Yagyu Kaido is an ancient road to the village of Yagyu from the centre of Nara City, and it passes through the valley between Mt. Kasuga and Mt. Takamado.
Yagyu Village has been called a Nara’s hidden village, as its located in eastern part of Nara City. The village is famous as a village of master swordsmen, and the Yagyu Shinkage School of swordsmanship was born here.
Yagyu Kaido has 3 hiking courses which are called Takisaka-no-Michi Path, Kengo-no-Michi Path and Yagyu-Kasagi-no-Michi Path.
Takisaka-no-Michi Path is also known as Mt. Kasuga Primeval Forest, which has been carefully protected as the sacred forest of the Kasuga-taisha Shrine. It has still remained untouched for thousands of years as both logging and hunting have been prohibited since AD841.
Surprisingly, there are over 800 types of trees, wild animals, birds and insects.
Some areas of the Takisaka-no-Michi Path are paved with cobble-stones, and you can see a waterfall and some Buddha figures carved on rock face along the way.
Kubikiri-jizo, the stone statue, is one of the highlight of the course. You can see its neck was sliced by a sword. According to folklore, the figure was used by the master swordsman to test his blade.
Takisaka-no-Michi path ends at Enjo-ji temple. The temple is famous for the Dainichi Buddha, which was created by Unkei when he was 20 years old, and its Jodo-style Japanese garden.
The hiking course is approx. 12km from the Kintetsu Nara Station to Enjoji Temple, and it takes 3-4 hours.
We recommend that you bring suitable clothes for the walk such as long sleeve tops, long trousers, sun hat, hiking boots and insect repellent.