About Uda City 【Murou】
Mysterious and Spiritual Rural Village That Invokes Classic Japan.
Murou is home to mysterious ancient shrines and temples including Murou-ji Temple, Ono-ji Temple, and Ryuketsu Shrine. Murou has some nice hiking trails on the way to Murou-ji. After walking through the beautiful mountains, Murou Art Forest, an open-air museum, welcomes you and encourages you to take a moment to relax.
室生寺 Murou-ji Temple
In contrast to Koya-san in Wakayama, this temple of the same sect allowed women to visit. This is why Murou-ji is called ”Women’s Koya-san”. The five-storied pagoda, designated as a national treasure, is the smallest outdoor pagoda in Japan. Murou-ji is known for its beautiful rhododedrons blooming in early May, as well as its fall foliage.
78 Murou, Uda City, Nara Prefecture, 633-0421
From Kintetsu Muroguchi-Ono Station, take a bus bound for ‘Murou-ji’. Get off at ‘Murou-ji Mae’, the final stop, then walk for 5 minutes.
大野寺 Ono-ji Temple
This temple is known for its two 300-year-old weeping cherry trees blooming in spring, as well as autumn leaves. In front of this temple stands a huge Magaibutsu (13.8m high), one of Japan’s biggest Buddha statues carved into the rock., which is believed to have been built in the Kamakura period, 12-13th century.
1680 Murou-Ono, Uda City, Nara Prefecture, 633-0315
Ono-ji Temple is within a ten-minute walk of Kintetsu Muroguchi-Ono Station.
龍穴神社 Ryuketsu Shrine
This shrine has a longer history than Murou-ji Temple. It enshrines the Dragon Deity, the god of water. In the back of the shrine lies ‘Kissho Ryuketsu’ (dragon cave) where dragons are believed to live. This sacred shrine is one of the most spiritual and mysterious spots in Uda City.
1297 Murou, Uda City, Nara Prefecture, 633-0421
From Kintetsu Muroguchi-Ono Station, take a bus bound for ‘Murou-ji’. Get off at ‘Murou-ji Mae’ (the final stop), then walk for 15 minutes.
室生山上公園芸術の森 Murou Art Forest
This open-air museum lies deep within the village of Murou, on a hill above Murou-ji Temple. It was built by an Islaeli sculptor Dani Caravan in 2006, based on the idea by Bukichi Inoue (1930-1997), a sculptor who was from the village. The place is full of unique monuments created by Dani, which shows the theme of this museum, ‘Harmony with Nature and Art’. This is quite a nice place to stop for a moment and relax.
181 Murou, Uda City, Nara Prefecture, 633-0421
From Kintetsu Muroguchi-Ono Station, take a bus bound for ‘Murou-ji’. Get off at ‘Murou-ji Mae’ (the final stop), then walk for about 20 minutes.
向渕スズラン群落 Mukoji ‘Suzuran’ Colony
‘Suzuran’ (the lily of the valley), grows in colonies in Murou-Mukoji. This place is the southern-most part of Japan where ‘suzuran’ grows, and is designated as a natural monument. ‘Suzuran’ is the official flower of Uda City, and it represents ‘Return of Happiness’ in the language of flowers.
Murou-Mukoji, Uda City, Nara Prefecture, 633-0316
From Muroguchi-Ono Station, walk for one hour.
弁財天石楠花の丘 Benzaiten Shakunage-no-Oka (Rhododendron Hill)
‘Benzaiten Shakunage-no-oka’, located deep in Murou Village, has a million rhododendron bushes surrounding the Konpira Shrine. These rhododendrons were originally planted by the locals who wished to revitalize the village that had been suffering from depopulation. These flowers are estimated to bloom at the end of this month, and the Rhododendron Festival will be held during the Golden Week.
Murou-Taguchi-Moto-Kamitaguchi, Uda City, Nara Prefecture, 633-0424
From Haibara Station (Kintetsu Osaka Line), take a bus bound for ‘Soni-mura Yakuba’. Get off at ‘Benzaiten’, and walk for about 5 minutes.
西光寺 Saiko-ji Temple
This 300-year-old weeping cherry tree is called ‘Shiro-no-Yamazakura’. This tree looks so elegant in full bloom, which is very much like a huge umbrella. This ancient temple and the cherry tree create a wonderful contrast.
31 Murou, Uda City, Nara Prefecture, 633-0241
From Kintetsu Muroguchi-Ono Station, take a bus bound for ‘Murou-ji’. Get off at the final stop and walk for about 20 minutes.
滝谷花しょうぶ園 Takidani Iris Garden
Throughout the year, this huge garden has so much to offer: colorful irises, cherry blossoms, clematis, moss phlox, and hydrangeas. Blueberry picking can be enjoyed in summer.
348 Murou-Takidani, Uda City, Nara Prefecture, 633-0313
From Sanbonmatsu Station, walk for 30 minutes.
龍王ヶ渕 Ryuogabuchi Pond
Ryuogabuchi Pond is a natural pond that sits near Mt. Nukai (also known as Mt. Yamato-Fuji) at an altitude of 530m. The pond offers a beautiful mirror-like reflection of the surrounding woods on a calm sunny day. This is a popular spot for photographers throught the year. There is a path around the pond, so you can enjoy a relaxing stroll. This place is one of the best hidden gems in Uda City!
Murou-Mukouji, Uda City, Nara Prefecture, 633-0316
From Kintetsu Murouguchi-Ono Station, walk for 90 minutes. You can also rent a bike at Murou Regional Office, located within a 2-minute walk of the station.