A World Cultural Heritage Site known for its virgin forests. Kasuga Taisha Shrine with its red-painted corridors.
Mt. Kasuga-yama is located in the northern part of Nara Prefecture, west of Mt. Mikasa-yama. In the middle of the 9th century the local shrine issued a decree forbidding the cutting down of the trees on the mountain, which has resulted in the preservation of the ancient virgin forests. The scenery of the shrine and the forests has now been inscribed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
At the western foot of Mt. Kasuga-yama is Kasuga Taisha Shrine. It was originally built to protect the ancient capital city, Heijo-kyo, which was established in early 8th century, and now serves as the head of numerous branch shrines spreading all over the country. It is famous as one of the country's three major shrines, together with Ise Jingu and Iwashimizu-Hachimangu shrines. The main shrine building, built in the 'kasuga-zukuri' architectural style, is surrounded by four shrines. The vermilion-lacquered corridors surrounding the main shrine stand out against the rich, deep foliage at the foot of Mt. Kasuga-yama, and the hanging bronze lanterns under its eaves and the four shrine buildings create a sacred and peaceful atmosphere.
A traditional event called "Man-Toro" (10,000 lanterns) is held in summer and winter. All 2,000 stone lanterns and 1,000 hanging lanterns within the precincts are lit, attracting many visitors. Wakamiya-jinja Shrine, a subordinate shrine of Kasuga Taisha Shrine, is located at the south end of the main building, and every winter it is the site of the large-scale Kasuga Wakamiya On-matsuri Festival, an elegant festival featuring traditional performing arts.
[Rail] 1h 25 min from Kansai Airport to Nara Station by Airport Limousine Bus.
35 min from Namba to Nara Station by Kintetsu Nara Line (regular express).
[Rail] 35 min from Kintetsu Namba to Kintetsu Nara by Kintetsu Nara Line (rapid express).
[Rail] 2h 15 min to Kyoto Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line (Nozomi), and 35 min from Kyoto to Kintetsu Nara Station by Kintetsu Kyoto Line (limited express). Or, 45 min from Kyoto to Nara Station by JR Nara Line.
*It takes 2h 45 min from Tokyo to Kyoto Station by Hikari Shinkansen.
Around the Mt. Kasuga-yama Area
- Setsubun Mantoro and Chugen Mantoro Festivals & Ceremonies Setsubun Mantoro and Chugen Mantoro
- Kasuga Taisha Shrine Shrines, Temples & Churches Kasuga Taisha Shrine
- Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri Festivals & Ceremonies Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri
- Kofuku-ji Temple Shrines, Temples & Churches Kofuku-ji Temple
- Shin-Yakushi-ji Temple Shrines, Temples & Churches Shin-Yakushi-ji Temple
More on the Mt. Kasuga-yama Area
- Nara City Sightseeing Information Center Nara City Sightseeing Information Center
- Nara Prefecture Nara Prefecture
- Nara Walks Nara Walks
- Kasuga-taisha Shrine Kasuga-taisha Shrine
- World Heritage Site in Japan:The Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara World Heritage Site in Japan:The Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara
- Yamayaki (Grass Burning on Mt. Wakakusayama) Yamayaki (Grass Burning on Mt. Wakakusayama)
- Setsubun Mantoro (Lantern Festival) Setsubun Mantoro (Lantern Festival)
- Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri