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Walking (or hiking) in Japan is great. If you can speak and read Japanese. If not it can be difficult. It can be difficult to prepare the walk and find the maps, to get to the start of the trail, to know where to get when you get to a crossroads.

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The trail

Of course, you can stick to the classics: up to Inari, for example, or walk around town.

An alternative is to go for the really important hikes, like the Kumano Kodo or the old Kyoto to Tokyo road.

And then we found this website and we went off to discover followed the instructions given mount Takatori.

After leaving straight from the house with the Kintetsu line, we arrived south of Nara at Tsubosakayama station. From there, we walked through the town of Takatori, then out again. The road became a trail, we visited side temples on the way up. And after climbing a lot and passing the turning to Asuka, clearly recognizable with the monkey stone we had seen variations of before, we reached the top, where many other groups of Japanese hikers were also enjoying their picnic. The castle grounds were huge. The quantities of boulders that somehow someone, 7 centuries ago, had manages to bring up the hill were enormous.

Then down again, but a different way, going past some amazing Buddhist cliff statues: the characters (dozens of them) had been carved into the stone directly. On the way down, we also stopped at Tsubosaka Temple. A very large complex with also very large statues. Impressive in its way but probably not beautiful.

With a last push we made it to Asuka station, completing a 13 km stroll.

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I need room

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Wild animal on the trail

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Sousenji (宗泉寺) Temple

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Sousenji (宗泉寺) Temple

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Sousenji (宗泉寺) Temple

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View over the plains

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On the trail

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Monkey

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The turning to Asuka

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View

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The stairs have been cut around the trees!

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Jizo

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Strange statues

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Statues in the rocks

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Directly in the cliff

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Statue

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Statues

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Statue in the stone

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Statues

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Statues walking down

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Buddha

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Pagoda, Budha behind

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Pagoda at Tsubosaka

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Detail of temple

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Resting in Tsubosaka dera

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Giant Buddha at Tsubosaka temple

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At the foot of the 10 m Buddha

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Buddha

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Iris

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Keeping the hay