This is the oldest road in Japan.
It is scattered with ruins across a length of about 18km.
It is also an excursion route dotted with old temples, burial mounds, and statues of Buddha engraved on stone.
In addition to this road, there are four other old roads in Sakurai.
The Omiwa-Jinja : Shinto shrine
This shrine is said to be the oldest in Japan.
It was built in honor of the Miwa mountain and worships a daity called god Omononushi-no-okami.
Worshippers come to visit this shrine all year round, from sunrise to sunset.
Abe-monjuin : Manjusri temple
The Buddha of this temple is one of the three most important Manjusri of Japan, famous both as a bodhisattva of wisdom and as a God to be worshipped for successful studies.
Tanzan-Jinja : Shinto shrine
The god of this shrine is Fujiwara-no-Kamatari Who, in the ancient days, Is said to have been very helpful to Taika-no-kaishin (great Japanese political reform that took place in the 7th century).
The main building, the chapel and the thirteen story pagoda have a red lacquer finish.
They are full of grace, surrounded by the red autumn leaves.
Shorin-ji : Buddhist temple
This statue, located in the Buddhist Shorin-ji temple, has been classified as a national treasure deserving comparison with Greek and Roman sculptures.
Ever since E.Fenollosa, American philosopher, reassessed its value, this statue has gained fame.
Hase-dera : Buddhist temple
This is an old and famous place of worship.
The temple shelters a wooden statue of Juichimen-kannon bosatsu (merciful bodhisattva, avalokitesvara, with eleven faces), a well known bodhisattva worshipped by many people.
Ishii-dera : Buddhist temple
This statue, the oldest of its kind (sanzon-sekibutsu, trio of Buddha) was carved in high relief from sandstone some one thousand three hundred years ago.
(photo : Site of Obara Temple)