Heijo Palace Site is the site
of the ancient capital of Nara in the 8th century.
It is located about 3 km west-northwest of JR Nara station.
This is one of 9 constructions of "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara" designated as a World Heritage Site.
The ancient capital of Japan was in Asuka area located about 25 km
south of Nara city.
In 708, Emperor Genmei (661-721) said that the capital had to be positioned at the place where many people come.
And the current Nara city was selected as the best place.
Then the capital was moved to here in 710.
At that time, only Heijo Palace was completed.
And the new city had been constructed sequentially.
The area was nearlly a square, about 5 km on a side, and had grid of streets and avenues. It is said that it was modeled after Chang'an, the capital of Tang (current China).
The additional area was extended to the east, and Todaiji temple was set up at the east end of the area.
Heijo Palace was located at the center of the northern end of this
city. It was a square, about 1 km on a side, and was surrounded with
In the site, there were the Emperor's residence, the palace for ceremony, and the offices of the government.
In 740, the capital was moved to Kuni-kyo located about 10 km north of
Nara, but it was moved to Nara again in 745.
And the capital of Nara had continued until 784. The capital was moved to Nagaoka-kyo near current Kyoto.
Since that, Nara has never become the capital of Japan.
The site was begun to investigate around the middle of the 19th century.
Then the the excavation and research of this site has been conducted since 1924.
We can visit the area around Heijo Palace.
Suzakumon gate was restored. It was the main gate of Heijo Palace.
And one of the main palaces "Daigokuden" was restored in 2010.
Also some bases of constructions and a garden were restored.
There are the museum on the excavated ruin and the museum displaying many objects recovered from the ruin.
Get off at Yamato-Saidaiji station on Kintetsu Line. (About 6 minutes
About 10 minutes walk from there.
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