Though other kofun remain covered in earth, Japan's largest stone burial chamber is laid bare and you can walk inside. The tomb was looted centuries ago, and it's unclear whose remains are interred here, though Soga no Umako, a powerful member of the influential Soga clan, is a likely candidate (which would date the tomb to the early 7th century).

The sightseeing bus from Asuka Station stops at Ishibutai (¥270, 15 minutes).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kansai attractions

1. Asuka-dera

0.86 MILES

Considered the first Buddhist temple in Japan (founded 596), Asuka-dera houses Japan's oldest existing Buddhist statue, the Asuka Daibutsu (Great Buddha),…

2. Takamatsuzuka-kofun

1.16 MILES

This kofun was discovered by accident in the 1960s, painstakingly excavated in the 1970s and then sealed for preservation. What you'll see is a grassy…

3. Tanzan-jinja

1.98 MILES

This remote mountain shrine originated as a mausoleum for Fujiwara Kamatari (614–69), the patriarch of the Fujiwara clan that would rule court politics…

5. Kashihara-jingū

2.99 MILES

This shrine was built in 1889 on the site where it was proposed that Japan's mythical first emperor, Jimmu, ascended to the throne. Its founding was part…

6. Ōmiwa-jinja

4.54 MILES

Ōmiwa-jinja is thought to be one of Japan's oldest Shintō shrines. It was built to worship Mt Miwa behind it and is rare in that it has no honden (main…

7. Hase-dera


The most notable feature of Hase-dera, a Shingon temple founded in the 8th century, is its 11th-century, 399-step noborirō (climbing corridor); it…

8. Kimpusen-ji

7.04 MILES

Kimpusen-ji, founded in the 7th century, is believed to be the incubator of Shugendō, a unique Buddhist sect that incorporates Shintō traditions and…