Though little is left of its original palaces and temples, Asuka is at the center of Japan’s history as the home of the first emperor and the roots of Buddhism. Now, its natural assets draw visitors: rolling hills and terraced rice paddies that hark back to simpler times. Gazing across the rich green fields acts as an instant de-stressor.

Experience Asuka

Local Insights

Asuka Ruby Strawberries

The Asuka Ruby, is a variety of strawberry cultivated in Nara’s Asuka region. Named after the gemstone for their ruby red flesh, the plump berries are renowned for balancing sweetness with acidity. Thanks to greenhouses, they are in season from January to May, with many pick-your-own opportunities at local farms.

So (Ancient Cheese)

With the introduction of Buddhism, Emperor Tenmu forbade the eating of meat in 675. Instead, a simple cheese was developed as an acceptable protein. It is believed that So may have come from Mongolia along the Silk Road. Made without any additives, it tastes a little like caramel. Learn more about Nara's unique cuisine.

Illustrated Map for PC
Illustrated Map for

Good to Know


Best Time to Go

With terraced rice fields and rolling hills colored in vibrant hues of green, summer is an excellent time to explore Asuka. For those planning to cycle the area, autumn may offer a more agreeable climate. Rice paddies also turn a beautiful burnt golden color in this season. If visiting in spring, don't miss the cherry blossom at Ishibutai Tumulus.


Getting Around

Renting a bicycle is a leisurely way to take in the sights. Asuka Rental Cycle has several branches and visitors can return bicycles to any of them. The Akakame Loop Bus is another easy way to get around with one-day passes available. Groups may want to consider taking taxis, which can be caught from one of the nearby train stations. Tourist information offices like Nara Visitor Center & Inn can help arrange taxi charter, too.

Travel Tips

Although certain attractions are within walking distance of one another, renting a bicycle or making use of the local bus service is the best way to use time effectively. If you do decide to explore on two wheels, consider an electric battery-powered bicycle for help with some of the hills.

Other Tips

With a wide range of things to see and do in Asuka alone, and additional options such as Kashihara Jingu Shrine and Imaicho in neighboring Kashihara, a half-day trip will leave you feeling like you've missed out. To cover everything, set aside a full day or stay overnight.

Getting to Asuka

Asuka Station is one of several stations in the area and the most centrally located. It can be reached on the Kintetsu Line in around an hour. Depending on where you want to visit, Okadera or Kashiharajingu-mae stations may be more convenient.

From Kintestu-Nara Sta. to Asuka Sta. : approx 1 h 6 min
From Kintestu-Nara Sta. to Asuka Sta. : approx 1 h 6 min


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