In 613, Takenouchi Kaido / Yokooji was pivotal to Naniwa-tsu harbor, the gateway to diplomacy and politics.It is the oldest highway in Japan, extending 40km and maintained as the road linking Asuka and Oharida no Miya.It is comprised of an upper, middle, and lower road: the Naniwa Daido road due south from Naniwa-kyo Suzaku Oji, the Takenouchi Kaido running from Sakai to Kawachi, and Yokooji running east-west along the Nara Basin.Later, Fujiwara-kyo was built based on this road, which still remains as a way of dividing east, west, south, and north.In Yagi-cho, Kashihara, the road is still 24m wide just as it was in ancient times, allowing visitors to experience the size of the road as it was. Much culture was brought by diplomats and envoys from China and the Korean peninsula over this road.Along with this came Buddhism, with Shotoku Taishi and other devotees building many Buddhist temples along the road.At Yachuji and Sairinji, visitors can see the remains of towers, foundations, and cornerstones from the Asuka period.Shitennoji and Eifukuji, closely related to Shotoku Taishi, have sprawling temple grounds with magnificent monasteries, while at Taimadera, one can see the only surviving Tempyo period double-tower monastery in Japan. The Bon Festival court dance at Shitennoji and the Nerikuyo service at Taimadera are some examples of ways visitors can experience the ambience of ancient times.Another setting where visitors can experience the base is on the road from Taishi-cho to Katsuragi, which goes over Mt. Nijo on the border between Osaka and Nara.Iwaya Pass is known for its sanukite and tuff, and is the location of a rare sight in Japan: the cavern shrines of Rokutanji and the Iwaya Caves.Taishi-cho at the foot of Mt. Nijo enshrines Emperor Bidatsu, Emperor Yomei, Empress Suiko, Emperor Kotoku, and Shotoku Taishi, and is also known as the "Valley of Kings."This land is also called Kawachi Asuka/Chikatsu Asuka, and is the road where the people of Asuka traveled from the capital of Asuka in Yamato. Japan's journey as a nation starts from this road, and here we can witness historical proof of that.
Taimadera Nerikuyo Service
Shinagadani Tumuli (Tomb of Empress Suiko)