Hokiji is a temple of the Shotoku sect and is located in Ikaruga Town, Ikoma County, Nara Prefecture. It is a world heritage site.
There are several old temples related to Prince Shotoku such as Horyuji, Horinji and Chuguji in Ikaruga. This place is a traditional Buddhist place.
The site of Hokiji was originally the Okamoto-no-miya palace, where Prince Shotoku lectured on the Lotus Sutra. In the 10th year of the Jomei period (638), Prince Shotoku's son, Yamashiro-no-oeno, changed Okamoto into a temple according to Shotoku's will.
The remains of a golden building and a tower have been found here. An additional fact is that the three-storeyed pagoda is the only remaining original building and is the oldest of its kind in Japan.
Kichidenji Temple is located in the north of the village of Koyoshida near Ikaruga Town in Nara Prefecture. The temple is commonly referred to as Pokkuri Temple.
The Tenji Emperor ordered a grave to be built at this site for his sister, Hashihito-no-himemiko, and in the first year of the Eien period (987), Genshin built a temple here.
The name 'Pokkuri' ('drop dead') derives from the story that Genshin prayed to keep off evil spirits as his mother lay dying, so she could die without pain.
You should not miss the statue of seated Amida in one of the main buildings. It is about 4.85m tall and is the biggest wooden statue in Nara as well as a National Important Cultural Asset. It is said that if you pray in front of this statue, you will live longer.
The rare Taho pagoda, also in Nara, was built in the fourth year of the Kansei period (1463), and has been designated as an Important Cultural Asset.
In Nagai, Yamagata Prefecture, there is a museum dedicated to archaeological sites excavated in the vicinity. The museum itself is in Jomon Village at the foot of Mt Nishi, an area peppered with many ancient sites from the Jomon period.
Extensive research in Showa 52 led to the recognition of the site as an ancient area of habitation dating to the paleolithic Yayoi period. Inside the museum are clay figures and artifacts, while outside on Kodai-no-Oka (Hill of Antiquity) in the center of the village are gigantic clay figures. Visitors can also experience 'camping' inside a restored pit dwelling.
The resource center was built with the idea of preserving the surrounding mountains, rivers and hills, and is populated with many rare animals and plants. Camping in the autumn, when the leaves turn, is also popular.
Koumoriduka archeological site is an officially designated site in Okayama prefecture. It dates back to the late-6th century and is a burial mound that was carved out of the natural hill, having a length of about 100m.
It is named 'koumoriduka' because many bats (koumori) live here. The rock chamber is about 19.4m2 in size and as large as the stone chamber at the Ishibutai burial mound in Nara prefecture.
The mound comprises long dromos and a burial chamber. There is a stone coffin inside that was hollowed from limestone. The mound also has wooden and earthen coffins, and it seems to be a standard ruin of that time. This burial mound suggests great power and wealth.
Shika-no-shima island is located in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture. It is a tombola island in the northern part of Hakata bay, and features two small islands connected by a bar of land. The island is approximately 11km in circumeference, with some 790 households and a population of about 3000. A tombola-form island such as this is very rare in Japan.
In 1784, two farmers harvesting rice on the island came across the golden seal of the Kan-no-wanona-no-Kokuo. It is thought that the seal was the same one referred to in the Chinese book 'Gokanjo' (the 'Book of the Later Han'), which was said to have been handed to the messenger of Nakoku from Kobutei (Emperor Guangwu).
Not only is the 'Gokanjo' a very important historical artifact, it is also a valuable national treasure. This golden seal reveals the early history of Japan, and is currently preserved and exhibited at the Fukuoka Museum. However, it is still unknown why the golden seal was buried on Shika-no-shima. One thing, however, is understood: that Shika-no-shima was the starting point from mainland Japan for overseas trade by the early rulers of the country. It is an ancient place and site of many historic incidents.
Kanenokuma ruin is a 'funbo-iseki' (tomb ruin) located in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture. It is sited on a 30m-high hill. So far, 348 'kamekanbo' (burials in large jars), 119 'dokobo' (burials directly into the ground) and 'mokanbo' (burials in wooden coffins), as well as 2 'sekikanbo' (burials in stone coffins) have been found here.
A huge amount of kamekanbo were children, indicating that this was the preferred form of burial for children. Many bodies reveal the custom of tooth extraction. Across 400 years, from about 200BC to 200AC, the Yayoi people used this burial site as a public graveyard. It can also be seen that it was a graveyard specifically for common Yayoi people, because no riches such as mirrors were found with the bodies, showing that no people of power were buried here.
Today, Kanenokuma ruin is an historic park. Many of the coffins, including dokobo and kamekanbo, are exhibited in a specially constructed building over the site and in the same condition where excavation has taken place. In 1972, Kanenokuma ruin was designated as an historic site of Japan.