A journey to meet Empress Jito

Japan HeritageImotoge Mountain Pass

This mountain pass is along an ancient road connecting Asuka and Yoshino. Prince Oama, who later became Emperor Tenmu, passed along this route just before the outbreak of the Jinshin War. Accompanied by a traveling party that included Princess Unono-sarara—who later became Empress Jito—he escaped to Yoshino from Omi, in present-day Shiga Prefecture, traveling via the Shimano-miya Palace in Asuka. The fugitive nobles must have walked this route in trepidation, concerned about their new secretive life in Yoshino and about the political upheaval leading up to the Jinshin dispute. Empress Jito took this road more than 30 times on her visits to Yoshino—a place that brought her fond memories of her late husband.


Between Inabuchi (Asuka-mura) and Yoshino-cho
1.5-hour walk from Ishibutai stop on Akakame bus