ASUKA is the foundation area of Japan where the first permanent capital was established in AD694, about 20 kilometers south of Nara city.
It is here where the first Japanese emperors established their capitals and many of the country's oldest shrines,temples,tombs,stone monuments and archaeological excavations can be found. Today, there are also attracts with its tranquil,rural local areas.
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Kyoto station ,Nara station ,or hotels
Imaicho old town: It was selected as the Important preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings in 1993. It is about 600m east to west,about 310 m north to south. The town was so-called jinai-cho(sem-fortified compounds of a temple) since the 16th century.
Ishibutai tumulus: An ancient tomb that represents Asuka, boasting the largest horizontal stone chamber. The buried person is estimated to be the person,Soga-no-Umako, an influential leader in the beg.of the 7th century.
Oka-dera Temple: In the main hall, the seated clay statue of Noiryin Kannon Bodhisattva(Nara period, the 8th century) as the principal image of worship with a height of 4.85M.
Asuka-dera Temple: The first authentic temple in Japan that was founded in AD596. The principal of image of worship is Asuka Daibutsu(Shaka Nyorai statue), which is the oldest buddha statue in Japan,about 2.7m high. The statue was made about 170 years earlier than the Great Buddha of Todai-ji Temple in Nara.
Omiwa shrine: It has been believed to be Japan's oldest existing Shinto shrine along the Yamanobe-no-michi walking trail in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture.
Traditional food(Asuka pot dish) and Sake tasting in local breweries.
Kyoto station, Nara station, or hotels
The ancient area with foundation place of Japan over 1,400 years ago. The places are historically and culturally original place of Japan.
Though architectures are not survived as original figures,some of them are original ones, but the atmosphere with rustic scenery are still remained as the ancient times.
In the Imai-cho town, a specific type of town is remained as the image of the 16th century. In order to prevent attacks from thieves,other
Buddhist sects, feudal lords and others, moats and banks were built on all four side of the town as a semi-fortified town,thus protecting the monks and their followers.
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transportation fee(you and guide), lunch, dinner,entrance fee
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Buddhism was introduced to Asuka area in Beg 6th Century , Shinto was still powerful and dominated religion at that time.
Shinto is indigenous religion of Japanese based on natures and ancestors worship.No founder nor doctrine.It is a polytheistic religion.
Buddhism is originated from the northern India and came to Japan through China and Korean peninsula in the 6th century.The founder of Buddhism is Shakamuni and the goal of teaching Buddhism is to come enlightenment. There are many schools of Buddhism, like Kegon, Pure land,Zen etc.
Though there were heated debates which religion shall be worshiped after introduction of Buddhism, both religions has been harmonized and coexisted since then.
Thus, all town in Japan, temples and shrines can been found every place individually or sometimes shrines are existed same precinct of temples.
Takatoshi made our trip very memorable! He was kind, patient and knowledgeable. His itinerary was great and we ended the tour trying Japanese tapas style dishes pairing with Sake. I highly recommend him! Thank you very much Takatoshi! :-)
Thank you very much for your kind review. I have also enjoyed the tour with both of you visiting places and having sake at that time. As mentioned, Nara has several cities and places to where you have to visit like Asuka etc. as for the foundation area of Japan. You are always welcome and looking forward to visiting again in Nara.
Takatoshi is a wonderful guide! He is knowledgeable, thoughtful, and so ready to share his love for his country and culture. We spent the day touring many sites in Kyoto and learned so much. We toured beautiful gardens and mastered the subway system. He’s totally fluent in English and our day was an enjoyable learning experience. We highly recommend him!
Dear Debra san, Thank you for your nice comment to my tour yesterday. I really appreciate it and have also enjoyed tour time with your member. Hopefully, we will see you again anywhere in this small world. I wish your safely back to your home as well as your and your family's good health and prosperity in future.
We spent one day of visit in Kyoto with Takatoshi. He knows a lot about history and the different tips along the road. We had a great English discussion about any topics. We do recommend Takatoshi who also walked with us to a really nice Sake local place. Hope to see you again in Japan
Thank you for your positive review to my tour in Kyoto. It was also nice time for me during the tour. I convince that you have spent great days in Japan , how was in Fukuoka ? Hope you had a nice time at Yakitori restaurant . I wish you and your family's prosperity in future and see you again anyplace in this small globe.
This was such a great day in Nara. Takatoshi took us all over, showing us the highlights and adding a lot of history and depth at each location. He was able to answer every question we had about the different places with great detail which I really liked. He also knows the city since he lives in the area and was able to take us to cool places that I would never have even known existed. His English proficiency is also one of the best we had in Japan which makes a huge difference. If you are thinking of doing a half day/day in Nara, hire Takatoshi. Seriously, you will not regret it.
Thank you for your positive and kind comment to my Nara tour. I really appreciate having a time with you and your wife on that day, though the temperature was more than 32 degree and high humid . If we could have more time, I would be glad to show you other places, but I will expect your next opportunity among any city in the west Japan. I wish your nice further journey in Japan and your safely back to your home. I have already sent pictures taken by me to you address. Hope you have well received it.