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Yamanobe-no-Michi Trail

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Yamanobe-no-Michi Trail


Follow the traces of an ancient route surrounded by nature and steeped in history

Nara Prefecture


Running in the east of Yamato Plain in a north-south direction from the Nara-city area to the Miwa area, Yamanobe-no-Michi Trail is one of the oldest roads in Japan. It was mentioned in Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, the first books of classical Japanese history, composed in the 8th century. Wild, unspoiled nature is well preserved to this day, and you will experience walking through idyllic countryside while admiring the original landscape of Japan.

The most popular section of the trail starts from Isonokami-jingu Shrine in Tenri City and takes three to four hours to complete, depending on your pace. In the old days, Yamanobe-no-Michi was formed by several paths connecting significant places. Historical temples and shrines, ancient settlements, archeological sites, and burial mounds still dot the trail, allowing hikers to delve deep into the history and culture of the Nara region.



At the south end of the trail, in Sakurai City, there is Omiwa-jinja Shrine, which is known as the oldest shrine in Japan. Unlike other shrines, it does not feature a honden (“main hall”). Mt. Miwa itself is worshipped here in the true spirit of Shinto, which regards nature as divine. Omiwa-jinja enshrines the deity of farming, business, medicine, and sake brewing.

Along the Yamanobe-no-Michi Trail, you will also find plenty of restaurants, cafes, rest stops and fruit stands, where you can take a break, meet friendly locals, and enjoy traditional food, such as the extra-thin Somen noodles, and local sake.




How to get there


From Kyoto Station, take the JR Miyakoji Rapid train to Nara Station (about 45 minutes), change to the JR Manyo Mahoroba Line (Sakurai Line) bound for Takada, and get off at Tenri Station (about 10 minutes). The Yamanobe-no-Michi Trail begins at JR Tenri Station.


JR Tenri Station: 816 Kawaharajo-cho, Tenri-shi, Nara-ken



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