They say you look down from the summit of a mountain, I say you look out. Amakashino-oka in Asuka-mura isn’t actually a mountain but with a summit elevation of 148 meters (485ft) it does offer a great “look out” over the surrounding Nara Basin.
Amakashino-oka is about a kilometer in length from north to south and several hundred meters wide from east to west. It’s mentioned in both the Nihon-Shoki and the Manyo-shu (two of Japan’s oldest historical records) and the entirety of the hill sits within the Nationally Administered Asuka Historical Park. Walking paths lead up to the crest of the hill and meander around its various areas. The hill is naturally forested but other plants mentioned in the Manyo-shu texts have been planted along the walking paths. A walk through the woods of Amakashino-oka is very pleasant. The highlight of Amakashino-oka has to be the Amakashino-oka Observation point at the northern crest and highest point of the hill. The cover of the trees is broken in two places at the observation point allowing for a great view over Kashihara City, the Three Mountains of Yamato (Amanokaguyama, Miminashiyama, and Unebiyama), and the Nara Basin to the north and northwest; and over the clay kawara tiled rooves, rice fields and mountains of central Asuka-mura to the west.
Besides the walking paths, Amekashino-oka is equipped with toilet facilities, a couple of gazebos and picnic areas to allow visitors to sit, take their time and enjoy the views and woods. When was the last time you declared yourself "King of the Hill" and surveyed your domain from way up high? Happy Travels!
Was this article helpful?
Seven years of exploring and playing in the wilds of Japan! Now I'm JapanTravel's Tourism and PR Ambassador in Nara Prefecture and the Regional Partner for Nara Prefecture. It's been my experience that there's little if any awareness of Nara and its importance outside of Japan. My goal: remedy that