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Mount Wakakusa

Easy-to-climb mountain overlooking Nara

With paths starting behind Todaiji Temple, Mount Wakakusa is easily climbable, offering long-distance walkers the chance to enjoy panoramic views extending to the historic site of the Heijokyo Palace.

Đi từ lodge

3 hours

Đi bằng phương tiện công cộng

JR Nara Station, Kintetsu Nara Station

About Mt. Wakakusa

Mount Wakakusayama, also known as Wakakusa Mountain (若草山), is a grass-covered mountain situated behind Nara Park, positioned between Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Shrine. Standing at an elevation of approximately 350 meters, the mountain provides clear views of Nara City. Visitors have the opportunity to ascend Mount Wakakusayama throughout the year, excluding the winter season, and there is a nominal entrance fee.

The verdant slope of the mountain is adorned with cherry trees, typically in full bloom in early April. A challenging path follows the leftmost edge of the slope, leading to a plateau halfway up the mountain, offering splendid panoramic views of the city. The ascent to the plateau takes around 15-20 minutes, and many people choose to conclude their hike at this point. For those seeking to reach the mountain's peak, an additional 20-30 minutes of trekking is required.

Entrance fee: 150 yen

Wakakusa Yamayaki - a special festival

On the fourth Saturday of January, people set fire to Wakakusa Mountain. This is a unique and impressive festival that attracts many participants. The festival is called Wakakusa Yamayaki.

No one knows exactly when the tradition of burning a 342m mountain in Nara prefecture started, but it is certain that it may have been going on for hundreds of years. Some say that this tradition originally began as a boundary dispute between the two largest temples in Nara, Tōdai-ji and Kōfuku-ji, around the 18th century. When reconciliation failed, the entire hill was set on fire, although no one remembers exactly what that resolved.

A special fence prevents people from getting close to the fire. Hundreds of volunteer firefighters are present to prevent any accidents during the festival.

While not an environmentally friendly festival, Wakakusa Yamayaki holds a special place in the hearts of Nara residents. Therefore, they may not abandon their centuries-old tradition.

For further information, please access the official website:

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