hirata 439
    A late stage kofun (burial mound) tomb erected during the time of the ancient capital Fujiwara-kyo (694–710) and located in the east of the Takamatsuzuka section of Asuka Historical National Government Park. A five meter tall two tier tomb, the upper tier is 18 meters in diameter while the lower is 23. In 1972, a richly colored mural was discovered in the tomb which won it instant notoriety. In 1973, the tomb was designated a Special Historic Site and in 1974 the mural was designated a National Treasure. The tomb may be viewed at any time but normally the mural is not available for public viewing; the workroom in which the mural is investigated is made open to public entry irregularly for special exhibitions.
  • Ishibutai kofun (tomb)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Shimashou
    One of the largest of its kind in Japan at 50 meters per side, this tomb was built by piling up 30 large boulders. Having lost the soil which once covered it and due to the flatness of the ceiling stone, the tomb is called the Stone Stage. It is not clear to whom the tomb belonged, but due to the fact that a garden which belonged to Soga no Iruka’s grandfather Soga no Umako is located nearby, one leading theory is that it is his tomb. The surrounding area blooms with cherries in the spring and red spider lilies in the fall. The tomb is a nationally designated a Special Historic Site.
  • Asuka-dera Temple
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    4.5
    160 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Asuka 682
    Japan’s first fully-fledged Buddhist temple, the Asuka-dera was completed in 596 by through the efforts of the samurai Soga no Umako, who promoted Buddhism in the nation. The temple’s principle object of worship, a bronze seated figure of Gautama Buddha popularly known as the “Asuka Great Buddha,” is Japan’s oldest Buddhist image and a designated Important Cultural Property. The Hana-eshiki Ceremony, which celebrates the birth of Gautama Buddha, is also famous for having first been conducted in Japan here. The temple was once quite large, with a central tower, three-sided main temple building, and encircling galleries, but most of the temple buildings were lost in fire due in the Kamakura period due to lightning strikes. The current main temple building was reconstructed in the Edo period.

    This temple contains an ancient wooden statue of Buddha. Photos are allowed. In the courtyard there is also an old bell and you are allowed to strike it once per person. Peaceful atmosphere.

  • Asuka Historical Museum
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    4.0
    28 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Okuyama 601
    The village of Asuka, in the Takaichi District of Nara Prefecture, whose name was once written with the characters for “Soaring Bird,” is well-known as the ancient birthplace of the nation we now call Japan. The Asuka Historical Museum was opened in 1975 to investigate, research, and exhibit cultural properties from the area around Asuka Village. The museum has artifacts excavated from sites like the Takamatsuzuka Tomb on permanent display, teaching visitors about the history and culture of Asuka from the time Buddhism was conveyed to Japan in the sixth century up to the transition of the capital to Nara in the early eighth century. The museum also contains a recreation of the Yamada-dera Temple, an early Buddhist temple erected by Soga no Kurayamada no Ishikawa no Maro, who was accused of treason after the Taika Reforms of 645.

    This Museum focuses on some of the stone statues dating back to the 7th century discovered in the region. There are a few originals and some copies. A recently discovered tomb containing some...

  • Nara Prefecture Complex of Man’yo Culture
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    4.0
    23 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Asuka 10
    This cultural museum focuses on the Manyoshu ancient collection of Japanese poetry as well as other classical culture. There's the Japanese Painting Exhibition Hall which has a variety of exhibitions centered around Manyo Japanese paintings, the Manyo Theater where you can experience the Manyo world through music and light, as well as the Special Exhibition Hall where you can see replicas of artifacts from the Asukaike Workshop archeological site discovered on the premises. There are also the Manyo Library and Information Room, Museum Shop, and Manyo Garden located onsite.

    万葉文化館という名称から、文学系の博物館かと思っていましたが、そんなことはないです。文化に焦点を絞り、当時の文化や近隣アジア諸国との比較展示などもあります。また体験系の設備も多く、正直深い内容ではないですが、とても楽しい時間を過ごすことができます。

  • Amakashi-no-Oka, Asuka Historical National Government Park
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Toyoura
    Asuka Historical National Government Park is a 60 hectare park created to protect and share the natural beauty and Asuka cultural assets found in the area. The park is divided into five areas; the Amakashi-no-Oka area is a hill offering a sweeping view extending from Mt. Kongo to the Yamato Sanzan mountains and the sites of Asuka-kyo and Fujiwara-kyo. Visitors can also immerse themselves in the ancient culture of the region; the area is outfitted with a trail on which you can enjoy a quiz on the names of 40 plants which appear in the ancient text of the Man'yoshu and the Kojiki.
  • Soni Highland
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Udagunsonimura Taroji
    "The Soni Highlands in Uda County, Nara Prefecture, are known for Okame Pond. The highlands extend out from the western foothills of Mt. Kameyama, so called because it resembles the back of a turtle (""kame"" in Japanese) when viewed from 1038-meter Mt. Kuroso (one of the Japan's 300 famous mountains). Chinese silvergrass grows throughout the highlands, and every year in mid March, the hills are subjected to controlled burning, so that visitors can enjoy the fresh greenery on the hills in the summer. At Okame Pond, which features in a famous legend, visitors can see rare plants that grow only in wetlands. One of the best hiking routes in the Kansai region for families (the Kogen Daisuki Course or ""I Love the Highlands Route"") is located here, and hikers can see the National Natural Monuments, Yoroi Dake (""Armor Peak""), Kabuto Dake (""Helmet Peak""), and Byobu Iwa (""Screen Rock"")."
  • Daigan-ji Temple
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    4.0
    1 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Udashi Oudahirou 736
    A Buddhist temple. The temple’s principal object of worship is an 11-faced statue of Kannon which survived a large fire in 1885, resulting in its nickname, the “Unburned Kannon.” Here visitors can enjoy traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine prepared with medicinal plants (reservation required) renowned for its flavor.

    今週は紅葉がきれいだと思い宇陀に出かけました。 春には又兵衛桜を見に行くところです。 宇陀の道の駅はよく行くのですが、その直ぐ近くに歩いて行ける大願寺がありました。 初めて知ったのですが紅葉で有名なお寺の様です。観光バスも来てます。 薬膳料理も食べられるみたい。 狛犬が虎になってます。めずらしい。

  • Kusuri no Yakata Uda City History and Culture Museum
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    4.5
    7 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nara Pref. Udashi Oudakami 2003
    A museum housed inside the former residence of the Hosokawa family, which operated a medicinal wholesaler passed down for generations from 1806. The museum is located in Ouda, Uda City, Nara Prefecture. The building, standing along a former highway route, was built in the late Edo period; the sign for the former company’s medicine brand, Tenju-maru, still stands atop the building, and the structure still looks the same as when the area once flourished as a production location for medicines. Inside, the museum presents historical materials connected to the Hosokawa family and the local area. The building was also once the home of the mother’s side of the family of the founder of Fujisawa Pharmaceutical (which eventually merged with Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical to create Astellas Pharma), and the museum thus also exhibits materials related to Fujisawa Pharmaceutical.

    宇陀松山城跡の麓にある、重要伝統的建造物保存地区の松山地区にある、公開町家。もともとは薬問屋で、2階の軒下に立派な看板がかかっていて、目印になっています。この地域を代表する町家で、暮らしぶりがよくわかります。

  • Amakashi-no-oka
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Takaichigunasukamura Toyoura
    A 148 meter tall hill said to be the place where Soga no Emishi and his son, Soga no Iruka, had a residence in the Asuka period. The hill offers a sweeping view of Asuka and on clear days you can even see the Three Mountains of Yamato -Mt. Amanokagu, Mt. Miminashi, and Mt. Unebi. In spring, the cherry trees on the hill come into beautiful bloom.
  • Former Kometani Residence
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    4.0
    19 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Pref. Kashiharashi Imaichou 1-10-11
    The former residence of the Kometani family, which once operated a metal ware business for generations under the company name “Komechu.” The current building is believed to have been built in the mid-18th century. A townhome with a gabled roof covered with wooden tiles, the expansive dirt floors are strongly reminiscent of a farmer’s home.

    伝統的建造物群保存地区に指定されている今井町の中にある旧家。旧米谷家住宅は重要文化財に指定されています。無料で内部を見学できます。丁寧に説明していただきました。

Nara Main Areas

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With a reputation almost as stellar as that of Kyoto, Nara is a must-visit for those searching for the remains of “traditional Japan.” The largely green Nara city holds the majority of the prefecture’s treasures, such as the iconic Todai-ji Temple, in which a 15-meter tall Great Buddha sits, and Nara Park, where deer flock to befriend passersby. While mountains are by no means hard to come by in this area, for hiking with a reward, head to the Kii Mountains’ Yoshino district in spring, when the hillsides put on an impressive display of white and pink cherry blossoms.

Nara Photo Album

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