Nara-kaido Road (奈良街道)

Nara-kaido Road and Yamato-kaido Road are collective names of roads that lead to either Nara or Yamato Province.
Multiple number of roads exist due to both historical and geographical reasons.

Historical Changes

The original route was the path from Hokuriku-do Road leading to Heijokyo (passing through Osaka-no-seki and leading south through Yamashina Basin, moving upstream on the right bank of Yodo-gawa River and reaching Nara via Uji City).
After the capital was moved to Heian-kyo, the route to Nara went through Fukakusa Okamedani, Rokujizo and Uji, bypassing Ogura-ike Pond (the road runs roughly parallel to the present-day JR Nara Line).

With Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's construction of Fushimi-jo Castle, Uji-gawa River underwent modifications: A road was built to connect Fushimi-juku (Kyo-kaido Road) with Mukojima (Kyoto Prefecture) on the other side of the river, crossing the river over Ogura-zutsumi bank and it was named Yamato-kaido Road.

In the early Showa period, Ogura-ike Pond was reclaimed, with a national route built from Kangetsu-kyo Bridge and over what used to be Ninomaru-ike Pond at Ogura-ike, and the road became a trunk route linking Kyoto and Nara cities.

In recent years, National Route 24 between Kyoto and Nara came to be known by its nickname, Nara-kaido Road.

Differences in the use of the names Nara-kaido Road and Yamato-kaido Road

Nara-kaido and Yamato-kaido are both road names that refer to roads that lead to Nara (Yamato Province), however, the two names are used differently in Kyoto Prefecture.

According to an order of Kyoto Prefecture issued in the Meiji period, the road starting from Kyoto and through Fushimi-kaido Road (the road section from Kyoto and Fushimi later renamed Takeda-kaido Road) to Fushimi and onward over Ogura-zutsumi Bank in Ogura-ike Pond, crossing Izumi-ohashi Bridge over Kizu-gawa River and reaching the boundary to Yamato Province is named Yamato-kaido Road.
The road that starts at Fukakusa, splitting away from Fushimi-kaido Road, passing through Okamedani, Yashina-toge Pass and into Rokujizo, next running along Uji-gawa River's right bank into Uji, and merging with Yamato-kaido Road at Okubo and splitting from the road at Tanagura-mura Village, Soura-gun County (present-day Kizugawa City) to cross Kizu-gawa River, entering Soura Village and reaching the boundary with Yamato Province is named Kooriyama-kaido Road.

The order also adds the road from Higechaya-oiwake on the Tokaido Road going south through Yamashina Basin, passing through Rokujizo, running along Uji-gawa River's right bank and merging with Yamato-kaido Road at Fushimi Kangetsu-kyo Bridge as Nara-kaido Road.

At present, the name 'Nara-kaido' is used to refer collectively to roads between Kyoto and Nara, however, the historical name 'Yamato-kaido Road' is used for the bypass built over Ogura-zutsumi bank.
The name Nara-kaido Road is also used as the nickname for an existing arterial road connecting Kyoto and Nara, however, the name Yamato-kaido is widely recognized to refer to the old historical road.

National Route 24, an arterial road linking central Kyoto and Nara, has been given the nickname Nara-kaido Road, however, this nickname is rarely used inside Kyoto City (road section between Kyoto and Fushimi).
This is due to the fact that Fushimi, through which the road passes, does not only lead to Nara but serves also as the gateway for land and river transportation to the Osaka area, as well as the fact that the name Takeda-kaido Road had already been established for the present-day National Route 24.
Another reason may be to avoid confusion with another road in Kyoto City's Yamashina Basin, which is also known as Nara-kaido Road.

Road sections known as either Nara-kaido Road or Yamato-kaido Road

The following roads are called Nara-kaido or Yamato-kaido inside Kyoto City.

Yamato-kaido Road (road crossing over Ogura-zutsumi Bank)

Road starting at Fushimi, crossing Uji-gawa River at Bungo-bashi Bridge (present-day Kangetsu-kyo Bridge) and over Ogura-zutsumi Bank built in Ogura-ike Pond (between Ninomaru and Oike ponds), passing through Nishime-gawa River and Makishima, turning straight southward from Ogura, merging with another road from Uji at Okubo and leading into Nara.

In Meiji period, the road section of Fushimi-kaido Road (later renamed Takeda-kaido Road) from Kyoto up to Fushimi was combined with the above as Yamato-kaido Road up to the boundary with Nara Prefecture.

Today, it is called 'Nara-kaido Road' as the route connecting Kyoto and Nara or at times as 'Old Nara-kaido Road' for its historical importance as an arterial road between Kyoto and Nara, however, the section from Kangetsu-kyo Bridge to Okubo is very often called 'Yamato-kaido Road,' the name that had been used from Edo to Meiji periods.

Ogura-zutsumi Bank had been demolished with Ogura-ike reclamation and subsequent housing development, however, parts of the bank remain partially in Nishinome-gawa and Makishima areas where elevation is relatively high.

Inside Yamashina Basin (from Higechaya-oiwake to Rokujizo)

The road splits into two at Higechaya-oiwake on Tokaido Road, with one heading to Sanjo-ohashi Bridge; iIt proceeds in the southwest direction, passing through Oyake, Ono and Daigo and reaching Rokujizo.
During Meiji period, the aforementioned section, combined with the road section from Rokujizo, running along Uji-gawa River's right bank in the downstream direction until it reaches Kangetsu-kyo Bridge, was designated 'Nara-kaido Road.'

Because a new road starting at Oyake has been built directly south of this road, the new road is now called 'Nara-kaido Road,' and the former road section is called 'Old Nara-kaido Road.'

The section from Higechaya-oiwake up to a point close to Ono is also part of the extension of the old Tokaido Road (Tokaido Gojusan-tsugi, or the 53 stages of the Tokaido Road) that leads to Osaka.
Tokaido Road splits at a point near Ono and passes through Kaku-ji Temple and Oiwa-kaido Road, leading onward to Fushimi.

Ogura-ike Pond East Bank (from Rokujizo to Okubo via Uji)

From Rokujizo (or near Kangetsu-kyo Bridge in the west), the road passes through Kohata and Uji, crosses the Uji-bashi Bridge, turns south over Ogura-zutsumi at Okubo and merges with Yamato-kaido Road.
During Meiji period, this road, along with the section from Fukakusa, passing through Okamedani and Yashina-toge Pass and onward to Rokujizo (present-day Sumizome-dori Street), was regarded part of 'Koriyama-kaido Road.'
Today, it is no longer called Koriyama-kaido Road but 'Nara-kaido Road' as the route to Nara.

A new road has been built between Rokujizo and Uji, close to the mountain side.

National Route 24

National Route 24 is known as Nara-kaido Road in recent years, as a road connecting Kyoto and Nara.

Yamato-kaido Road

Road from Osaka to Nara


A number of routes exist in this section if defined broadly, however, all of these pass through Tatsuta (presently, a point close to Tatsuta-jinja Shrine, Tatsuta, Ikaruga-cho).

The name Tatsutagoe-Nara-kaido Road is shortened and called 'Tatsutagoe.'
The road passes along the right bank of Yamato-gawa River.
Road equivalent to present-day National Route 25.
The name derives from the claim that the road crossed over Tatsuta-yama Mountain; the road actually passes nearby Tatsuta-taisha Shrine in Sango-cho.
Tatsuta-yama Mountain is believed to be a mountainous region located west of Tatsuta-taisha Shrine and south of Mt. Shigi, however, there is no mountain by that name on the map.
There are a number of routes near Kawachi and Yamato Provinces.

Iwafune Road and Kiyotaki-kaido Road: A route starting at Moriguchi-shuku proceeds eastward, passing through Kiyotaki-toge Pass, turning south at Kitatahara area, Shijonawate City, running alongside Amano-gawa River (Osaka Prefecture) and Tatsuta-gawa River and merging with Tatsutagoe at Tatsuta.
It is equivalent to the present-day National Route 163.

Shuntoku-kaido Road and Jusan-kaido Road: Route crossing through Jusan-toge Pass in Heguri-cho, Yao City, proceeding southward along Tatsuta-gawa River and merging with Tatsutagoe at Tatsuta.

Tateishi-kaido Road and Otogoe: Route via Heguri-cho, Yao City. It merges with Jusan-kaido and Kiyotaki-kaido Roads at Heguri-cho.

Kuragarigoe (Kurakanegoe)

Road from Osaka to Nara, crossing over Kuragari-toge Pass in Ikoma Mountain Range.
Equivalent to the present-day National Route 308.

Crossing over passes in Ikoma Mountain Range

Crossing over passes on the roads from Osaka to Nara.
Includes Tatsuta-do Road, Kuragari-toge Pass and Shigisangoe.

Kiyotaki-kaido Road
Furutsutsumi-kaido Road (Tatsumagoe Furutsutsumi-kaido Road) and Nakagaito-mura Village (Kawachi Province) - Tawaraguchi-mura Village
Zenkonjigoe and Zenkonji-mura Village (Kawachi Province) - Tawaraguchi-mura Village
Kusakagoe and Kusaka-mura Village (Kawachi Province) - Tawaraguchi-mura Village
Washiogoe (also Tsujikogoe) and Shiba-mura Village (Kawachi Province) - Yamazaki-mura Village
Kuragarigoe Nara-kaido Road and Togejaya - Fujio-mura Village
Narukawagoe and Rokumanji-mura Village - Narukawa-mura Village
Shuntoku-kaido Road, Jusan-kaido Road (Jusangoe) and Koudachi-mura (Kawachi Province) - Daido-mura Village
Tateishi-kaido Road, Otogoe and Okubo-mura Village (Kawachi Province) - Daido-mura Village
Tateishi-kaido Road, Otogoe and Hattorigawa-mura Village (Kawachi Province) - Kyuanji-mura Village
Shigisangoe (Echigoe and Kurotanigoe) and Kyokoji-mura Village (Kawachi Prefecture) - Minamihata-mura Village
Tatsutagoe Nara-kaido Road (Kokubugoe and Tatsunogoe) and Toge-mura Village (Kawachi Province) - Tatsuno-mura Village


Route through Yamato-kaido Road and Iga-kaido Road from Nara, passing through Iga Province and reaching Ise City.
It was known as 'Igagoe Nara-michi Road' or 'Nara-michi Road' in the past.
Today, it splits with Iga-kaido Road at Iono (Misato-cho, Ise City), passes through Hisaijoka and merges with Ise-kaido Road at

[Original Japanese]