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Exploring Asuka Japan: Cycle Tour Around the Ancient Japanese Capital

The Asuka Period took place about 1400 years ago today, in which the center of Japan was located in the current Asuka Village of Nara Prefecture.
Asuka, Japan has much to explore, such as ancient tombs and burial mounds, and many other sites that tell the story of the prosperity of that time.
For that, a bicycle is our top recommendation! You can rent a bicycle at the rental shop right in front of Kintetsu Asuka Station and see all of these ancient spots brimming with history and romance, along with the scenic views surrounding the area.

Arriving at Asuka Station: Getting Our Cheap and Convenient Sightseeing Ride

It takes about 1 hour to Asuka Village via the Kintetsu Train from Kintetsu Nara Station located in central Nara, and about 40 minutes via the limited express train from Osaka Abenobashi Station.
When you get out at the station square, you can stop by the Asukabito-no-Yakata for tourist information of Asuka Village.

▲Rear left: Asuka Station; Right: Asukabito-no-Yakata

▲Tourist information as well as information on events are available in the hall. You can also buy souvenirs and other goods.

Our main reason to head here first is to get our Asuka Kingdom Passport (100 yen, tax included)! This includes a booklet of route information and landmarks for easy and convenient travel around the sightseeing spots of the village, as well as discount tickets for tourist facilities, temples, and shrines.
This is the number one recommended book you will want to bring along in order to make the most of your trip!

▲The Asuka Kingdom Passport is convenient and easy to carry

▲Commemorative stamps are placed in your passport at various locations throughout the tourist spots of Asuka Village. We got our first one right away!

6-3 Koshi, Asuka, Takaichi-gun, Nara Prefecture
Hours of Operation: 8:30AM~6:00PM (may vary according to season)
Regular Holidays: New Years

The area where Asuka Village is located is also designated as Asuka Historical National Government Park. This is divided into five main points of interest: the Takamatsuzuka area, the Ishibutai area, the Amakashi-no-Oka area, the Iwaido area, and the Kitora Tumulus area, which is being expanded as for future tourism.
Because of the expansiveness of the area, it is recommended to get around by bike rather than walking. You can easily rent one at Asuka Rent-a-Cycle (Asuka Station-Front Branch), located in the same station at the square. Because there are many hilly areas and slopes, the electric bike is highly recommended.

▲Left: Electric bicycle; Right: Regular bicycle. There are 5 sizes available for both children and adults.

The rental fees for normal bicycles are 900 yen on weekdays, and 1,000 yen on weekends and holidays. Electric bicycles are all priced at 1,500 yen. (All prices include tax). Business hours are from 9:00AM to 5:00PM, so make sure to note the return time!

▲Use your Asuka Kingdom Passport right away for a discount of 100 yen per bicycle!

▲Map provided by Asuka Rent-a-Cycle. From Asuka Station, seen in the lower left, head towards Ishibutai Kofun on the East Side. After confirming our route, we are on our way! (Image courtesy of Asuka Rent-a-Cycle)

Asuka Rent-a-Cycle (Asuka Station-front Branch)
13-1 Koshi, Asuka Village, Takaichi-gun, Nara Prefecture
Hours of Operation: 9:00AM~5:00PM
Regular Holidays: None

First Stop: Takamatsuzuka Tombs and the Beauties of Asuka

The first stops on the list are the Takamatsuzuka Tombs, and the Takamatsuzuka Mural Museum, located abut 10 minutes away from the Station Square by bicycle. Pedal along as you take in the passing landscape of trees, fields, and rice paddies, and enjoy the refreshing breeze!

▲This area is the Takamatsuzuka Area of the Asuka National History Park. Enjoy your bike ride as you enjoy the green landscape on both sides!

The Takamatsuzuka Tombs were discovered in 1962, wh…

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