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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai
Asuka
# 81   of 178 destinations
in our travel guide

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Ishibutai Tomb

Asuka is a small region in Nara Prefecture (about 25 kilometers south of Nara City) which had a pivotal role in Japanese history. Lending its name to the Asuka Period (538-710), the Asuka region was the site of Japan's first capitals, from where the early Japanese national character emerged. A few monuments of that period remain, but the area is now mostly fields and rural villages.

Kyoto served as the Japanese capital for over a thousand years from 794 to 1868, and Nara was the first permanent capital from 710 to 784. Before those cities there was Asuka, where the first imperial residences were located. During the period, there was much influence from the Asian mainland, and Buddhism was introduced to the country via the Korean peninsula. The religion took root quickly and had an enormous spiritual and cultural effect on the country.

The remnants of the Asuka Period, that remain in Asuka today, are mostly limited to stone monuments and archaeological excavations. Burial tombs such as the Ishibutai Tomb or the Takamatsuzuka Tomb are preserved in their original state, while artefacts and recreations are on display at museums like the Asuka Museum or the Complex of Manyo Culture. Scattered among the region's villages and fields are also some of Japan's oldest temples.

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Attractions
Central Asuka and Kashihara
 1  Asukadera Temple
Considered Japan's oldest Buddhist temple.
User rating: 72/100 (32 votes)
Visited by: 109 users
 2  Imaicho Town
Beautifully preserved merchant town.
User rating: 80/100 (7 votes)
Visited by: 29 users
 3  Kashihara Shrine
Shrine dedicated to Japan's first emperor.
User rating: 74/100 (27 votes)
Visited by: 65 users
 4  Archaeology Museum
Archaeology Museum near Kashihara Shrine.
User rating: 71/100 (7 votes)
Visited by: 18 users
 5  Ishibutai Tomb
Ancient tomb built of large stones.
User rating: 70/100 (39 votes)
Visited by: 101 users
 6  Manyo Bunkakan
Museum about the Manyo culture.
User rating: 69/100 (9 votes)
Visited by: 27 users
 7  Asuka Museum
National museum about the history of Asuka.
User rating: 68/100 (22 votes)
Visited by: 58 users
 8  Takamatsuzuka Tomb
Ancient tomb featuring wall paintings.
User rating: 68/100 (20 votes)
Visited by: 58 users
 9  Amakashi Hill
Hill overlooking Asuka Town and the Yamato Plain.
User rating: 58/100 (10 votes)
Visited by: 42 users
Near Asuka
 1  Hasedera Temple
Large temple complex on a hillside location.
User rating: 89/100 (36 votes)
Visited by: 93 users
 2  Muroji Temple
Remote temple surrounded by forest.
User rating: 85/100 (22 votes)
Visited by: 64 users
 3  Tanzan Shrine
Mountain shrine famous for autumn colors.
User rating: 80/100 (14 votes)
Visited by: 35 users

Access and Orientation
Access and Orientation
How to get to and around Asuka.

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User Ratings
Ratings for Asuka:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  interesting  
User Rating (by 99 users):
79/100
  recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 162):
83.  Satsuma Peninsula   80/100
84.  Gujo-Hachiman   80/100
85.  Iwakuni   80/100
86.  Matsuyama   79/100
87.  Kakunodate   79/100
88.  Asuka   79/100
89.  Nozawa Onsen   79/100
90.  Hachimantai   79/100
91.  Hikone   79/100
92.  Kurashiki   79/100
Most visited destinations (out of 178):
77.  Kinosaki   303
78.  Naruto   302
79.  Zao   294
80.  Gero Onsen   286
81.  Niseko   282
82.  Asuka   282
83.  Onomichi   281
84.  Lake Towada   280
85.  Tottori   279
86.  Kotohira   278

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English Links
Asuka Village
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Asuka Village
Official website.

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