Ask me anything   Submit   Welcome to Kyoto and Nara Dream Trips, where you will be able to see a traditional and ancient part of Kyoto and Nara that not many travel guides offer. This is a community to share your experiences in Japan and to learn more about this often elusive culture. Here you will find information on popular tourist sites of Nara and Kyoto and also the not-so-popular sites which are often equally rewarding. You can also find information posted on the wall about famous Japanese peoples' birthdays, famous historical events, and different odd and widely unknown traditions. Discover a side of Japan which you never knew existed, here at Kyoto and Nara Dream Trips!

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    A few days ago, I visited Asuka mura and stopped by this gigantic structure, quiet a feat considering it was constructed in the beginning of the 7th century.

    Ishibutai Kofun (石舞台古墳) is a stone kofun tumulus of the Asuka period in the east of Shimanoshō, Asuka, Nara Prefecture, Japan. The kofun is believed to be the tomb of Soga no Umako (蘇我 馬子). It occupies a space of 54 m (177 ft), and is the largest known megalithic structure in Japan.

    Here is how they did it: 1. Sand was taken away a little at a time from the right side of the stone while balancing it using weights buoying the giant stone. 2. The heavy stone was carried using levers, rollers, wheels and pulleys. 3. A whole was filled with dirt while gradually moving the stone upright. 4. To complete the tomb, the ceiling stone was set, then dirt was removed from the inside. The tomb was then covered by dirt and holes were tunneled and the top was covered by small stones.

    — 20 hours ago with 8 notes
    #Asuka Mura  #Ishibutai Kofun  #Nara  #Soga no Umako  #明日香村  #石舞台古墳  #蘇我 馬子 
    The Okunoin Sekkutsu cave (奥の院石窟): it is the most sacred place in the Oka temple grounds and a source of the spiritual energy.The cave is called Mirokudō.

    The Okunoin Sekkutsu cave (奥の院石窟): it is the most sacred place in the Oka temple grounds and a source of the spiritual energy.The cave is called Mirokudō.

    — 2 days ago with 4 notes
    #Buddhism  #Gien Sōjō  #Nara  #Oka-dera  #Ryūgai-ji  #岡寺  #義淵僧正  #龍蓋寺 
    This is the Sanjū hōtō, three-tiered pagoda of Oka-dera (岡寺) in Asuka Mura (明日香村) in Nara. It was built in 1472 following a devastating typhoon that destroyed the previous pagoda and it was extensively renovated in 1986.

    This is the Sanjū hōtō, three-tiered pagoda of Oka-dera (岡寺) in Asuka Mura (明日香村) in Nara. It was built in 1472 following a devastating typhoon that destroyed the previous pagoda and it was extensively renovated in 1986.

    — 2 days ago with 8 notes
    #Buddhism  #Gien Sōjō  #Nara  #Oka-dera  #Ryūgai-ji  #岡寺  #義淵僧正  #龍蓋寺 
    This is the “Asuka Great Buddha -飛鳥大仏” statue inside the main hall of the Asuka-dera (飛鳥寺) in Nara. According to pamphlet you receive at the entrance, it is the oldest Buddha statue in Japan. It was cast in 609 AD by Kuratsukuri no Tori (Also known as Tori Busshi-止利仏師) by request of Empress Suiko (推古天皇) and Prince Shōtoku (聖徳太子). The statue is about 3 meters high and used 15 tons of copper and 30 kg of gold. The statue has been repaired because of damage caused by the turbulence in the Heian and Kamakura periods.

    This is the “Asuka Great Buddha -飛鳥大仏” statue inside the main hall of the Asuka-dera (飛鳥寺) in Nara. According to pamphlet you receive at the entrance, it is the oldest Buddha statue in Japan. It was cast in 609 AD by Kuratsukuri no Tori (Also known as Tori Busshi-止利仏師) by request of Empress Suiko (推古天皇) and Prince Shōtoku (聖徳太子). The statue is about 3 meters high and used 15 tons of copper and 30 kg of gold. The statue has been repaired because of damage caused by the turbulence in the Heian and Kamakura periods.

    — 3 days ago with 4 notes
    #Asuka  #Asuka Great Buddha  #Asuka-dera  #Buddhism  #Empress Suiko  #Japan  #Kuratsukuri no Tori  #Nara  #Prince Shōtoku  #推古天皇  #明日香村  #聖徳太子  #飛鳥大仏  #飛鳥寺 
    Today, I went with a friend to a quiet village in the mountainous area of Nara prefecture, Asuka Mura. Time seems to almost be standing still there. It’s so peaceful and tranquil, although it’s a bit spruced up for todays tourist according to my friend who was last here 15 years ago. When there where no omiyage shops etc. The entrance to Asuka-dera (飛鳥寺) in Asuka Mura Village in Nara! It is widely accepted as the oldest temple in Japan.

    Today, I went with a friend to a quiet village in the mountainous area of Nara prefecture, Asuka Mura. Time seems to almost be standing still there. It’s so peaceful and tranquil, although it’s a bit spruced up for todays tourist according to my friend who was last here 15 years ago. When there where no omiyage shops etc. The entrance to Asuka-dera (飛鳥寺) in Asuka Mura Village in Nara! It is widely accepted as the oldest temple in Japan.

    — 3 days ago with 12 notes
    #Asuka  #Asuka-dera  #Buddhism  #Japan  #Nara  #明日香村  #飛鳥寺 
    This is Murakami Yoshiteru’s Tomb on Mt. Yoshino in Nara. Yoshiteru was born in Shinano, today known as Nagano. In 1333 he gave his life to protect his lord, Prince Moriyoshi (護良親王). The tomb is in the hōkyōintō (宝篋印塔) style. The hōkyōintō tradition in Japan dates back to the Asuka period (550–710 AD). They used to be made of wood and started to be made in stone only during the Kamakura period. It is also during this period that they started to be used also as tombstones and cenotaphs.Paul Varley says the following in the “Warriors of Japan: As Portrayed in the War Tales”. “The Battle of Yoshino Fortress”: As the fortress, commanded by Prince Moriyoshi, is about to overrun by the Bakufu attackers, Murakami Yoshiteru implores the prince to escape, saying that he himself will die in the prince’s place. Reluctantly, Moriyoshi leaves the fortress. Yoshiteru, climbing one of the towers, commits harakiri (腹切り-“cutting the belly”) in front of the enemy, proclaiming himself to be the prince.”[

    This is Murakami Yoshiteru’s Tomb on Mt. Yoshino in Nara.
    Yoshiteru was born in Shinano, today known as Nagano. In 1333 he gave his life to protect his lord, Prince Moriyoshi (護良親王). The tomb is in the hōkyōintō (宝篋印塔) style. The hōkyōintō tradition in Japan dates back to the Asuka period (550–710 AD). They used to be made of wood and started to be made in stone only during the Kamakura period. It is also during this period that they started to be used also as tombstones and cenotaphs.
    Paul Varley says the following in the “Warriors of Japan: As Portrayed in the War Tales”. “The Battle of Yoshino Fortress”: As the fortress, commanded by Prince Moriyoshi, is about to overrun by the Bakufu attackers, Murakami Yoshiteru implores the prince to escape, saying that he himself will die in the prince’s place. Reluctantly, Moriyoshi leaves the fortress. Yoshiteru, climbing one of the towers, commits harakiri (腹切り-“cutting the belly”) in front of the enemy, proclaiming himself to be the prince.”[

    — 4 days ago with 2 notes
    #Nara  #Sakura  #Yoshino Mountain  #cherry blossoms  # 
    A view of some of the more than 30.000 cherry trees on Mount Yoshino in Nara. Down below is the Kintetsu Yoshino Station.]

    A view of some of the more than 30.000 cherry trees on Mount Yoshino in Nara. Down below is the Kintetsu Yoshino Station.]

    — 4 days ago with 2 notes
    #Nara  #Sakura  #Yoshino Mountain  #cherry blossoms  # 
    Along the road that runs along the Yoshino Mountain, you can find many food stalls offering local delicacies. This one sells “Ayu grilled with salt” or “Ayu no shio yaki”. Ayu (アユ, 鮎) is a type of sweet-fish found in mountain streams in Japan.
Did you know that: “ Ayu fishing was practiced by Samurai as long as 430 years ago. It uses very long rods (5–7 meters) and fly, but fly casting is not required. Ayu fishing originated at least 430 years ago when anglers discovered they could dress their flies with pieces of fabric and use those to fool the fish. The art became more refined as the samurai, who were forbidden to practice martial arts and sword fighting in the Edo period, found this type of fishing to be a good substitute for they’re training: the rod being a substitute to the sword, and walking on the rocks of a small stream good leg and balance training. “Only the samurai were permitted to fish. So, the samurai who enjoyed ayu fishing would take sewing needles and bend them themselves, and make their own flies by hand.” Source: Wikipedia)

    Along the road that runs along the Yoshino Mountain, you can find many food stalls offering local delicacies. This one sells “Ayu grilled with salt” or “Ayu no shio yaki”. Ayu (アユ, 鮎) is a type of sweet-fish found in mountain streams in Japan.

    Did you know that: “ Ayu fishing was practiced by Samurai as long as 430 years ago. It uses very long rods (5–7 meters) and fly, but fly casting is not required. Ayu fishing originated at least 430 years ago when anglers discovered they could dress their flies with pieces of fabric and use those to fool the fish. The art became more refined as the samurai, who were forbidden to practice martial arts and sword fighting in the Edo period, found this type of fishing to be a good substitute for they’re training: the rod being a substitute to the sword, and walking on the rocks of a small stream good leg and balance training. “Only the samurai were permitted to fish. So, the samurai who enjoyed ayu fishing would take sewing needles and bend them themselves, and make their own flies by hand.” Source: Wikipedia)

    — 5 days ago with 14 notes
    #Nara  #Sakura  #Yoshino Mountain  #cherry blossoms  #  #Ayu  # 

    The beginning of the Yoshino Hana Eshiki (吉野花会式) procession on Mount Yoshino. These are the Shugendō (修験道) mountain monks, they are making they’re way to the Kimpusen-ji temple grounds for the final climax of this matsuri. A dance by the oni odori (鬼踊) and the burning of a large pile wood and pine branches. After this they trow mochi kubari (餅配り) into the crowd. Quite an experience!

    — 6 days ago with 8 notes
    #Nara  #Sakura  #Shugendō  #Yoshino Hana Eshiki  #Yoshino Mountain  #cherry blossoms  #mochi kubari  #oni odori  #修験道  #吉野花会式  #  #餅配り  #鬼踊 
    The little road that runs along the famous temples and shrines on the Yoshino Mountain (吉野山) in Nara. The sakura had just passed its peak, but where still blooming.

    The little road that runs along the famous temples and shrines on the Yoshino Mountain (吉野山) in Nara. The sakura had just passed its peak, but where still blooming.

    — 1 week ago with 3 notes
    #Nara  #Sakura  #Yoshino Mountain  #cherry blossoms  # 
    Exclusive dining at a Japanese style restaurant on the Yoshino Mountain (吉野山) in Nara. Tatami mat room with a low seating area and a splendid view of the cherry blossoms of the Houzuki-o valley.

    Exclusive dining at a Japanese style restaurant on the Yoshino Mountain (吉野山) in Nara. Tatami mat room with a low seating area and a splendid view of the cherry blossoms of the Houzuki-o valley.

    — 1 week ago with 13 notes
    #Nara  #Sakura  #Yoshino Mountain  #cherry blossoms  # 
    Cherry blossoms at the Kii Mountain Range (紀伊山地) in Nara, seen from the Yoshimizu Shrine (吉水神社). The view from the Yoshimizu Shrine is a very popular photo-up spot!

    Cherry blossoms at the Kii Mountain Range (紀伊山地) in Nara, seen from the Yoshimizu Shrine (吉水神社). The view from the Yoshimizu Shrine is a very popular photo-up spot!

    — 1 week ago with 27 notes
    #Kii Mountains  #Nara  #Sakura  #Yoshimizu Shrine  #Yoshino Mountain  #cherry blossoms  #吉水神社  #  #紀伊山地 
    Yoshino Mountain (吉野山) in Nara, During the 2014 Sakura Season! This is the “Zaō-Hall” (Zaōdō) of the Kimpusen-ji Temple (金峯山寺).

    Yoshino Mountain (吉野山) in Nara, During the 2014 Sakura Season! This is the “Zaō-Hall” (Zaōdō) of the Kimpusen-ji Temple (金峯山寺).

    — 1 week ago with 29 notes
    #Nara  #Sakura  #Yoshino Mountain  #cherry blossoms  # 
    I am at the Yoshino Mountain area near Kimpusen-ji (金峯山寺) waiting for the chugendo parade to begin! So many people walking the mountain!

    I am at the Yoshino Mountain area near Kimpusen-ji (金峯山寺) waiting for the chugendo parade to begin! So many people walking the mountain!

    — 1 week ago with 6 notes
    #Kimpusenji  #yoshino  #sakura  #nara 
    The courtyard of the Hirano Shrine (平野神社) During the 2014 Sakura Season in Kyoto! The “Sakura Hana Matsuri” ceremony had just finished.

    The courtyard of the Hirano Shrine (平野神社) During the 2014 Sakura Season in Kyoto! The “Sakura Hana Matsuri” ceremony had just finished.

    — 1 week ago with 9 notes
    #Hirano Shrine  #Kyoto  #Sakura  #cherry blossoms  #平野神社  #