Yoko-oji Road (Nara Prefecture) (横大路 (奈良県))

Yoko-oji Road is an ancient path in Japan that penetrated the Nara Basin in an east-west direction.

There are two roads that were called 'Yoko-oji Road': one is the road that ran near Fujiwara-kyo in the south of the Nara Basin, and the other is the road than ran from the Horyu-ji Temple area to present-day Ichinomoto in Tenri City.
Usually Yoko-oji refers to the former one and the latter is distinguished as 'Kita no Yoko-oji.'

Yoko-oji Road (Ise-kaido Road)

As a general rule, the road called 'Yoko-oji Road' is the almost straight road that stretches in an east-west direction from the south of Mt. Miwa in Sakurai City and reaches the area around Mt. Nijo in Katsuragi City (Nara Prefecture and Osaka Prefecture).

It is also called Ise-kaido Road (Ise Hon-kaido Road). Most part of the road corresponds to or runs parallel to present-day Route 166.

At the eastern end, the road connects to the Ise Shrine Pilgrimage Road and Hase-kaido Road, and at the western end, it connects to Takenouchi-kaido Road and Nagao-kaido Road.

The Emperor Jinmu enshrined red pikes and shields as the god of Sumisaka and black pikes and shields as the god of Osaka (not the city of Osaka but the north pass of Mt. Nijo). It is said that this is because Yoko-oji Road that connected those two places had an important meaning for the first Yamato regime. When the capital was located at Asuka-kyo and Fujiwara-kyo, many envoys used this road. During the Edo period, it prospered as the approach of okage mairi (a group pilgrimage to the Ise-jingu Shrine).

Yoko-oji Road crosses with these roads from the east: The Kami-kaido (Kamitsu Michi), Taishimichi (Sujikaimichi Road), Nakatsu Michi, the Naka-kaido (Shimotsu Michi), and the Shimo-kaido (Nara Prefecture). These roads penetrate the Nara Basin in a north-south direction, except the Taishi Michi.

The road goes over these rivers from the east: Tera-kawa River, Yone-gawa River, Asuka-gawa River (Nara Prefecture), Soga-gawa River, Katsuragi-gawa River, Takada-gawa River and Katsuge-gawa River. It is supposed that in the ancient times there was a lake or a marsh like a pond in the middle of the Nara Basin, since the rivers seemed tidy in the areas north of Yoko-oji Road and there was a distance between Shimotsu Michi and the Shimo-kaido.

Kita no Yoko-oji
Kita no Yoko-oji was the straight road that stretched from Horyu-ji Temple area in Ikaruga Town to Ichinomoto in Tenri City in an east-west direction. It corresponds to the parts of present-day Route 25 and Nara Prefectural Road 192, Fukusumi-Yokota line. It is also called Narihira-michi Road. At the western end, it connects to Tatsutagoe Nara—kaido Road.

[Original Japanese]