Asuka-mura (Asuka Village) (明日香村)

Asuka-mura is a village located in the center of Nara Prefecture.
Since it is a birthplace of the centralized state under the Ritsuryo system, a lot of palaces and historical sites of the Asuka period were excavated and the village is introuced as 'a mental hometown to the Japanese.'
The entire village is the only municipality supported by 'Koto Hozon ho' (The Ancient Capitals Preservation Law). In addition, the plan to register the village on the World Heritage list is taking shape.

Geography

Rivers: Asuka-gawa River

The village is in a small basin surrounded by hills and mountains.

Adjacent municipalities

Kashihara City, Sakurai City, Takatori-cho, Takaichi County, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino County

Population

Statistical investigation by Nara Prefecture

6,114 people as of January 1, 2008.

Ppopulation growth rate (from 2002 to 2007): -8.1%

The Ancient Times

Refer to the Asuka period.

The Modern Age

1856: Three villages of Sakaai, Takaichi and Asuka in the former Takaichi County were merged into 'Asuka-mura.'

1972: Colored wall paintings were discovered in Takamatsuzuka-kofun Tumulus.

Aska Law

Keizo MII, a practitioner of acupuncture and moxibustion, who was patronized by Konosuke MATSUSHITA, insisted on the preservation of the remains of Asuka-mura; Matsushita asked Eisaku SATO, then Prime Minister to help the preservation, and the law to preserve the remains was established. Aside from this, there were some the preservation movements, one of which was led by Mutsuko MIKI. In May, 1980, 'Special Measures Law Concerning Preservation of Historical Natural Features and Maintenance of Living Environment in Asuka Village (Asuka Law),' or Asuka Village Special Measures Law in abbriviation, was issued and it has two pillows; one is to preserve the entire village as a historical landscape preserved district. Except some areas in front of the station, almost all the areas in Asuka-mura are scenic areas and strict restrictions are imposed on construction. The second pillow aims the stabilization of the villagers' lives.

The entire village as a historical landscape preserved district

The first district includes Ishibutai-kofun Tumulus, Takamatsuzuka-kofun Tumulus, Oka-dera Temple, the supposed site of Asuka Itabuki no miya Palace (Asukakyo Site) and Amakashi no oka Hill. Strict restrictions are imposed on changing the current conditions.

The second district includes the areas except the first district, where changing the current conditions markedly is not restricted while subtle changes are allowed.

The development plan and fund for Asuka-mura

The development plan aims to preserve and maitain the historical landscape of Asuka-mura and, at the same time, to develop and adjust streets, sewers, parks, educational facilities and agricultural environment.

The village's population has been decreasing because of these strict regulations, which is unavoidable in order to preserve historical sites and scenery.

Institutions

Asuka Historical Museum of Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (Okuyama)

Nara Prefecture Complex of Manyo Culture (Asuka)

Inukai Manyo Memorial Hall

Exhibition Room of Archaeological Cultural Asset

Museum of History and Folklore

Asuka Historical National Government Park Hall

The Takamatsuzuka Mural Hall

Industry

Sightseeing, agriculture

Overseas

Fuyo District (Sud Chungcheong of the Republic of Korea)

The affiliation of Sister Cities on November 28, 1972

Railway

The centeral city: Asuka Station (Kintetsu Railway, Kintetsu Yoshino Line)

In travelling by bus for sightseeing, it is more convenient to go to Kashiharajingu-mae Station (Kintetsu Railway, Kintetsu Minamiosaka Line/Kintetsu Kashihara Line), two stations to the north, where the frequency of buses is better.

There are some bus services from Sakurai Station (Nara Prefecture) (Kintetsu Osaka Line/JR Sakurai Line).

Roads

National Routes

The National Route that runs through the village: Route 169

Prefectural Roads

The Prefectural Roads that run through the village: Nara Prefectural Road 15, Sakurai-Asuka-Yoshino Line, Nara Prefectural Road 155, Tonomine Mise Line

Takamatsuzuka-kofun Tumulus

The Takamatsuzuka Mural Hall

Asuka-dera Temple

Ishibutai-kofun Tumulus

Kitora-kofun Tumulus

Oni no manaita/Oni no setchin (Devil's cutting board and devil's privy)

Tachibana-dera Temple

Oka-dera Temple (Ryugai-ji Temple, the seventh temple of 33 Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage)

Asukaniimasu-jinja Shrine

Mise Maruyama-kofun Tumulus

Asukakyo Site

Emperor Kinmei Mausoleum

"Sakafune-ishi" (Sake-Vat Rock)

"Kameishi" (Tortoise Stone)

Nara Prefecture Complex of Manyo Culture

"Saruishi" (Monkey Stone)

Amakashi no oka Hill

Askuka Historical National Government Park