Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1300th Anniversary of Nara 平城遷都1300年祭

With this year marking the 1300th anniversary of Nara being the capital of Japan, which lasted for 74 years until 784, I visited the Heijo Palace site on its final commemorative event day to experience this rich historical area.  Modeled after the capital of the Tang Dynasty in China, Heijo-kyo, which is an UNESCO World Heritage site, was Japan's first international and political capital.

In the pictures above, you can see the former imperial audience hall which is 44 meters (144 feet) wide, 20 meters (66 feet) deep, and 27 meters (89 feet) high.  This hall was the site of the nation's most important ceremonies including the accession to the throne of the emperor and meetings with foreign envoys.  In the second picture from the top, I had my picture taken with individuals modeling the appropriate attire of the time, and for the final picture, I took a snapshot of the closing ceremony concert featuring many characters represented during the 6 month span that the palace site was open to the public.  

Even though the commemorative events at the palace site have finished, Nara is definitely a good place to visit for a cultural and historical lesson like none other.   


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