Sunday, October 27, 2013

Turtle Stone on the Kintetsu Line

EMU Kintetsu 6400 series stands at Kashiharajingu-mae on the Minami-Osaka Line
I am going to show you some more pictures of my summer trip this year to Nara Prefecture.

Look at the following photo. It is "Kame-ishi (Turtle Stone)" in Asuka Village. As I mentioned before, Asuka is the roots of our country. It was the Japan's capital from 592 to 694. In the village, we can see many historical buildings and Buddha statues. Turtle Stone is one of the monuments in this area. The size is 2.8m in width, 3.6m long and 1.8m high. It weighs 10 tons.

The stone is shrouded in mystery. Nobody knows what the purpose of the megalithic structure was, and when it was made. There is a description about Turtle Stone in an ancient temple document, which was written in 1196. The Asuka area has many megalithic structures other than Turtle Stone. Some of them were found from ancient burial mounds, which were constructed from the second to the 8th century. So, I think that Turtle Stone was also made at that time.

To see this mysterious stone, take the Kintetsu Line and get off at Kashiharajingu-mae Station. It takes about 40 minutes from Osaka City by the narrow gauge (1,067mm) train on the Minami-Osaka Line. The EMU 6400 series is one of the main fleets on the line (see the top photo). It was launched in 1986 to replace the old model. A total of 33 sets, 66 units, have been manufactured so far.

Turtle stone in Asuka Village near Kashiharajingu-mae Station