I have to admit that I really prefer the rural areas in Japan to the urban areas and I love how quickly and conveniently one can move between these two using the railway system in Japan!
Recently, thanks to a couple of my students and friends, I had the chance to discover some absolutely stunning areas in Nara Prefecture! (奈良県)
We started our day trip at Yamato Yagi Station (大和八木駅) on the Kintetsu Osaka Line (近鉄大阪線), and then headed over to a café in Asuka where we had an excellent Japanese-style lunch.
(cafeことだま) http://cafeasuka.exblog.jp/ I highly recommend this place!
From there we visited Asuka Village (明日香村), which was one of the Imperial capitals of Japan during the Asuka period (飛鳥時代). http://www.asukanet.gr.jp/
The surroundings are beautiful, and very typical of scenic Nara Prefecture (奈良県).
Here we visited the Ishibutai Kofun (石舞台古墳) which is one of the ancient tombs.
I heard that it is one of the most massive in Japan.
The walls are built of boulders and I heard that one stone alone weighs about 75 tons!
They still haven’t figured out how people were able to move these back then.
The Asuka period (飛鳥時代) was from 538 A.D. to 710 A.D.
We also visited Takamatsuzuka Tomb (高松塚古墳) where we were able to enjoy beautiful paintings from the 7th century. These paintings are a national treasure of Japan.
After spending a few hours in Asuka we decided to head over to Yoshino Yama which is considered one of the most beautiful cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan. (桜天国・吉野山)
There are over 30,000 cherry blossom trees in bloom during the season and probably 100 times as many people trying to enjoy them! (お花見)
We went after the cherry blossom viewing season so we were able to relax and enjoy the beautiful views and walk through the town. The air was so clean!
If you have never been to this area of Nara Prefecture, I highly recommend you take the time to visit.
I am very happy that I had this opportunity to visit and I thank my students and friends who took the time to go with me!
We had a wonderful time together and it was a great chance for us to speak English outside of the classroom and I also learned a few new Japanese vocabulary words!
Smith’s School of English Nara – Saidaiji
月謝制 の スミス 英会話 奈良 － 西大寺校
http://www.smithweb.co.jp/school/saidaiji.shtml 英会話 西大寺 奈良市