South of Osaka in the port city of Sakai are a series of tumuli dating from the third to seventh centuries A.D.
The raised mounds - many acres in scale - are known as "kofun" in Japanese.
They are the final resting place of emperors and the aristocracy of early Japan.
This tomb, which is administered by the Imperial Household Agency - and off-limits not just to visitors but also to archeologists - is thought to have been built in the early 5th century.
It contains the remains of the emperor Nintoku.
From above, the tomb is key-shaped. It has never been excavated.
It covers 115 acres, and your visit begins and ends at the point from which this photo was taken.
From Tennoji Station, on the JR Loop Line, take the Hanwa Line to Mozu Station. six-minute walk.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011