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Lower slope of Mount Wakakusayama with Todaiji in the distance

Mount Wakakusayama (ᑐR) is the grass covered mountain behind Nara Park, located between Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Shrine. The mountain is about 350 meters tall and affords unobstructed views over Nara City. Tourists are allowed to climb Mount Wakakusayama all year round except during winter. A small entrance fee is charged.

The grassy slope of the mountain is lined by cherry trees that are usually in full bloom around early April. A steep trail leads along the leftmost edge of the slope to a plateau halfway up the mountain with great views over the city. It takes about 15-20 minutes to reach the plateau and many people do not hike farther. An additional 20-30 minutes would get you to the mountain's peak.

Every winter on the fourth Saturday of January, Mount Wakakusayama's slopes are burned during the spectacular Wakakusa Yamayaki. The origins of the event are unclear. One theory claims that it resulted from a boundary dispute, while another claims the fires were used to drive away wild boars. The burning of the mountain is preceded by a short fireworks display.

Access

The base of Wakakusayama is located about a 10-15 minute walk from both Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha. The mountain can also be reached on foot from Kintetsu Nara Station in about 35 minutes or from JR Nara Station in about 50 minutes. Buses run from either station as far as Kasuga Taisha (210 yen).

How to get to and around Nara

Hours & Fees

Hours

9:00 to 17:00

Closed

Mid December to late March

Admission

150 yen

Hotels around Nara

Recommended Hotels
Asukaso
Centrally located ryokan with outdoor baths that view onto the pagoda of Kofukuji Temple.
Book:
Agoda Booking
Hotel Fujita Nara
Regular business hotel located halfway between JR Nara Station and Nara Park.
Book:
Agoda Booking
Nara Hotel
One of the oldest Western style hotels in Japan, located next to Nara Park.
Book:
Agoda Booking

Tours and Experiences

Page last updated: February 15, 2017