Welcome to Asuka village !
ASUKA has approximately 20 famous stone structures or figures. The creators and the significance of most are unknown. The mystery of these stones lies within the larger mystery of ASUKA itself.
This oval shaped stone structure measures 2.4 meters in length and 2 meters in width. It was engineered to carry water which drained from the oval stone, passing through the tortoise's nose and collecting in the tortoise's back tank. It is believed that these are the remains of a structure that EMPRESS SAIMEI (Empress KOUGYOKU) used for rituals. For the purpose of preservation and restoration, the Cultural Assets Preservation Department requests a viewing donation. They ask for your understanding.
This giant natural granite stone has been sculpted in the form of a smiling tortoise. Legend says that; before the tortoise stone faced north, now it faces southwest, and if the tortoise should face west, YAMATO (Nara as the capital), will sink in the muddy ocean.
This large granite stone has a strange etching on its face. The name is derived from its use in making SAKE. In its vicinity stone drains and wooden pipes were found which leads us to believe the facility had some connection to irrigation.
This stone stands 1 meter tall, with a male and female face on each side of it. It is believed to stand for the two faces of humanity, good and evil. There is an admission fee to view the actual stone at TACHIBANADERA Temple.
Three of the four stones have faces on the back, their name comes from the likeness to a monkey's face; their significance or when they were made is a mystery.
This large granite stone has 2 openings on its top surface. Theories that it is Masuda Pond Monument's pedestal, or it was a tool for astronomical observation, or it was an Imperial Mausoleum's stone cellar exist, but there is no positive evidence for its actual use.
ASUKA HISTORICAL MUSEUM (ref.P6, Entrance Fee) STONE FIGURES ON EXHIBIT
This stone was excavated during the MEIJI Era at ASUKA's SEKIJINISEKI remains. It is estimated that the entire structure was and outdoor garden fountain.
Excavated at the same time as SHUMISENSEKI, therefore believed to be the same outdoor garden fountain. The cup at the mouth of the male figure which is nestled up to the female figure.
Other points of interest: MIROKUISHI [MAP 5-B], TATEISHI "Standing Stones" (three separate locations JOUGO, OKA TOU URA, TACHIBE.) Just strolling and finding these stone structures is quite enjoyable for sightseeing.