Asuka, the origin of the rising sun and arguably the first capital of Japan during the Asuka period, is an ancient village filled with precious treasures and natural wonders that are extremely significant to Japanese history.
Untrodden Land of Eastern Yoshino – Great Tourism Spots and Native Hydrangea Hirtas Growing En Mass!
Yoshino, located in Southern Nara is home to many ancient histories and primitive vegetation of Japan. The well preserved historical assets and the unspoiled scenery of Yoshino reflect the fundamentals of Japan and it isn’t too exaggerated to state that it portrays the landscape of the heart of Japanese people.
When daily news and the outside world get to be too crazy, try Shodō 書道, Japanese calligraphy, to regain inner equilibrium and calm the mind and heart. Experience Shodō’s meditative and relaxing qualities in a workshop or field trip with Kobe Native Noriko Ukita who has been teaching Shodō to Japanese and foreigners alike for 27 years.
On my recent trip to Nara, I was lucky to visit Kinatei, a cosy vegetarian restaurant. The restaurant serves Japanese and Chinese style vegan dishes, and everything is homemade and organic. I got off at Kintetsu Line’s Nara Station and did a little sightseeing before coming, so the walk was a bit far.
Approximately 11km east from Nara Park, lies an ancient trail called Yagyu Kaido. This track once served as pilgrimage for mountain Buddhists, a form of mountain asceticism during the Nara and Heian period, therefore many historical sites, monuments, and ruins of the time remain here barely touched.
Japanese people are known to have followed Sangakushinko; a type of animism during ancient times which mountains are worshiped as gods, and Mt. Katsuragi was most certainly one of which people of Nara considered it as their sacred icon.
If you travel to countries hoping to experience another culture, Japan is still rich with it and Nara is the perfect place surrounded by culture and history. It is many things at once: traditional, natural, delightful, heartfelt, and all around wonderful. Come to Nara and be amazed. I honestly could name 100 things in Nara that would make for an amazing trip, but I have narrowed it down to the top 15 spots that you will not find even in most guidebooks.
And nowhere, perhaps, are the origins of the country more numerous and varied than along the road known as the Yamanobe-no-michi.
Other than the castle, the city is a nice town expressing Japan's undying love of the once prized fish in Japan: the goldfish. Koriyama being just a few stops away from Kintetsu Nara Station (area of Todai-ji and Nara Park) this city is worth a look.