The Yamanobe Road and Mt. Miwayama

Journeys through Japanese legends

The Yamanobe Road and Mt. Miwayama

The autumn in Nara is marked by ears of rice everywhere, dyeing the whole area in gold. Since a very long time ago, Mt. Miwayama with its gentle slopes has been revered as a mountain god. The Yamanobe Road, which has been walked by many poets of the Man'yōshū (Japan’s oldest existing collection of poetry), starts out from the foot of the mountain. How about walking leisurely along “Japan’s oldest road”, which is also mentioned in the Kojiki (Japan’s oldest extant chronicle) and the Nihon Shoki (Japan’s second oldest chronicle)?

The beautiful sunset enjoyed by Yasunari Kawabata

The Yamanobe Road connects Nara’s Ishigami Shrine of Tenri City and Ōmiwa Shrine in Sakurai City. The southern foot of Mt. Miwayama, which saw the rise of the Yamato Imperial Court, was the location of a capital city that prospered for over 500 years. Places that should definitely be visited at dusk in autumn are Hinohara Shrine and Idera-ike pond, which lie somewhat north of Omiwa Shrine. These locations are famous sunset spots where the red-dyed sun sinks behind Mt. Nijo, which is shaped like a camel’s back, a truly priceless sight. Literary giant Yasunari Kawabata is said to have sat on the banks of the Idera-ike pond, where he enjoyed the sight of the falling dusk.

The historical road that inspired many lines of the Man'yōshū

A major attraction of the Yamanobe Road is that one encounters numerous Buddha and Manyo stone monuments along the way. You can join your hands in prayer in front of stone Buddha of your liking, and divert yourself by reading stones inscribed with Man’yōshū poems by renowned poets such as Kakinomoto Hitomaro, Princess Nukata, and Prince Ōtsu, while admiring the same scenery they celebrated in their poems.

Pleasant walk around Nara-cho neighborhood

If you enjoy walking along old streets, go to Nara-cho (Nara city). There you will see lattice door lined streets and alleys with lots of stylish cafés and shops.

Miwa somen noodles enjoyed since the days of the Man'yōshū

The famous Miwa somen noodles can be tasted at specialty shops in the Miwa district, which the birthplace of hand-pulled somen noodles. From autumn, we recommend “nyumen,” a warm soup of somen.


Location/Access Tenri City, Sakurai City (Nara)
About 1 hour and 40 minutes by limousine bus from Itami Airport (Tenri Station on the JR Kintetsu Line)
About 1 hour and 45 minutes by limousine bus from Kansai International Airport (Sakurai Station on the JR Kintetsu Line).
Inquiries Tenri City Industry Promotion Section
Tel: 0743-63-1001 (extension 284)

Sakurai City Tourism Association
Tel: 0744-42-7530

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