Mt. Shigi-san Area信貴山エリア
An area that is known for its many varieties of traditional religious ceremonies. Many beautiful and well-known temples are open to tourists.
Mt. Shigi-san, 437 meters in elevation, is located at the southern end of the Ikoma Mountains lying in the northwest of Nara Prefecture. In the middle of the mountains is Chogosonshi-ji Temple, usually referred to as "Shigisan" or "Shigi-no-bishamon-san."
In the 7th century, Prince Shotoku, the son of Emperor Yomei, was deeply devoted to Buddhism. While he was praying at this mountain for victory over Mononobe Moriya, who was disturbing the peace of the country, it is said that Bishamon-ten (the god of warriors) appeared over his head and told him a secret winning strategy. Because this occurred at the hour of the tiger, on the day of the tiger, in the year of the tiger, Bishamon-ten at Mt. Shigi-san has been worshiped as the god of happiness associated with tigers. The huge sculpture of a tiger on the approach way attracts the attention of visitors. Reiho-kan, standing next to the main temple, houses a national treasure, the Shigisan-engi-emaki (illustrated narrative hand scroll of Shigi-san Temple), that can be viewed by the public during a special exhibit held every fall.
Within the temple site there is lodging where you can experience ascetic practices. Also at Mt. Shigi-san is the Shigi-san-onsen Hot Spring. Legend has it that the hot spring started welling up from the garden of an old man's house after he rescued an injured egret.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 2h 15 min to Kyoto Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line (Nozomi), and 45 min from Kyoto via Yamato-Saidaiji to Ikoma Station by Kintetsu Kyoto Line (limited express). 25 min from Ikoma to Shigi-san-shita Station by Kintetsu Ikoma Line, and 10 min from Shigi-san-shita Station to Shigi-san by Nara Kotsu Bus.
*It takes 2h 45 min from Tokyo to Kyoto Station by Hikari Shinkansen.
From Osaka :
[Rail] 30 min from Tennoji to Sango Station by JR Yamato-ji Line, and 10 min to Shigi-san by Nara Kotsu Bus.