1. Top
  2. Destinations
  3. 【Osaka’s first world heritage? 】 For now, it is still a great find! Let’s go to Mozu and Furuichi burial mound group!

【Osaka’s first world heritage? 】 For now, it is still a great find! Let’s go to Mozu and Furuichi burial mound group!

Mizu Furuichi Kofungun1

Although it may be surprising, actually, there are not any World Heritage Sites in Osaka. Since 10 years ago, Sakai, Habikino, Fujiidera have been the central cities which were aiming at world heritage registration for “Mozu-Furuichi Tombs”. And, 31 July 2017, their passion and efforts have bone fruit, it was determined to be recommended as Japan’s candidate to become a World Cultural Heritage of 2019.
There is still a long way to go before being registered as a World Heritage Site. However, it will be very crowded by visitors after the decision, like the Tomioka Silk Screen registered as a World Heritage Site in 2014. Moreover, in 2019, since the Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan, it is expected that many foreign tourists will visit.So, if you are going to see the future world heritage, you have to go now! So why are burial mounds gathered in this area? We will introduce the recommended spots such as “I should visit this place at minimum!” from the viewpoint of the local people.

1.The reason why there are many big tumuli in Mozu-Furuichi burial mound group

They considered “Mozu • Furuichi burial mound group” as Japan’s candidate aiming for 2019 World Cultural Heritage registration. “Mozu burial mound group” in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, and “Furuichi burial mound group” in Habikino, Fujiidera City joined together to become a candidate site for registration.
These tombs are known to have been built about 1600 years ago from the latter half of the 4th century to the 6th century.
In this era, there was a great political system in the area from Osaka to Nara. It was what is called “Yamato regime” of which the leaders from various places gathered. They centered on the Great King, and later became the Emperor. When the emperor and the high-ranking persons passed away, a tomb was built that had a “Grave Mound ” of which the soil raised high. This is the “Kofun”.There are various shapes, including a dome shaped circular mound, a square, a front and rear hole shaped like a keyhole when viewed from above “Zenpoukouen-fun”, and a scallop-shaped type tumulus “Hotatekaishiki”. The sizes are varied from sizes of about 10 m to the huge one exceeding 400 m in length.
Especially, there are many features of location that has many huge tumulus in Mozu and Furuichi city. In building the tomb of the Emperor, it is believed that the plateau of the Mozu from which the Osaka bay be seen. and the Furuichi area with hills and plateaus were able to feature the magnitude of the ancient tumulus at the time. By this time, exchange with Chinese continents and the Korean Peninsula has already become popular, and they saw the huge tumulus with surprise at their arrival at Osaka bay. Perhaps people in Osaka wanted to show the governing power and dignity of the Emperor who made the citizens built by them.

Mizu Furuichi KofungunThe restored bird’s-eye view of the burial mound group (Sakai City Museum)

Among these tumulus groups, the most popular tomb is the world’s largest tomb (called “Funbo”), Emperor Nintoku Tomb burial mound. You can see it in the history textbooks, so we assume you have heard it before. Surrounded by a moat (a hill), a mound which was built as if it is floating in the water …
It is not only big, but also you can enjoy watching the scenery of the people at that time. around this Emperor Nintoku Tomb burial mound, it is called “Mozu-san-Ryo”. We will introduce the Rityu and Hanzei Emperor Tomb burial mound, and neighboring spots.

2.The biggest grave of the world with the pyramid Emperor Nintoku tombs

Emperor Nintoku Tomb burial mound is the world’s three largest tomb (Ryobo) of the world with the pyramid of King Kufu in Egypt, the Qin Emperor tomb of China.
About 60 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station, there is a place of worship of the Emperor Nintoku Tomb burial mound in 7 – 8 minute walk from Mozu Station of JR Hanwa Line.

Mizu Furuichi Kofungun1The gateway of Emperor Nintoku Tomb is a white log Torii (Shinmei-Kei)

2-1.What is the Emperor Nintoku tomb?

Not only Furuichi Burial Mounds in Mozu but also the biggest tomb in Japan is the Emperor Nintoku Tomb burial mound (another name: Daisen burial mound) . The size is 12 pieces of Koshien stadium.
It has a keyhole-like shape called “Zenpo-Koen-Fun” keyhole-shaped tumuli. Even if you use the current tools and techniques to build this ancient tomb, it will be calculated to spend 2 years and a half with over 60 people. It was a big project that took up to 2,000 people a day, 15 years and 8 months
Currently it is managed by the Imperial Household Agency (Kunaicho), so we can not enter inside, but there is a roundabout 2.8 km around it. There are boardwalks and rows of cherry blossoms. You can enjoy the size from the outside of the moat. (Hori)
By the way, Pyramid of King Kufu was registered as a World Heritage site in 1979 as Memphis and its cemetery ruins in 1979, and as the Shi Emperor Tomb (Shin no Shikoutei) in 1987 with Heiba Yoko.

2-2.What kind of person is Emperor Nintoku?

Emperor Nintoku is the 16th emperor who has thrusted in the first half of the 5th century. He made a capital in Osaka city, and carried out river construction of Yodogawa, which is the first large-scale project by the country. In Neyagawa City, ” The Imperial-controlled Territory (Manda no Tutumi)” and a monument were constructed.
At the time of the throne, it is the famous story that he saw that the smoke of the oven had not risen from any private house at the dinner time and canceled tax collection and labor service for 3 years. Meanwhile, he also lived a simple life himself, and the people called him “Emperor Hijiri Mikado.” That is because Emperor Nintoku tomb is said to have begun construction when he was alive.

3.The magnificent scenery can be seen at The Emperor Rityu Tomb

It is the grave of Emperor Rityu as the 17th emperor who was born as Emperor Nintoku’s first Prince. About 5 minute-walk from Uenoshiba station (JR Hanwa Line) ,which is next to Mozu station in the direction of Wakayama, take you to the Emperor Rityu tomb. From the Nintoku Emperor Temple burial mound, it is located across the Daisen Park.

Mizu Furuichi Kofungun2Unlike Nintoku Emperor Tomb, the moat is a single

3-1.What is the grave of Emperor Rityu like?

It is the third largest keyhole-shaped tomb in Japan. The length of the mound is 365 m. (The second is Oujin Emperor Tomb burial mound in the Furuichi burial mound group). Also called Misanzai Kofun, or Ishizugaoka Kofun, it is famous for its spectacular of cherry blossom trees on the west side. In 2017, a new view spot is created in the Daisen Park on the north side, and you can see the one with the round shape of the old tumulus.
They say it was built in the first half of the 5th century, then it was made earlier than the Emperor Nintoku tomb in the middle of the 5th century, That is a big mystery considering the order of the Emperor’s enthronement.

3-2.What kind of person is Emperor Rityu?

In the Kojiki and Nippon Shoki, the next year after Emperor Nintoku passed away, when the next emperor had not yet served as the next Emperor, the second prince of Nintoku (brother of the Emperor Rityu ) (Sumie-No-Nakasu-Miko) (in Nihon Shoki, called Sumiyoshi-Naka-Oji) tried to kill him. After the throne of the Emperor, as a result of managing politics by directing various families, the political power began to concentrate gradually to the center.

4.A handsome guy with a height of 3 m? Emperor Hanzei Tomb

From Namba Station (Nankai Kouya Line), 13 minutes train-ride takes you to Sakai-eki Station, or from Sakai City Station (JR Hankya Line), 15 minute-walk to reach the place of worship. Next to the tomb, there is a shrine of “Hotigai” which is famous for protecting against evil related to the direction of new construction, moving, traveling of the house.

Mizu Furuichi Kofungun3You can step in the closet of the three tomb

4-1.What is the Emperor Hanzei tomb?

It is a keyhole-shaped tumuli with a length of 148 m, which is the 7th largest tumuli in Japan. It is situated at the northern end of Mozu Hill, archaeologically called the “Tadeiyama tumuli”. There is only about one third of the size of Emperor Nintoku Tomb and it is smaller as the tomb of the Emperor, but that reason is not well known. In one theory, it is said to be that Nisanzai burial mound (one of Mozu burial mound group) is the real tomb for him.

4-2.Who is Emperor Hanzei like?

Emperor Hanzei is the third prince of Emperor Nintoku, and the 18th Emperor. It is said to be the third son of the four brothers of Emperor Rityu, Sumie Naka Ou (Sumiyoshi Naka Prince), Emperor Hanzei and Emperor Ingyo (19th generation).
The Emperor was hiding somewhere temporarily because he was targeted for life by Sumie Naka Ou (Sumiyoshi Naka Prince), but at that time the Emperor Hanzei visited the Emperor Riyu and cooperate. He approached about the aide of Sumie Naka (Sumiyoshi Naka Price) and ordered him to kill Sumie Naka Ou (Sumiyoshi Naka Price). After the death of the Emperor, he got the throne. He was said to have a peaceful life without fighting.
It is said that Emperor Hanzai was born in Awaji Island known for myths of the birth of Japan, and was a handsome guy with beautiful teeth arrangement. From the story , he had the another name called Beautiful Teeth Emperor “Mizuhawake no Sumera Mikoto”. Kojki says he had a height of 3 m or more, but it seems that it is the exaggeration.

5.The group of the Mozu tombs can be seen at Sakai City Hall Observation Lobby

Few people who would like to see “keyhole-shaped tumuli , but unfortunately, there are no facilities that can see the whole view nearby. From a place of worship, it looks like a little mountain. If you have enough budget, you can see the shape of the keyhole from above using an airplane ….
If you would like to check how big it is, please go to the observation lobby on the 21st floor of Sakai City Hall.
You can see Emperor Hanzei Tomb burial mound on the east side, and get the whole view of the Mozu Burial Mounds group including Emperor Nintoku tomb on the south side. You can easily enter here for free, and can see Rokko Mountain and Abeno Harukasu if the weather is nice.

Sakai City Hall 21st floor Observatory lobby
Location: 3-1 Minami Tawamachi Sakai Ward, Sakai City
Access: 5 minutes on foot from Nankai Takano line Sakai-Hgashi station
Price: Free
Business hours: 9: 00-21: 00 every day of the year
Parking: There are underground parking lots (main floor basement 2 floor: 45 units, high-rise building first floor: 22 units) available. Opening hours are from 8:30 to 21:00. (Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, holidays are closed). Price system: 200 yen every 30 minutes. ※ The maximum fee is 500 yen during holiday, opening time.



6.”Mikunin Square” where you can see the Emperor Nintoku tomb from nearby

Those who would like to see from closer than Sakai City Hall, 1 km from Emperor Nintoku tomb, also recommend “Mikunin Square”.
In 2014, the square which was built on the roof of the Mikunigaoka station near Nintoku Emperor Tomb, has a view of the side of Emperor Nintoku tomb closer although you cannot see from above. But you can see and be relaxed without obstructing buildings.
Also, Mikunigaoka station has both JR line and Nankai Koya line. You can watch the train trips from above from the top. So, it is a good place to take a walk with your kids and enjoy.

Mikunin open space
Location: 2-chome, 7-2, Kyuryo Naka machi, Sakai-Ku, Sakai-City
Access: Nankai Koya Line Mikunigaoka Station
Price: Free
Open time: 9: 00-18: 00 Closed for the New Year’s Holiday



7.The Sakai City Museum, suitable place for the old tomb and history

There is a big park which is also a place for relaxation for Sakai citizens, called “Daisen Park” between the Emperor Nintoku Tomb and the Emperor Rityu Tomb. In the “Sakai City Museum” in this park, you can enjoy the documents on the ancient tombs and the materials at the time.
The time when Emperor Nintoku tomd was build was the time of the antient civilization and enlightenment when iron and horses were carried from the continent. You can learn the ancient tumulus from various viewpoints, mainly models and burghers. There is also a video theater where VR works can be watched on a large screen of about 200 inches, and you can enjoy powerful images.

Sakai City Museum
Location: Mozu-Sekiun-Cho 2, Sakai-Ku Sakai-city in the Daizen park
Access: Get off at JR Hanwa Line Mozu Station
Fee: Aduit 200yen, high school / university student 100 yen, elementary and junior high school students 50 yen
Opening Hours: 9: 30-17: 15 (Admission is until 16:30)
Closed: Monday (open for public holidays), next day of holiday (open if Saturday and Sunday is the next day), Year-end and New Year holidays
Parking: Daisen Park parking lot: 200 yen per hour until 2 hours, 100 yen added every hour, 600 yen for 5 hours or more)



8.Recommended course to go round three hills of Mozu

8-1.If you love old tombs

It is recommended to take the course around three of the Emperor Nintoku, the Rityu, and Hanzei tombs. You can enjoy the difference in size and moat.
For example, if you start from the Moze (JR Hanwa Line) and walk straight ahead in the Goryo-Street in front of you, Emperor Nintoku tomb on your left and Daisen Park on your right. A sightseeing information office can be used on the way to Emperor Nintoku’s worship place, so you can get a walking map there.

Mizu Furuichi Kofungun4Near the tourist information office there are cute Japanese clay images made by elementary school students

After visiting the place of worship of Emperor Nintoku, go through Daisen Park and head to the Emperor Rityu tomb. Small tumulus are also dotted in Daisen Park, and various kinds of trees and flowers are planted, so it is refreshing to stroll around. There is a place of worship surrounded by private houses when walking along the old tombs from the view spot of the Imperial Ruins.

Mizu Furuichi Kofungun5There is an entrance to a shrine along a big road

From Uenoshiba Station on the JR Hanwa Line, which is about 300 meters from the place of worship, take the local train in the direction of Tennoji to Sakai City Station. After walking 15 minutes to the west, you will see a Houtigai shrine and Emperor Hanzei Tomb. There is also a worship place of Hanzei Tomb in the residential area. It is the best place to enjoy the ancient tomb among three tombs

8-2.If you are not interested in the tumulus so much, but would like to enjoy the topic of the world heritage

It is better to go to see the Emperor Nintoku tomb only. Because it is about the largest in the world, please try and experience the size. It may be too large to be visible only in the forest, but considering that it was made with a lot of people’s labor without machines like this, you might feel a little excitement.
Using the JR Hanwa Line, it is good to go from Mozu station to see only the places of worship, and you may try walking a 2,850 m walking trail around lap. It is recommended for those who want to see a little from the side and feel tired of going no less than one round when walking from the Mikunigaoka station of JR Hanwa line or Nankai Takano line. Although it looks like a residential area in some places, there is no need to worry because you can see a signboard on the way.

Mizu Furuichi Kofungun6This kind of information will appear everywhere

For those who want to see the old tumulus while teaing on the way or sightseeing leisurely, we think that this kind of course is suitable without being exhausted. If you have time to spare, please go to the Sakai City Museum in Daisen Park or arrange your plan according to the situations and purposes, such as starting Sakai City Hall and going in reverse.
On the official website, three courses are introduced for Mozu Burial Mounds and Furuichi Burial Mounds, so please refer to that as well.



10.A foodie destination

While watching the old tumulus, you can enjoy the walking or taking a walk, but if you do not mind, take a break and enjoy delicious food and fun cuisine.
There are cafes and coffee shops around the old tumulus, and restaurants which have menus related to the ancient tombs. We will introduce some of them. It is good to enjoy cooking purely or upload as “# Kofun girls” on the Instagram. There will be no doubt that it will be a bit of a story.

10-1.Cafe IROHA

Mizu Furuichi Kofungun7

It is 5 minutes on foot from JR Hanwa Line Mozu Station. The cafe near the entrance of Daisen Park. Here you can enjoy ‘Goryo sandwich set’ where the mark of the keyhole tomb is burned in the bread. Hamburgers named by the locals calling “Goryo-San” as familiar with Emperor Nintoku Tomb, can choose between the two dishes. Salads, yogurt, fruits and drinks are included (1,000 yen: tax excluded).
Besides this, “IROHA Kagonbento” (1,500 yen: tax excluded) and Egg Benettics (850 yen: tax excluded) are popular and you can enjoy seasonal side dishes for Japanese cuisine.
Inside the shop, the interesting and cute tomb goods such as burial pierced earrings, old tumulus cushions, burial mound figurines and so on are sold, so it is a perfect store for touring tombs.
However, even during weekdays, the reservation for lunch is often has no vacant. There is no place other than this shop where you can eat around the Emperor Nintoku unless you return to Mozu station. We recommend you to make a reservation by phone in advance regardless of the number of people.

Location: Mozu-Seki- Un-cho 2-160, Sakai-Ku Sakai-City
Opening hours: 8: 00-18: 00
Reservation phone number: 072-245-0168
Closed: Monday
Parking: Yes
Tabe-log site: Cafe IROHA 


10-2.Sakai City Tea Room “Shinan”

Next to the Sakai City Museum in Daisen Park, there is a tea room of Sakai City, a registered tangible cultural asset of the country “Shinan”. This tea room was donated from Fukusuke Co., Ltd. in 1976, which was built in Showa 4, Shibakoen in Tokyo and was relocated.

Mizu Furuichi Kofungun8
Here, you can get Matcha in 300 yen (tax included). The tea ceremony, where you can have green tea in a modernistic space with a trendy but open feeling, is just suitable place for a small break visiting old tombs.

Sakai City Tea Room “Shinan”
Location: Mozu-Seki- Un-cho, Skai-cho, Sakai-ku (within Daisen Park)
Opening Hours: 9: 30-16: 30 (However, use of bowing seat / chair seat is 10: 00-16: 00)
Closed holiday: Monday (opening in case of holiday), year-end / New Year holiday, Sakai City Museum closed day
Parking lot: Daisen Park parking lot / 108 cars (200 yen up to 2 hours, 100 yen added every hour, 600 yen for 5 hours or more), 18 buses (1 time 1,000 yen for each one)
Sakai City Tourist Site: Sakai City Tea Room “Shinan”


10-3.Tea ceremony “Mieel”

Mizu Furuichi Kofungun9Coffee shop in the observation lobby of Sakai City Hall 21st Floor. The view is good (Mieel), the ancient tomb is also well Mieel … so the lunch menu “Goryo Curry” is named after the old tumulus. (630 yen: tax included). Curry and rice with rice in the shape of a keyhole-shaped tumuli in the middle. Everyone can eat it because it is not so hot.
After eating, please have a look at the Emperor Hanzei tomb that you can see outside while enjoying Late art with “GORYO LATE” (440 yen: tax included) drawing the shape of an old tumuli with cocoa powder.

Tea ceremony “Mieel”
Location: 3-1 Minami-Kawara -Town, Sakai-ku, Sakai-City, Sakai City Hall 21st Floor Lobby
Opening hours: 9: 00-18: 00
Closed: New Year’s holiday
Sakai City Tourist Website: Tea ceremony “Mieel”


10-4.Café Rikyu

6 minutes on foot from Sakai-Higahi station on Nankai Kouya line. A Japanese sweet shop “Koukyu-An” next to the Houtigai shrine.As you go through the luxurious interior that reminds you of the golden tea room of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, there is a tea salon “Cafe Rikyu” built in well hole style. Here you can also eat castilla and zenzai that are sold at Ekyu-An, and eat rice cookery and Nyumen (noodle).
One of the most famous sweets is “Castella with Masu” (850 yen: tax included drink set 1,250 yen: tax included), which is freshly baked with the name of Koukyu-An’s special dish “golden philosophy”. It is a reproduction of the legend castella that Sen no raku issued as a sweet for teatime. No additive or coloring, you can eat and enjoy the beautiful golden castella that baked with only eggs with three kinds of natural toppings (salt, butter and whipped cream. Fluffy and chewy Castella is scattered with gold foils (kinpaku) and you will be able to enjoy luxurious (relaxing) time.
If you eat more, boiled potted rice is recommended. A dish of boiled potted rice with fish and vegetables “Gomoku-Kama-Meshi” (1,300 yen), with luxurious seafood (1,500 yen), seasonal dish are prepared. Volume of 3 cups lightly caught in a cup. The last cup can be boiled potted rice with fish soup.

Mizu Furuichi Kofungun10This is the boiled potted rice with salmon and salmon roe

There is a tea room in the splendid Japanese garden of the courtyard. This tea room restored the tea room of Osaka residence which is said to have most loved by Sen no Rikyu for the first time in the 4th century and can also visit inside with making a reservation. The space of the sober refinement where the essence of “hospitality” is expressed. We hope you will find out valuable experiences and what the mean hospitality is.

Mizu Furuichi Kofungun11What looks like a forest in the back is the Emperor Hanzei Tomb burial mound

Go to the rooftop terrace, you can see the Emperor Hanzei Tomb in front of you. Probably, this place is the place where you can see the old tombs closest to … … It is this Koukyu-An that we actually do not want to tell anyone.

Café Rikyu
Location: Kita-Mikunigaoka-cho 1-2-36, Sakai-ku, Sakai-city
Opening hours: 9: 00-18: 30 (last order 18: 00 • snacks 17: 30)
Reservation phone number: 072-222-2411
Closed holiday: Thursday (excluding holidays)
Parking: Yes
Koukyu-An Official Website: Rikyu




Ancient tombs including Emperor Nintoku are so big that you can not see the whole picture from the ground. However, once you stand up in front of a shrine (pray), you can study the pride of a large number of people who were involved with the big project all over the country that did not know when the end would come, and you can feel the ancient romance which had been there 1600 years ago.
Why not you go to see it before it will be registered as a World Heritage Site. You can feel that while feeling the size of the scale with the feeling of becoming a pure mood, we would like you to know the beginning of the history the starting of Japan .

Related article

Introduction of writer

I was born in Osaka and grew up in Sakai. I will offer the history and sightseeing spots of Osaka and Sakai.