A grassy mountain behind Nara Park, to afford excellent views of Nara city.
Mount Wakakusa-yama (若草山), rising about 350 meters above sea level, the grass covered mountain, also known as Mt. Mikasayama, is located behind Nara Park between Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga-Taisha Shrine. When you arrive Nara Park, you can catch sight of the grass-covered mountain and landscape of Wakakusa-yama.
Wakakusa-yama is largely devoid of trees, apart from some cherry trees lining along the path at the bottom. There is an admission booth at the base of Wakakusa-yama. There are 2 routes up the hill. One on the north side is steeper but less tourists. The well maintained trail leads you to the view point halfway up the mountain with great views. It takes about 20 minutes and not many people hike farther. An additional 20-30 minutes hike, you would get to the submit. You can have unobstructed views over Nara city from the observation deck on the submit. Nara’s famous deer are roaming around on the mountain, but they are very calm here and not chasing you for foods.
Visitors can have pleasant time while lying on the grass with a panoramic view.
Address : Zoshicho, Nara, Nara Prefecture 630-8211
Access : 35-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara station, 50-minute walk from JR Nara station.
A 10-15 minute walk from both Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Buses run from either station as far as Kasuga Taisha.
Hours : 9:00 to 17:00
Admission : 150 yen
Every winter on the fourth Saturday of January, the entire slope is burned during the Wakakusa Yamayaki festival. The origins of the event are unclear. Some believe that it resulted from a boundary dispute between Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji Temple, other say that the fires were used to drive away wild boars.