There is plenty to see around L’Auberge de Plaisance Sakurai. We invite you to enjoy one of the oldest landscapes in Japan, dating back to the ancient kingdom of Yamato, celebrated in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki and the Manyoshu, Japan’s earliest historical texts and its earliest collection of poetry, as “one of the finest places in the land”.

Sakurai and Tenri area

The Yamanobe no Michi is said to be the oldest highway in Japan, and the setting of historic events described in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki and the Manyoshu, Japan’s oldest historical texts and collection of poetry.
Approx.25 min by car from L’Auberge de Plaisance Sakurai
Yamanobe no Michi trail

A hiking trail that will take you on a time trip to ancient Japan. The section between the cities of Tenri and Sakurai is especially popular.

Isonokami Jingu Shrine

One of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines. Many national treasures and important cultural properties can be seen in the grounds, where chickens roam freely.

  • Hibara-Jinja Shrine

    A subsidiary shrine of the Omiwa Jinja shrine with a unique torii gate known as the Mittsu Torii. The shrine is particularly beautiful at sunset.

  • Tomb of Emperor Keiko

    The tomb of Keiko, 12th emperor of Japan, said to be the father of the legendary hero Yamatotakeru. A must-see for lovers of ancient history.

  • Miwa-san (Mt. Miwa)

    Noted as a holy site in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, Japan’s earliest historical texts, Mt Miwa is venerated as a repository of the god enshrined at the Omiwa Shrine. The area is famous for somen noodles.

  • O-miwa Shrine

    The shrine is dedicated to Omononushi-no-Okami or Daikokuten, god of agriculture, and is said to be Japan’s oldest Shinto shrine.

  • Abe-monju-in Temple

    The Japanese version of the saying “two heads are better than one” originated at this temple, which is also famous as the birthplace of the yin-yang master Abe no Seimei.

  • Shorin-ji Temple

    Founded by Jo’e, eldest son of Fujiwara no Kamatari, the temple houses an eleven-faced statue of Kannon, goddess of mercy, which is designated as a national treasure and has inspired many cultural figures.

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    Hase-dera Temple

    Hase-dera is also called the “Temple of Flower”, and is famous for Chinese peonies. The lively approach to the temple is also popular, as well as the Japanese grass rice cake “Kusamochi”.

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    Tanzan-Jinja Shrine

    The name Tanzan (discussion shrine) comes from the meeting between Nakatomi (later Fujiwara) no Kamatari and Prince Naka no Oe (later Emperor Tenji) before the Taika Reforms of 645 AD. The grounds of the shrine are famous as a spot for viewing autumn leaves.

Asuka and Kashihara area

The rural landscape of the Asuka area is the spiritual homeland of the Japanese people. The area is dotted with ancient burial mounds, stones and temples, and renting a bicycle is recommended.
Approx.20 min by car from L’Auberge de Plaisance Sakurai
The terraced rice fields of Inabuchi

The beautiful terraced rice fields of Inabuchi evoke Japan’s gentle, rural past.

Megalithic stones

Megalithic stones of mysterious purpose can be seen throughout the area. They include the Asuka Sakafune-ishi, with its geometric carvings, and a gigantic turtle-shaped stone.

  • Amakashi no Oka (Amakashi Hill)

    It is a green hill which is good for hiking. The observation deck at the top gives extensive views over the Asuka area.

  • Ishibutai Kofun (Ishibutai stone tomb)

    One of the best-known ancient stone tombs in Japan, with an overwhelming presence.

  • Asuka-dera Temple

    Asuka-dera Temple is one of the oldest full-scale Buddhist temples in Japan and was built by Soga no Umako, who implemented political reforms with Prince Shotoku. Nearby is the spot where the head of his grandson, Soga no Iruka, is buried.

  • Nara-kenritsu Man'yo Bunkakan (Nara Prefecture Complex of Man’yo Culture)

    An integrated information facility dedicated to the lifestyle and culture of the era when the Manyoshu, Japan’s oldest poetry anthology was compiled. Includes a library, café and shops.

  • Imai-cho Minkagun (Imai-cho Historic District)

    Imai-cho retains an atmosphere of the Edo era, and has been used as a film location for samurai dramas.

Uda area

Situated in the eastern part of Nara prefecture, Uda is an area rich in unspoiled natural beauty with many ancient shrines. The Uda Matsuyama district retains the atmosphere of the ancient castle town, and has been designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.
Approx.35 min by car from L’Auberge de Plaisance Sakurai
The old town of Uda Matsuyama

The old town of Uda Matsuyama is an exciting place to take walk. A number of traditional Japanese houses have been converted into smart boutiques.

Matabei-Zakura (The Matabei cherry trees)

The magnificent Matabei cherry trees attract many blossom viewers each spring.

  • Murou Art Forest

    An art park situated near the Murou-ji Buddhist temple. The many unique artworks area must-see.

  • Murou-ji Temple

    In contrast to Koya-san (Mt. Koya temple), the Murou-ji Buddhist temple allowed women to visit the surrounding mountains, and was known as Nyonin Koya (“women’s Koya”). It is also famous for autumn leaves.

Yoshinoyama (Mt. Yoshino) area

The Mt. Yoshino area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, rich in unspoiled natural beauty and with many famous Buddhist temples. It is a famous spot for viewing cherry blossom, autumn leaves and snow.
Approx.50 min by car from L’Auberge de Plaisance Sakurai
Mt. Yoshino

Famous for its cherry blossom. In spring, the cherry blossom starts with the Shimo-senbon (lower 1,000 trees) at the foot of Mt. Yoshino, and gradually works its way up the mountain via the Naka-senbon (middle 1,000) and Kami-senbon (upper 1,000) to the Oku-senbon (inner 1,000).

Kinpusen-ji Temple

A historic temple established by En no Gyoja, founder of Shugen-do, the religion practiced by the yamabushi ascetic hermits. The Kinpusen-ji Temple is the symbol of Mt. Yoshino.

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    Kinpu Shrine

    A shrine on the Omine-Okugakemichi trail, in the Oku-senbon area. Nearby is the tower where the 12th-century hero Minamoto no Yoshitsune hid from his enemies.

  • Yoshimizu-Jinja Shrine

    Known as the shrine where Minamoto no Yoshitsune and Shizuka Gozen hid. From the grounds, there is a view of the cherry trees of Yoshino.

  • Omine-Okugakemichi trail

    The Shugen-do trail from Yoshino to Kumano. Followers of Shugen-do still walk this trail, creating a mystical atmosphere.