Kizu River Area Mie Pref., Nara Pref., and Kyoto Pref.
Kizu River Area
The upper reaches of Kizu River, where several dams managed by JWA are located, are blessed with rich nature. The area offers various enjoyments each of the four seasons. The area has beautiful mountains, ravines and a river of clean water where a precious natural treasure, Sanshou-uo (Salamander) inhabits. In addition, the area is associated with "Ninja", which is known worldwide. There are facilities that allow you to learn and experience the art of Ninja as well as other cultural properties that can be found scattered around. It's a great way to touch history and culture in this area. Here we introduce the attractive sights of the upper reaches of Kizu River.
Nabari City, Mie Pref.
[NB-2]Kan'ami Furusato ParkNabari City, Mie Pref.
Kan'ami was born in Iga(Old name of Mie Prefecture), went to Yamato(present day's Nara Prefecture) when he was young, got into Sarugaku (former style of Nohgaku, or Noh play, traditional masked dance-drama), and made himself master of his art. Later this famous Noh player built and opened Engaku-za (named Kanze-za theater later) in Obata, Nabari City, where his wife was born. After that, his art "Nohgaku" developed with his son Zeami, became one of the highest points of Japanese traditional arts. A monument of birth place of Kanze-za theater was erected in Kan'ami Furusato Park. "Kan'ami Festival", mainly performing Noh play on the stage in the park, is held on the first Sunday of November every year.
[NB-3]Former Residence of Nabari Todo FamilyNabari City, Mie Pref.
Feudal Lord Todo achieved an unmatched feat at the battle of Sekigahara, that made the start of long-lasting Tokugawa Shogunate Government. His family kept reigning this area and had his family residence here. Though in 1710 the residence was once burned down and re-built, the residence still keeps its historical value.
Please visualize the lives of feudal samurai lord when taking a tour in this residence.
[NB-4]Former Hosokawa Residence "Yanase inn"Nabari City, Mie Pref.
A base facility on conservation of historical townscapes. Available daily chef's lunch and various seasonal events are held.
[NB-5]Natsumi Temple RuinsNabari City, Mie Pref.
There used to be an ancient temple allegedly existed from the end of the 7th to early 8th centuy. The exhibition hall is attached to the park and excavated articles including the budda image and rehabilitation process of the main budda hall are on display. The ruins are now reorganized as a park. It would be interesting to feel the ancient times from those exhibited items, standing on the ground of ancient hall and other buildings.
[NB-7]The Japan Salamander CenterNabari City, Mie Pref.
Grown here are giant salamanders, designated as special natural treasure of Japan, very unique creatures in the world. At this center, in addition to the ones born here, there are 50 salamanders of 9 different species cultivated and exhibited. The reason why they are unique is because they still retain the original body shape and hereditary features for 30 million years. You can observe them at very close range.
[NB-8]The Akame WaterfallsNabari City, Mie Pref.
Superb view of water falls in the land of Ninja
In the upstream area of the Kizugawa River, you can see precipitous terrains formed by volcanic activity in ancient times. The Akame 48 Waterfalls (Akame Shijuhattaki) are located in this area. There are many waterfalls known for their beautiful shape with clean and rapid water flow in this ravine.
Being close to Nara City, which is a famous tourist destination, this spot begins to be known to foreign tourists, but it still seems to remain as the hidden tourist spots. The Japan Salamander Center is at the entrance of the ravine, where you can learn about the ecology of salamanders that inhabit in clean water and are said to live as long as humans.
To observe these waterfalls, there are nature trails in the ravine. Since it takes about 90 minutes to get to the innermost part of the ravine, it would be recommended that you give yourself plenty of time to stroll.
[NB-9]Ninja ForestNabari City, Mie Pref.
It is said that in the area where the Akame 48 Waterfalls are situated was the birthplace of IGA NINJA. The Ninja founder Momochi Tanba is said to have practiced ninja training and conducted deadly combat against Nobunaga Oda, a very strong feudal lord attempting to unify and dominate entire Japan.
Isn't it a fan to experience yourself the Iga Akame Ninjutsu (the art of Ninja), which was firmly established by the ancient Ninja Masters?
Uda City, Nara Pref.
[U-1]Murou-ji TempleUda City, Nara Pref.
Murouji Temple in Uda City, Nara Prefecture, is closely located to the boundary between Nara and Mie prefectures. The precinct of this temple spreads from the foot to the middle of hillside of the mountain. You will need to take long steps to reach the main building, which is designated as national treasure together with Kondo Hall, 5 storied pagoda and some others. But it worth walking through the precinct, immersing yourself in the profound serene environment. This temple invites a lot of toursts who want to observe pink flowers of rhododendron between end of April and early May every year.
[U-2]Ohno-ji TempleUda City, Nara Pref.
The most attractive scene at this temple in spring is the cherry blossom trees with drooping branches in full bloom. Some of them are estimated to be over 300 years old. On the other side of the river is the engraved Buddhist image of 14m high, one of the tallest in Japan, curved into the surface of the rock. The combination of the huge Buddhist image on a bank and the cherry blossoms on opposite bank let the visitors feel some solemn atmosphere.
[U-3]Takidani Iris GardenUda City, Nara Pref.
About six hundred varieties of irises - one million in total bloom in the vast grounds as if they were competing each other for their beauties.
[U-4]Kodomo-No-Mori (Children's Forest) ParkUda City, Nara Pref.
Uda City is a city located in the highland area of eastern Nara prefecture where there are many historical Buddhist temples.
On the lake side of Murou Dam in Uda City, there is a park named "Kodomo-No-Mori (Children's Forest) Park", which has spacious lawns, replicas of dinosaurs, slides, barbecue spaces, swimming pools, bungalows, and canoeing facilities. Events such as summer festivals are held several times a year and crowded with a lot of families. One hour trip from Osaka takes you there. Check it out if you live in or visit Kansai area.
[U-5]Butsuryu-ji templeUda City, Nara Pref.
This temple is a branch temple of Murou-ji Temple, and it is built as the south gate or the front gate of the principal temple. The big cherry tree in front of the main gate is called "Millennium cherry blossom in Butsuryu-ji temple". It is over 900 years old and is the oldest and largest in Nara Prefecture, and is designated as a natural monument of the prefecture.
[U-6]Nure Jizo (Wet Stone Jizo Statue)Uda City, Nara Pref.
It is said that in the past water ducted from the mountain behind was kept pouring onto the Jizo statue. Because of this story, this Jizo statue is called a wet Jizo statue. This statue is now placed in the Haibara Plaza at the entrance of Murou Dam reservoir in Haibara Yamabe San district. As the water level of the reservoir fluctuates depending on the weather and water storage condition, this statue is mostly seen from spring to autumn, when water level is lowered in preparation for the rainy season and typhoon season.
Iga City, Mie Pref.
[I-2]Ninja Museum of Igaryu
[I-3]Basho Memorial MuseumIga City, Mie Pref.
Iga City, Mie Prefecture is the birthplace of "Iga Ninjas", one of the two major Ninja clans. "Ninja" is popular now thanks to the Hollywood movies. He/She was a spy agent and was said to be a professional martial artist. There is "Ninja Museum of Igaryu" comprising the residence (various tricks were employed), the hands-on hall (400 ninja tools are on display), the learning hall (ninja arts are explained from scientific perspective) and ninja show. You should not miss this if you are interested in ninja activities back in Edo period. Close to the museum, Ueno Castle is standing by Kizu River. As it stands on a hill (184m high above sea level), you can overlook the city from there. Also in the park both the castle and the museum are located, a renowned building is also located. It is called "Haiseiden", the place holy Haiku poet "Matsuo Basho" is enshrined with adjacent building named Basho Memorial Museum because Matsuo Basho was born in Iga City. As all of those places are closely located, it is very convenient for all the tourists.
Ninja Museum of Igaryu
[I-4]Igayaki (Iga ware) Traditional Industrial HallIga City, Mie Pref.
This is a hall or museum, exhibiting a wide range of traditional crafts including famous Iga Yaki(Iga ware) at Igayaki no sato (Iga ware village) in Marubashira. As there is a classroom where you can take a trial lesson and have the technical guidance on Iga ware.
[I-5]Aoyama HighlandIga City, Mie Pref.
Aoyama highland has a drive course to enjoy a good view of highlands. Also so many people find pleasure in hiking while contacting with rich nature. The annual event "Aoyama highland azalea quarter marathon" is held around early summer.
[I-6]Ueno City Station (Ninja City Station)Iga City, Mie Pref.
Iga no Kuni (Iga Province) in Mie prefecture is known as the birth place of Iga-ryu Ninja which was one of the major groups in Japanese Ninja, and Iga-Ueno (the current Iga City) used to be the capital city of the province and its lord built Ueno Castle and governed the province.
Nowadays, Ueno City Station of Iga Railway is the gateway to the Iga-Ueno, and those railway and station acquired nicknames as "Ninja Line" and "Ninja City Station" respectively in 2019.
You can find Ninja compound as well as the castle and old downtown around Ninja Station. This is the perfect place to experience the fascinating journey in Japan!
Soni Village, Nara Pref.
[S-1]Soni PlateauSoni Village, Nara Pref.
The beautiful natural scenery we would like you to enjoy
Beautiful nature is spread out in Soni Village located in the upstream area of Shorenji Dam.
Soni Plateau is covered with Susuki (Japanese pampas grass) and you can enjoy its magnificent scenery especially in autumn.
In addition, this area is called Murou volcanic cluster, and stretches out uniquely shaped mountains formed by volcanic activity about 15 million years ago. One of them is Mt. Yoroi which has a steep slope of rock in a columnar joints shape. The name of the mountain "Yoroi" means "Armor" worn by Samurai and is derived from its shape that looks like the armor.
This area is a great place for hiking, but it still seems to remain as one of the hidden tourist spots for foreign tourists. Please pay a visit if you are interested in it.
Mitsue Village, Nara Pref.
[M-1]Road Station Isehonkaido (Ise Main Road)
Mitsue Hot Spring "Himeshi-no-yu"Mitsue Village, Nara Pref.
This hot spring is called "Water of Warmth", As its name stands, you will feel your body is kept warm a long time after getting out of natural hot bath. At the cafeteria called "Self-service Uguisu", Hinachi Dam and Curry, one of well-known Curry Dishes with venison cutlet, are served. Nearby local market provides fresh local farm produce, of course, without preservatives or additives, such produce includes Konnyaku (Japanese yam cake), pickles, and soya bean miso paste, etc.
Yamazoe Village, Nara Pref.
[Y-1]Nabekura Kei (Valley)Yamazoe Village, Nara Pref.
In Nabekurakei kei (Nabekura mountain river) near the summit of Mt. Konoyama, there are large and small rocks lying along it about 650m in length, which looks like a river. It is really a natural creation. How was the unique landscape made? Hints are "Gabbro" and "Granite".
[Y-2]Me Me FarmYamazoe Village, Nara Pref.
You can see the two types of sheep. One is Suffolk sheep which has black face, the other one is Corriedale sheep whose whole body is pure white. Sheep Rice crackers for the sheep are sold and you can hand-feed to them.
Nara City, Nara Pref.
[NR-1]Yagyu no Sato (Home Village of Yagyu Clan)Nara City, Nara Pref.
Yagyu no Sato was the territory of Yagyu Clan originated in Yagyu Munenori, the Master of Japanese martial art of Swordmanship (Japanese version of fencing) and were very well respected and trusted by Tokugawa Shogunate Government in Edo Period. As this was the home country of the master and his followers, there are many historical monuments such as the residence of "Karo", a highest ranking SAMURAI below the lord, kind of secretary general to Prime Minister. Houtokuji Temple is one of the tourist destinations in this area because those masters' graveyards are located. Also ruins of the inns, etc are kept there.
[NR-2]Enjyoji TempleNara City, Nara Pref.
Enjyoji Temple is a very old temple. It is said to be founded in 756 A.D. The temple has the old budda image and "Kasugado" hall, both of which are designated as National Treasures. The main hall is a nationally designated important cultural property.
[NR-3]Tsukigase Plum-grove ParkNara City, Nara Pref.
Tsukigase Plum-grove Park of Nara City, Nara Prefecture, is located in the upstream of Takayama Dam Reservoir along the upstream of Nabari River. This park is one of the few places of national scenic beauty designated first by the Japanese government. There are about 13,000 plum trees in this park mainly grown for dry plums. In late winter to early spring (from end of February to March), many tourists come to this park to enjoy the fragrance and plum-blossoms, which is the sign of coming spring.
Minamiyamashiro Village, Kyoto Pref.
[MY-1]Koishidani-jinja ShrineMinamiyamashiro Village, Kyoto Pref.
In the Kamakura period, a high-ranking court lady chased the Emperor Godaigo, who fled to Kasagiyama（Mt.Kasagi） in conflict with the shogunate. When she arrived at Kasagiyama, the Emperor Godaigo had already left there. "I am afraid of the Emperor, I am fascinated, and I suffer from sickness. Such a painful thing is enough alone by me. I want to be a guardian of people," such a will she left, she committed suicide. Afterwards people who pitied her built a small shrine and worshiped her. This explains that "Koishidani Shrine" was originated from this story of small shrine.
[MY-2]Former Tayama Elementary School "Ha-Do-Ru"Minamiyamashiro Village, Kyoto Pref.
Tayama Elementary School was closed in March 2003 and has since been reborn as a manufacturing facility "Ha-Do-Ru" with various people's supports. In the nostalgic wooden school building, there are woodworks, glassworks, paper crafts, and straw crafts made by the local residents in the "Monozukuri (manufacturing) area", café and soba restaurant (buckwheat noodles) in the "Syoku(meal) area", and artists' works are exhibited in the "Gallery area" on a regular basis. Of course you can not only see but also have the chance to experience.
Kasagi Town, Kyoto Pref.
[K-1]Mt.Kasagi Nature ParkKasagi Town, Kyoto Pref.
It is a park of an area of about 19.96 hectares with a gorge of Mt.Kasagi, which is 289 meters above sea level and rising up to the south bank of Kizu River. The river is a class A one and one of the tributaries of Yodo River System. Mt.Kasagi has been an object of worship and also the place for ascetic practices of Syugendo(=Japanese mountain asceticism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts) through the ages. In the area we can visit Kasagidera Temple founded in the Nara period and the trace of temporary Gosho(=Imperial Palace) / Anzaisho(temporary Palace established at the Emperor's visit and journey) where the first Emperor of the Southern Dynasty and the 96th Emperor Godaigo (1318-1339: Bunpou 2-Ryakuou 2 in Japanese era names ) used to reside. You can also see Sekibutsu(=stone Buddhist image; Buddhists carved the image of Buddha into the surface of natural rocks such as cliff face, a large rock, or a stone cave.) which are Miroku, Kokuuzo-Bosatsu and Yakushi. Around there we can see the famous, gigantic, strange and oddly shaped rocks such as Nakiriishi and Taikoishi. In addition, broadleaf trees such as Arakashi(quercus glauca), Kunugi(a kind of oak), Aoki(Japanese laurel) grow naturally and cherry blossoms such as Somei Yoshino(Yoshino cherry tree) are planted along the Kizu Riverbed, and you can enjoy beautiful nature every season.
The town has the second lowest population in Japan.
It is one of the "Bouldering" sanctuaries in Japan. In 2017 the movie "Kasagi Rock" with the theme of bouldering was filmed on this stage.
You can see strange rocks in many places along Kasagiyama (Mt. Kasagi) and Kizugawa (Kizu River) from the town, and many campers visit there.
Historically, in fact, here is the place where the temporary Imperial Palace was located 700 years ago, and nowadays you can enjoy beautiful nature here every season.
※All the contents of this brochure are based on the information available at the time of interview and data collection and they may change later.