Japanese Heritage

Japanese Heritage Site Certification

Japanese Heritage Site Certification

“Spanning 1400 years, proclaiming a deep history, the oldest road, Takenouchi-Kaido / Yokooji (Daido),” has been authorized as a Japanese heritage site.

The Takenouchi-Kaido / Yokooji (Daido) Executive Committee’s goal to make the site a part of Japanese Heritage was the first application to the Agency of Cultural Affairs that resulted in a Japanese heritage certification in Osaka.

In Taishi-cho (Town), one can find the Mausoleum of Prince Shotoku-Taishi and an abundance of imperial tombs, making the town a popular destination for history buffs.

Above all, Takenouchi-Kaido / Yokooji (Daido) has been at the heart of continental cultural exchange as it has functioned as a path for economic growth since ancient times. From the flourishing middle ages, to the bustling Ise pilgrimages in modern times, this ancient road has acquired a variety of characteristics from different places and eras. As you walk along this ancient path, you can truly witness history coming to life. Hereafter, we aim to invigorate the surrounding region by strengthening foreign and domestic information exchange and improving the environment.

Below are images of Taishi-cho (Town)’s Japanese heritage constitutional cultural property.
Click on an image to enlarge.

  • Eifuku-ji Temple Daijyoueshiki (Mahayana Buddhism memorial service)
  • Eifuku-ji Temple
  • Caverns/Grottoes: 1000-year-old Cedar
  • Caverns/Grottoes
  • Kotoku-tenno-ryo - Tomb of Emperor Kotoku
  • Yamada District: Former Yamamoto Residence
  • Remains of Rokutanji
  • Mausoleum of Ono-no Imoko
  • Mausoleum of Ono-no Imoko
  • Suiko-tenno-ryo - Tomb of Empress Suiko
  • Futagozuka Kofun - Tomb of Futagozuka
  • Bidatsu-tenno-ryo - Tomb of Emperor Bidatsu
  • Yomei-tenno-ryo - Tomb of Emperor Yomei

[Related Links]

Japanese heritage portal site

Takenouchi-Kaido / Yokooji (Daido) ~From Namba to Asuka, Japan’s oldest official road~
Takenouchi-Kaido / Yokooji~From Namba to Asuka, Japan’s oldest official road “Daido” ~ Activation Executive Committee

The history of Takenouchi-Kaido / An overview

In 613 A.D., as written in the Nihon-Shoki (the oldest chronicles of Japan), a large road was made from Namba to Asuka.

From long ago, this road has served numerous functions.

The road was used by people from Paleolithic times to access Mt. Nijou-zan, as they desired stone tools made from sanukite. Since the road lay at the end of the Silk Road, traders brought their cultures from mainland China and the Korean peninsula on the last leg of their journey. The road was at the center for followers of the Shotoku-Taishi religious faith. Many made pilgrimages to the 33 temples in the Kinki area containing a statue of Avalokitesvara, Eifuku-ji Temple, Omine, Koya, Kumano, and Ise. The road has also been a source of economic growth, with traders traveling to and from Yamato and Kawachi to exchange goods.

This road has stood the test of time and has come to be known as Takenouchi-Kaido.

With an overall length of about 30km (18.6 miles), Takenouchi-Kaido stretches from Oshoji, Sakai to the Nagao Shrine in Kasagi, Nara. According to the Nihon-shoki, “The Daido (main road) established in 613 A.D., stretching from Namba to the imperial capital (Asuka),” is the oldest highway in Japan. From long ago, this road has served as an important historical stage.

The Takenouchi-Kaido, which traverses east and west and connects the Nara basin with Yokooji, was actively used by Ono-no Imoko’s envoy to Sui dynasty China and other foreign delegations even when the capital was moved to Fujiwara. Takenouchi-Kaido flourished as the latest technologies and cultural practices, which arrived at Namba harbor, were brought to Asuka (the last stop on the Silk Road) via this “diplomatic road.”
Further, as the Shotoku-Taishi faith became popular and the Eifuku-ji Temple, which guards the sacred ground of the Shotoku-Taishi Mausoleum, Takenouchi-Kaido prospered as a “faith road.”

During the Edo period, guide posts, inns, tea houses, and the like were built to accommodate those using Takenouchi-Kaido as a “religious road” for their pilgrimages to Ise, Omine, and Taima.

During the Meiji period, the road became even more important as an “economic road” when it was used to move goods during the annexation of Sakai, in the southern part of Osaka, to Nara.
For that reason, great improvements were made to the Takenouchi mountain pass. Even now, an inscribed stone monument commemorating the improvements remains on the old mountain road.

Takenouchi-Kaido is a road that has served a variety of purposes and undergone countless changes throughout the centuries.
Even through all of its many transformations, the guideposts and lanterns that line the old road still bring to life the once-bustling past.

Takenouchi-Kaido Photo Studio

Below are images of Takenouchi-Kaido. Click on an image to enlarge. We will be adding more photos as they become available, so make sure to check back!

  • Daido District: Old Private Residence
  • Daido District: Around Mochiyabashi
  • Daido District: Private residence decorated with an edge grid
  • Daido District: Along the Kaido (Road)
  • Daido District: Jizodo (the above Jizo)
  • Kasuga District: Wall decoration of a ship’s underside
  • Daido District: Asaido
  • Toro Matsuri (Festival): before the lanterns are lit
  • Toro Matsuri (Festival): Nokishita Gallery
  • Toro Matsuri (Festival): The street coming to life with lanterns
  • Toro Matsuri (Festival): The light from the lanterns illuminating the stone pavement
  • In front of the former Yamamoto residence in Daido: Yato-san
  • Toro Matsuri (Festival): The magical glow of lanterns
  • Toro Matsuri (Festival): Splendid bamboo artwork
  • Toro Matsuri (Festival): Jizodo of Kasuga District
  • Toro Matsuri (Festival): Nokishita Gallery at night
  • Toro Matsuri (Festival): Light-up display of Shosen Temple
  • Toro Matsuri (Festival): Kayabuki (thatch roof) concert
  • Toro Matsuri (Festival): Taishi Shotoku-ichi Market
  • Toro Matsuri (Festival): Large lanterns created by kindergarteners
  • In front of the former Yamamoto residence in Daido: Taishikun
  • Kinoshita Residence
  • Former Daido Residence of Yamamoto
  • Taishikun walking along the Kaido (Road)
  • Takenouchi Kaido (Road): Kasuga District
  • Takenouchi Kaido (Road)
  • Fall colors of Takenouchi Kaido (Road)
  • Former Daido Residence of Yamamoto: Garden
  • Takenouchi Kaido (Road): Yamada District
  • Takenouchi Kaido (Road): Kasuga District
  • Takenouchi Kaido (Road): In front of the Kinoshita Residence

The 10th Commemorative
Takenouchi-Kaido Toro Matsuri (Festival) Photo Contest
Introduction of Prizes

Thank you for all of your entries.
43 total submissions have been evaluated and chosen to receive awards: one first-place prize, one Chair of Takenouchi Kaido’s Convention for Livelihood Creation award, one Mayor of Taishi-cho (Town) award, one Chair of Taishi-cho Tourism and Town Development Association award, and 10 Takenouchi-Kaido Toro Matsuri (Festival) prizes.

[Photo Subject]
The tenth Takenouchi-Kaido Toro Matsuri (Festival), held on October 20th (Sat.), 2018

[Submission Period]
October 21st (Mon.), 2018 ~ November 10th (Sat.), 2018

Takenouchi Kaido’s Convention for Livelihood Creation

[Photo contest joint sponsor]
Taishi-cho Tourism and Town Development Association

  • First Prize: “Street Lantern with Curved Mirror” P.N. Mr. Tsutomu Inami
  • Chair of Takenouchi Kaido’s Convention for Livelihood Creation Award: “A Street Lantern’s Call” Mr. Kentarou Yamada.
  • Mayor of Taishi-cho Award: “The Night of the Festival” Mr. Kanji Tsutsui
  • Chair of Taishi Town Tourism and Town Development Association Award: “Orchids in the Moonlight” P.N. Katsuo
  • Takenouchi Lantern Festival Award: “Give the Moon Support” Mr. Kazuo Yamashita
  • “Kaido Street Lanterns at Dusk” Mr.Katsuhide Kashiyama
  • “A Path of Torches” P.N. Tomcat Tom-Neko
  • “To the Front of the Lanterns” P.N. Yudofu
  • “Before Twilight” P.N. Fujidera Fujio
  • “Quiet” P.N. Mr. Taichi Sugii
  • “A Scene from Takenouchi Kaido fit for a Shiba” P.N. Shibachan
  • “Pondering Old Memories” P.N. Asahi
  • “The Glow of Street Lanterns at Dusk” P.N. asuka
  • “A Mirrored Reflection of the Past”  Mr. Yoshitaka Matsui