East Nara Nabari or ENN lies across the borders of Nara and Mie: Nabari City, Uda City, Soni Village, Mitsue Village, Yamazoe Village, and Higashiyoshino Village. Close to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Nagoya by car or train, the area is a natural playground rich with scenic beauty and historic attractions for any intrepid traveler. Below is just a small collection of destinations selected for our readers, head to enntourism.com to plan your next trip to East Nara Nabari.
Soni Highland lies near the border of Nara and Mie prefectures, spread out over 38 hectares. The ground is covered with pampas grass, which gives the plateau a varied landscape. In spring and summer, it appears as if a green carpet is covering the entire highland, in autumn when ears of grain appear, it turns silver in the daylight and golden at dusk.
Akame 48 Waterfalls
This 4-km-long hiking trail, one of the most visited destinations in Kansai, is known as an ancient ninja training ground. Not only can you enjoy hiking and the stunning scenery, but you can also experience various activities such as ninja training, gorge walking, and waterfall meditation. The bamboo lantern illumination held in autumn and winter is a great reason to visit in the cooler months.
One thousand weeping cherry trees bloom in spring and cover the entire hilltop of Takami no Sato. The place is located near Mt. Takami, a favorite of climbers, and is only open during the blooming season in April. 300 parking spaces are available. It is 40 minutes by taxi from Kintetsu Haibara Station.
Wakocha, Japanese black tea making
Yamazoe Village has long been known as one of the Yamato tea-producing areas. A large black tea factory was located here about 60 years ago, and today, some locally cultivated tea is processed and sold as wakocha (Japanese black tea). In the village, you can make your own tea, experiencing tea-making processes, such as tea leaf picking and rolling. The tea-making workshop takes place about once a month during the harvest season.
Maruyama Park and Himeshi Myojin Shrine
Maruyama Park offers beautiful scenery no matter the season. About 100 mountain cherry blossoms are in full bloom from mid to late April. Fireflies can be seen in summer, and beautiful kouyou (autumn leaves) from October to December. Just off the hill, down the steps of a small path, you will find Himeshi Myojin. A rock shaped like a woman’s buttocks is the object of worship, associated with a legend that an ancient princess prayed to it to cure her fertility problems.
Founded in the 8th century, the temple has a history of welcoming female worshippers and is known as “Nyonin-Koya.” This five-story pagoda, the smallest such outdoor structure in Japan, is the highlight of the complex. It is gorgeously framed with pink rhododendrons from mid-April to mid-May. The temple grounds are also spectacular, surrounded by blazing-colored leaves in the fall.