Getting Around Asuka
The Asuka National Government Park covers most of the district making Asuka appear seemingly rural and isolated however, this beautiful district is easily accessible from neighbouring cities. The main point of access by public transport would be Asuka station or Kashiharajingu-mae station on the Kintetsu-Yoshino line. Nara is the closest capital city, just a 30 km drive or a 45 minute trip on the Kintetsu line from Kintetsu Nara station transferring at Yamato-Saidaiji Station. Travellers with a Kintetsu Rail Pass wide can travel to Asuka station from Nara, Nagoya, Kyoto, Ise Shima and Osaka. This card’s affordable, with children under 6 traveling for free, and allow unlimited access on the Kintetsu Line, Iga Tetsudo Line, Nara Kotsu Bus, Mie Kotsu Bus and Toba City Kamome.(Only for 5 consecutive days)
For those who include Asuka on their road trip itinerary, most coming from the Kansai region utilise Route 169/alternatively the Naka highway. For those flying into Kansai, renting a car from Kansai International airport can get you to Asuka in just 70 minutes. Once in Asuka, there are parking facilities at all main tourist sites however, most of the main attractions are in a 3km radius of Asuka station and are easily accessed on foot.
The Kame Loop Bus is an affordable way to explore Asuka covering most of the top attractions in Asuka. The bus operates once an hour on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends. There are two Kame Loop Buses; the "Aka Kame" which runs once an hour on weekdays and twice on weekends and the local bus "Kin Kame" which is sometimes reserved for locals and school kids. After hopping off the train at either Asuka station or Kashiharajingu-mae station, you can purchase a bus day pass (650 yen/child price330 yen) for unlimited use of the Kame Loop Bus.
There's no doubt that the ideal way to get around this picturesque district is on a bicycle. Bicycles can be rented from the many rental shops surrounding Asuka station as well as other shops scattered around town. Visitors can choose from hourly to overnight rental and some shops offer to drop off bicycles at your accommodation making this mode of transport a convenient and extremely popular way to explore Asuka. Almost all of the main attractions, from tumuli to temples, have bicycle parking with bicycle rest stops en route for those wishing to take in the town at a leisurely pace. When in the historical district of Imaicho, you will notice that even the locals opt for bicycle over car as most of the alleyways are too narrow to accommodate vehicles.
Asuka Bicycle Sightseeing
Another popular way to get around Asuka is on foot if you are not stretched for time and would like to avoid the restrictions of bus timetables or hourly rentals. Walking through the winding streets of Imaicho or beside the rice paddies of southern Asuka is a wonderful way to take in the peaceful countryside. There are various walking trails and biking routes at your disposal so you can plan out a route that suits your own travel interests and time constraints.