The shortest route connecting Nara and Osaka in the Edo Period (1603-1868) is now a popular hiking course
Kuragari Toge is a mountain path over the peak at the border of Ikoma City, Nara Prefecture, and Higashi Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture. The altitude of the peak is 452 m. The road from Osaka to Nara, over Kuragari Toge, is called Kuragari-Goe Nara Kaido route, and is one of the ancient roads that has been used since before the Nara Period (710-794). It is also said to be the shortest route connecting Nara and Osaka. The road was used as a pilgrimage route to Ise Shrine and a transport route for supplies in the Edo Period. It was a busy street with many tea houses and inns. It is also famous for the story of Matsuo Basho, a famous haiku poet, who wrote a haiku on the way to Osaka after going over Kuragari Toge from Nara. There is a monument for the haiku in Higashi Osaka City. Basho traveled around Japan, and this was the last trip in Basho's life.
There are many cobblestones, signposts and stone Buddhist statues along the road from Minami-Ikoma Station on the Kintetsu Line to Kuragari Toge, and many hikers travel on the road. It is about 4 km long, and although it only takes about 20 minutes in a taxi, it is highly recommended to hike along the road. It will take about 1 hour and 20 minutes on foot to Kuragari Toge. There are sightseeing spots, such as Sekibutsu-ji Temple, Amitabha Tathagata statue, and monuments for Manyou-Shu, the oldest collection of poetry in Japan, on the way. You can also enjoy the view of rice terraces opened on the slopes of mountains and valleys.
Address: Nishihata-cho, Ikoma City, Nara
Phone: 0743-74-1111 (Ikoma City Tourist Bureau)
Directions: 20 minutes from Minami-Ikoma Station on the Kintetsu Ikoma Line (50 minutes from Osaka Station) by taxi.