Kyoto: Hebizuka Kofun


Hebizuka Kofun  蛇塚古墳(へびづかこふん) is the largest kofun tumulus (burial mound) from the 6th to 7th century in the Kyoto area. It is of keyhole type, and what remains is only the central stone structure of the mound. It was surrounded by a moat. Hebizuka is located in the outskirts of Kyoto known as Uzumasa, Sagano in the Arashiyama district.

The megaliths that make up the structure are sedimentary rock from Tamba in Kyoto-Fu, a distance away. Although they are not dressed, they are carefully fitted into place. The long dimension is 75 m with a chamber of 17 to 18 m and a low linear passageway.



First view of kofun

The kofun is in a residential area and is very difficult to find, even with directions received from the nearest police station. In this first view photo, this end is the burial chamber, now open to the sky. The kofun is surrounded by a wire fence, and there’s hardly any spare land around it.

After circling the fenced site, we were fortunate to meet the woman who is the keeper of the key so that we could enter the kofun. It feels much larger on the inside, perhaps because we are surrounded by huge rocks. The burial chamber is very tall, while the passageway is low.

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