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Mount Wakakusa is located on the edge of Nara city and is famous for the annual Wakakusa Yamayaki festival.




Isabelle Pequignot

Gorgeous views of the entire city, including Nara Park.
Though you can reach the top by motor vehicle I definitely recommend hiking the Kasugayama Primeval Forest trail, which goes up the entire mountain from its base (if you enjoy hiking that is).
The top of the mountain parking lot does have restrooms and vending machines.

Michael Lam

The Night view on top of Mount Wakakusa in Nara is magnificent. It is the highest spot in Nara and is a sacred place that overlooks Todai-ji Temple, the Heijo Palace and Nara city. The top can be easily reached by car or taxi.

Since the 342m mountain is not covered by trees but is fully grassed, it is also part of a spectacular event that takes place in winter. Every year on the fourth Saturday of January the dead grass is all burnt down in an event called Yamayaki, which literally means "burning the mountain". At this event fireworks, shows and festival stores also take place. Scores of people brave the cold winter night to see the burning mountain. The origins of Yamayaki are said to have occurred in the 1700s due to border disputes between the Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji temples, however, these days it is part of the yearly temple and shrine festivities. The lighting of the fires starts in Nara park and progresses in a procession to the mountain for the final lighting. Hence the mountain is a symbolic and sacred symbol of Nara.


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