Shinto Shrine in Nara Region

Centred around an attractive 13-storey pagoda, this shrine is best viewed against a backdrop of maples ablaze with autumn colours (November to early December). It enshrines Nakatomi no Kamatari, patriarch of the Fujiwara clan, which effectively ruled Japan for nearly 500 years. According to legend, Nakatomi met here secretly with Prince Naka no Ōe over games of kickball to discuss the overthrow of the ruling Soga clan. This is commemorated in scroll paintings and by priests playing kickball on 29 April and 3 November.

The shrine can be reached by Sakurai City Community Bus from stand 1 outside the southern exit of Sakurai Station (¥490, 25 minutes).