A modern-day political, economic and cultural center, that was a former capital with a history dating back to the 8th century.
Located in the northern part of Nara City, the whole area of Heijo-kyu-seki (the ruins of Heijo Palace) has been preserved as a special historic site. In 710 the capital was moved from Fujiwara-kyo, located at the center of the prefecture, to the area known as Heijo-kyo. It prospered as a political, economic and cultural center of Japan for over 70 years, and was inscribed as the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1998.
The Heijo-kyu Palace was the center of the capital city, and it consisted of the Dairi, the residence of the Emperor, Daigoku-den Hall for all national ceremonies, and the Chodo-in bureaucratic offices. It is said to have been built along the design of Choan, the capital city of China's Tang Dynasty. The 67.5-meter-wide main street, Suzaku-oji, with 7-meter-wide ditches on both sides, once ran as far as 3.8 kilometers, starting from the Rasho-mon Gate at the southern end. The eastern side and western side of the street were called "Sakyo" and "Ukyo," or "Left Palace" and "Right Palace."
The excavation work in the area is still going on, and discoveries at the excavations, including articles found among the remains, are displayed at the Heijo Palace Site Museum, located at the northeast section of the remains.
[Rail] 2h 15 min to Kyoto Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line (Nozomi), and 30 min from Kyoto to Yamato-Saidai-ji Station by Kintetsu Kyoto Line (limited express). 10 min from Yamato-Saidai-ji Station to Heijo-kyu-seki by bus.
*It takes 2h 45 min from Tokyo to Kyoto Station by Hikari Shinkansen.
[Rail] 30 min from Kintetsu Namba to Yamato-Saidai-ji Station by Kintetsu Nara Line (rapid express).
Around the Saidai-ji Area
- Heijo-kyu (Remains of the Ancient Capital) Archaeological Sites & Ruins Heijo-kyu (Remains of the Ancient Capital)
- Saidai-ji Temple Shrines, Temples & Churches Saidai-ji Temple
- Akishino-dera Temple Shrines, Temples & Churches Akishino-dera Temple
- The Nara Palace Site Museum of the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties Museums The Nara Palace Site Museum of the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties
More on the Saidai-ji Area
- Nara City Sightseeing Information Center Nara City Sightseeing Information Center
- Nara Palace Site Museum (Japanese) Nara Palace Site Museum (Japanese)
- Association for Commemorative Events of the 1300th Anniversary of Nara Heijo-kyo Capital Association for Commemorative Events of the 1300th Anniversary of Nara Heijo-kyo Capital
- Nara Walks Nara Walks
- The Ruins of Heijo-kyu Exhibition Hall of the Nara Prefectural Cultural Property Research Institute The Ruins of Heijo-kyu Exhibition Hall of the Nara Prefectural Cultural Property Research Institute
- Visit Nara - The official Nara Travel Guide Visit Nara - The official Nara Travel Guide