Nara/Mountain Course Overview
The mountain course covers Mie, Nara, Shiga and Kyoto Prefecture. Shiga prefecture is entered briefly after leaving Kyoto and connecting back with the main trail. This is the only part of the course that takes you into Nara prefecture. Since this course is the only course that will take you into Nara, the Nara prefectural information is included in this section.
Nara prefecture is home to 1,348,930, with 350,000 people living in Nara City. Only 851 km².of the prefecture is inhabitable with most of Nara being covered by mountains and forest(89).
From A.D. 710 to 784 Nara was the capital of Japan, and once spread over a much wide area. Nara is now famous for it’s eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and Nara deer which have taken over much of the parks.
The Nara deer have been designated a national natural treasures, and can be found in Nara Park which is about 10 minutes away from Nara Station. Nara Park was created in 1880, and most of the he UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nara are located in park. The Tokai Trail takes you to the heart of Nara city, if you have time I suggest staying the night and seeing these sights(92).
The Mountain course breaks from the main course at Tsuge Station (柘植駅) in Mie, and the course meets back at Ishiyamadera Temple (石山寺) in Shiga prefecture.
The website guides serve as an over view of each prefectural course the Ebook goes into much more detail about each section, this is because the prefectural courses offer multiple routes.
The course overview of each prefecture shows the outline of the course, and some of the major points of interest. The Tokai trail offers many different routes, and the maps, even those on the trail, do not always show all courses. To address this issues I wrote a free guidebook that covers the complete trail.