Mt. Nijo (a mountain stretching in Nara Prefecture and Osaka Prefecture) (二上山 (奈良県・大阪府))

Mt. Nijo is a mountain that stretches over Katsuragi City, Nara Prefecture, and Taishi-cho, Minamikawachi County, Osaka Prefecture. It is located in the northern part of Kongo mountainous district. It was called 'Futakami yama' (Mt. Futakami) in ancient times. Strictly speaking, it has two peaks, namely, Odake in the north (altitude: 517 m) and Medake in the south (altitude: 474 m).


It is located in the northern part of Kongo mountainous district. As it belongs to the Kongo Ikoma Kisen Quasi-National Park, it is richly endowed with nature.

There is Donzurubo (a place name), which is said to have been formed by volcanic activity, on its north side. The Kintetsu Osaka Line, the Kintetsu Minamiosaka Line and the National Route 165 (Nagao-kaido Road) run through its vicinity. Therefore, it is an important point for traffic.

Takenouchi-kaido Road ran through its south side. The National Route 166 runs there now.

The area near Taishi-cho (Osaka Prefecture) on its west side is called 'Chikatsu Asuka' (Kawachiasuka). Many ancient structural remnants such as imperial mausoleums and tumuli remain there. A forest park named 'Manyo Forest on Mt. Nijo' and Osaka Prefectural Chikatsu-Asuka Museum are located there, too.

Taima-dera Temple is located at its east foot in Katsuragi City.

The grave of Prince Otsu is located at the top of Odake. In addition, there is also Katsuragi-futakami-jinja Shrine, enshrined deities of which are Toyofutsu no mitama no kami (the thunder god who presides over rain) and Okunitama no kami (a god described in Kojiki [The Records of Ancient Matters]).

Mt. Nijo provides hiking trails including 'Chikatsu Asuka' and 'Taima-dera Temple.'
From the area near the summit we can get a full view of Nara Basin. From the trail between Odake and Medake we can get a full view of Osaka Bay and the Osaka Plain. The south side of Medake commands a panoramic view of Mt. Yamato Katsuragi and Mt. Kongo (Kongo mountainous district).

Before recorded history

Igneous rocks and pyroclastic flow deposits are distributed in the vicinity of Mt. Nijo. Therefore, it is considered to have been a volcano. It is said to have been formed by a great eruption approximately 20 million years ago. It is estimated that the volcano was active in the Neogene period. It is estimated that its volcanic activity ended approximately 14 million years ago.

As Mt. Nijo is an extinct volcano, there is no possibility of an eruption in the future so that it is not classified as a volcano on a map.

Since recorded history

As we can see the sun going down between Odake and Medake, people have worshiped it as a holy mountain since ancient times.

There were important routes from hinges of marine traffic such as Osaka Bay, Suminoe no tsu (Suminoe Port) and Naniwa no tsu (Naniwa Port) to Asuka region, the center of politics, on the periphery of Mt. Nijo from the Kofun period (tumulus period) to the Asuka period. Takenouchi-kaido Road, which is known as the first Kando (a road that is improved, managed, and maintained by the Japanese nation), was constructed in the south of Mt. Nijo.

There is the grave of Prince Otsu, who committed a suicide after being suspected of rebelling in the above-mentioned period, near the top of Odake.

Manyoshu (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) contains some poems about Mt. Nijo.

Okanobori (climbing the mountain)

Village people in Yamato Province who had used the water from Mt. Nijo for agriculture since ancient times climbed Mt. Nijo in the spring, which is referred to as 'Okanobori.'
They held a ceremony to welcome the god there. People from Tsukiyama Village and Kagura Village in the area of Yamatotakada City also came and went through Mt. Nijo on foot. Volunteers hold Okanobori on April 23 every year at present.


It can be reached through a hiking trail from each of Kaminotaishi Station, Nijozan Station, Nijojinjaguchi Station, and Taima-dera Station on the Kintetsu Minamiosaka Line.

[Original Japanese]