In 710, the capital shifted from Fujiwara-kyo to Heijo-kyo. For the next 74 years until the capital moved again to Nagaoka-kyo in 784, Heijo-kyo flourished as Japan's center of politics, economics and culture. The districts were laid out in a grid pattern, and Heijo Palace was built in the center of the northern end of Heijo-kyo that was also home to the Dairi (Imperial Palace) and Daigokuden (the Council Hall in the Imperial Palace where national ceremonies were held). The Heijo Palace Site is the remains of the Heijo Palace, stretching 1.3 kilometers east to west and one kilometer north to south. There, majestic palace architecture and gardens are reproduced. Pay a visit to Suzaku-mon Hiroba Square and visit the museum where you can learn about Nara's fascinating history. In 1998 the Heijo Palace Site was added to UNESCO's list of World Cultural Heritage Sites as one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara.
Heijo-kyo's premier building, the first Daigokuden, was reproduced in 2010
The Daigokuden was the place for holding important national ceremonies such as the emperor's enthronement. The Daigokuden was the most important and largest building of the Heijo Palace and has been reproduced on a scale 44 m wide, 20 m long and 27 m high. Since there were no available plans or paintings of the Daigokuden, the dimensions and appearance of the building were determined according to a podium that was discovered during excavation research and a few references and temple architectures from those days. You can enter the Daigokuden, where the Takamikura (imperial throne) has also been reproduced.
Suzaku-mon Gate, the main gate towering over the main street of the Heijo Palace Site
The Suzaku-mon Gate is the main gate of the Heijo Palace Site. It was reproduced in 1998 by referring to existing Tenpyo architectures such as the East Pagoda of Yakushi-ji Temple. It measures 25 m wide, 10 m deep, and 22 m high. The main street of Heijo-kyo, Suzaku-oji Street, extends due south from the gate.
■About Nara Palace Site Historical Park and Heijokyu Izanai-kan
Heijokyu Historical Site Management Center 0742-36-8780
■About Tempyo Mitsuki-kan, Tempyo Umashi-kan, Tempyo Miharashi-kan, Tempyo Tsudoi-kan, and Transport Terminal
Heijo Palace Restoration Project 0742-35-8201
Opening times and closed days differ between the facilities. See official web sites of each facility for information.
Sakicho, Nara-shi, Nara, 630-8577
- Nearest Station
･ Kintetsu-kyoto Line
･ Kintetsu-nara Line
･ Kintetsu-kashihara Line
20 minutes on foot
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