The Lost Capital: Heijo-kyo and Kofukuji, Nara

Date: 29 March 2016

Heijo Palace

Right before lunch I headed to Heijo Palace, which is 15 minutes away on foot from Yamato-Saidaiji station. You know you are heading into the right direction when you see that huge Daigokuden (Former Audience Hall). Weather was getting cloudy at that time.

Heijo-kyo was the capital of Nara during the Nara period. Sadly though, what you will see today are reconstructed buildings, as all of the original buildings are now lost except for one which has been moved to Toshodaiji. But do applaud the efforts of reconstruction, which can be appreciated at the restoration exhibition.

Daigokuden and work in progress on the left
Up Close

Another building which has been reconstructed is the Suzakumon (Suzaku Gate).


View of Suzakumon from Daigokuden
Suzakumon up-close
View of Daigokuden from Suzakumon 

Heijo-kyo is also part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara (UNESCO Heritage Site).




The last stop in Nara is Kofukuji. Kofukuji was founded by the Fujiwara family, who was of great influence of the politics during the Asuka/Nara & Heian Period. It was originally built in Yamashina (somewhere in Kyoto), but was later moved to Nara when the capital moved to Nara. It is now part of the UNESCO’s Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara.



Do note that the Central Golden Hall is currently being reconstructed (I know, reconstructions everywhere right?), scheduled for completion in 2018.

Scaffolding of the Central Golden Hall, and oh did you see our dear friends? (pun intended)
Tokondo (Eastern Golden Hall) and Gojunoto (Five Story Pagoda)

The Five Story Pagoda is the second tallest pagoda in Japan.

Gojunoto (Five Story Pagoda)
Nanendo (Southern Octagonal Hall)
Hokuendo (Northern Octagonal Hall)
Three Story Pagoda

One thought on “The Lost Capital: Heijo-kyo and Kofukuji, Nara

  1. Pingback: Women’s Koyasan – Muroji in Uda, Nara Prefecture – Japan's Wonders

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