Yamato Koriyama 大和郡山エリア
Compact city showcasing the best of traditional and modern Japan
From tea to temples to goldfish, Yamato Koriyama is traditional Japan encapsulated. Drawing upon a rich, samurai past, Koriyama Castle is another draw, while Michelin dining, botanical splendor and souvenir shopping add contemporary appeal. The area makes for an easy detour as it is easily accessible from the Nara Park area.
- Koriyama Castle Ruins and its superlative gardens
- Hydrangea blooming season at Yatadera
- Jikoin, a serene Zen temple dedicated to the Japanese tea ceremony
- Samurai goldfish cultivation
How to Get There
Access to the Yamatokoriyama area is by train from Kyoto or Osaka.
From Osaka, take the JR Yamatoji Line from Tennoji Station to Koriyama Station. The express train ride is around 30 minutes. From Kyoto, travel for 30 minutes to Yamato-Saidaiji Station by Kintetsu Kyoto Line (limited express). Transfer there to the Kintetsu Kashihara Line from Yamato-Saidaiji to Kintetsu Koriyama Station.
A castle with astounding fortress walls
Koriyama Castle was constructed by a local samurai as a show of martial power. The walls of this fortress are unusual. Because there was not enough stone, all kinds of different stone materials were used in its construction. This included Jizo figures and even tombstones. The main highlights of Koriyama Castle are the reconstructed buildings, including the Otemon Gate, Otemu Tower and Gokuraku Bridge. The castle retains much of its original moat and is popular for viewing blossoms during the cherry blossom season.
Flowers and tea
Yatadera Temple is famous for its June and July blooming hydrangeas. Flower spotters will be able to find approximately 60 different kinds of flowers, all in a peaceful, natural setting.
Jikoin Temple, in contrast, offers a serene escape from daily life. You can enjoy a bowl of matcha and a sweet here, imagining life in past centuries.
Set aside around three hours to walk around the Yamatokoriyama area at leisure. If you plan to have tea at Jikoin Temple, you will need a bit longer.
The Yamatokoriyama area is famed for goldfish cultivation.
Each year in April, these prized goldfish face off against each other in an annual fish competition.
Michelin dining awaits
From traditional kaiseki to modern French, many restaurants in Yamato Koriyama have been awarded Michelin status for their contribution to fine dining. Most restaurants use local heirloom Yamato vegetables, which Nara is famous for.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.