Hebizuka-kofun Tumulus (蛇塚古墳)

Hebizuka-kofun Tumulus is a tumulus located in Uzumasa, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture.

It is a large keyhole-shaped mound with the largest horizontal stone chamber in Kyoto Prefecture. It was designated as a national historical site (on May 4, 1977).


Approximately seven-minute walk south of Katabiranotsuji Station, the Keifuku Electric Railroad.

Located in the middle of a residential area, the tumulus is not so easy to find.


The origin of the name, "Hebizuka" (snake hill) is sometimes explained that snakes used to live in the stone chamber. Before the surrounding area turned into a residential district, the stone chamber towered high in an empty space. It was easily accessible.
It was once called 'iwaya.'
The Hebizuka-kofun Tumulus is often compared to the Ishibutai-kofun Tumulus in terms of the size of its stone chamber. The stone chamber of Ishibutai-kofun Tumulus is made of granite whereas the Hebizuka-kofun Tumulus is made of sedimentary rock. The ceiling stone of the Hebizuka-kofun Tumulus has been lost.

In the north-east of the tumulus, there used to be a studio named 'Hebizuka (Omokage) Film Studio,' (the Uzumasa Studio of Arashi Kanjuro Production, which later became a part of the open set of Daiei Film Company).

Tumuli in Sagano

There were many tumuli such as the Hebizuka-kofun Tumulus in Sagano, but most have disappeared due to urban development. The extant tumuli are as follows.

Amazuka-kofun Tumulus (national historical site)

The Amazuka-kofun Tumulus is a keyhole-shaped mound with the total length of 71 m, built in the late Kofun period,
It consists of two horizontal stone chambers of which one is 10 m long and the other is 7.5 m long.

Chiyonomichi-kofun Tumulus

The Chiyonomichi-kofun Tumulus is a round barrow with the diameter of 16 m, built in the late Kofun period. It has a horizontal stone chamber.

Narabigaoka Burial Mounds

Situated in Narabigaoka (scenic beauty), the Narabigaoka Burial Mounds is a tumulus complex with 20 burial mounds built during the mid Kofun period. Burial Mound No. 1 (Ichinooka-kofun Tumulus) in particular is a round barrow with the diameter of 44 m. It has a horizontal chamber made of a stone as gigantic as the one in the Hebizuka-kofun Tumulus.

Daikaku-ji Burial Mounds

These burial mounds were constructed during the late Kofun period. Of the four extant tumuli Burial Mound No. 1 (Maruyama-kofun Tumulus) and Burial Mound No. 2 (Nyudotsuka-kofun Tumulus) are designated as referable mausoleums.

Tarumiyama-kofun Tumulus (Katahiraotsuka-kofun Tumulus and the Takabatake Mausoleum of Imperial Prince Nakano)

Located 500 m north of the Hebizuka-kofun Tumulus, the Tumulus is a large keyhole-shaped mound with a length of 75 m. Like the Hebizuka-kofun Tumulus, it is ascribed to the late Kofun period though it seems to have been constructed during the mid sixth century. Being well-preserved, it is currently managed by the Imperial Household Agency.

[Original Japanese]