The most prominent of the Nara monuments is the palace that is located on the northern end of Central Avenue on a 120 hectares piece of land. The palace was not only the imperial family residence, but was also used for political and religious ceremonies.
As result of evolution of Japanese architectural and artistic links with China and Korea, the Historic monuments of Ancient Nara bears testimony to the multifaceted architectural designs that Japan is renowned for. The historic Monuments vividly illustrate an important epoch in the cultural and political development of Japan.
In the year 710, the Japanese capital was transferred from Fujiwara to Nara, a move that would precipitate a 74 years period of unprecedented political, cultural and economic prosperity for the country and Nara. The city’s site was selected according to the popular Chinese geomantic principles. A good prototype was the Chinese city of Chang’an that featured a grand city plan complete with palaces, Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, roads, residential houses and public buildings.
The most prominent of the Nara monuments is the palace that is located on the northern end of Central Avenue on a 120 hectares piece of land. The palace was not only the imperial family residence, but was also used for political and religious ceremonies. Notable buildings within the palace include the Imperial Audience Hall (Daigokuden), the State Halls (Chodo-in) and the Imperial Residence (Dairi).
In the year 784 the imperial capital was moved shortly to Nagaoka for 9 years and then later to Kyoto where it remained until 1184. The abandoned Nara capital eventually became some rice paddies, but the temples and shrines that had been built remained intact as they were able to attract and maintain imperial patronage. A town known as Nanto developed around them. It is here that the modern city of Nara developed in the 16th century.
- The Kondô (Great Buddha Hall) – This houses the seated image of the Vairocana (Great) Buddha
- The Kôfuku-ji – This was erected in Fujiwara and later rebuilt in
- The Gangô-ji – This was the first Buddhist temple in Japan. It was built by Soga-no-Umako in the 6th century
- The Tôshôdai-ji – This monument was first built in 759 by a Chinese high priest for the Buddhism students. Over the years the building has not been affected by the fire disasters that affected its contemporaries. It is in a remarkable state of conservation.
- The Nara Palace and the only surviving example of the architecture of the palace
- Korô sutra repository
- Hôzô and Kyôzô - These are the two Nara repositories in 'log-house' style.
- The Kasuga-Taisha
- The Kasugayama Primeval Forest
- The earthen ramparts (Tsuji-ogaki)
Make sure you get a chance to visit this destination.