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  • History "The Nara Period" You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Shimizu77  

    In the year 710 it was decided new to set up a permanent residential capital for the imperial court, initially to the west of here Naniwa (present-day Osaka) and then here at Nara.

    Laid out like a chessboard (nearly half the size of China’s similarly designed capital, Change’an), Nara had its imperial palace at the northern end, with court residences, Buddhist monasteries, and Shinto shrines stretching to the south. In those peaceful years, without threat of foreign invasion or civil war, there were no city ramparts.

    The era known as the Nara Period was marked by the religious fervour of the Buddhist monks and also by their accompanying artistic achievements. The Japanese were attracted more to Buddhism’s ritual and art than to its complex philosophy, rendered all the more difficult because its texts were, for several centuries, available only in Chinese, the language of a small court elite. Buddhist monks initiated great progress in Japanese architecture, bronze-casting, bridge building, and sculpture. To this day, historians of Chinese art find the best surviving examples of Tang-dynasty architecture among the seventh and eighth-century temples in and around Nara.

    By marrying his daughters to sons of the reigning emperor and then engineering timely abdications, a Fujiwara contrived always to be father-in-law, uncle, or grandfather behind the throne. Very often the emperor was only a minor, so that the Fujiwara patriarch acted as regent. He then persuaded the emperor to abdicate soon after his majority, and the regency would continue for the next youthful incumbent. The important thing was to have the emperor’s sanctions for the regent’s political decisions.

    Very few emperors were reluctant to submit to Fujiwara domination. The burden of his spiritual functions as high priest of Shinto and the tasks of administration led the emperor to welcome and early abdication, frequently to retire to a life of Buddhist meditation and scholarship. The Fujiwara resented the Buddhist clergy’s great and growing influence in imperial affairs. There were too many monasteries in and around Nara. It was time to move the capital.

    Although there are no reliable accounts of this period, third-century Chinese documents speak of a Japanese priestess-queen, Himiko, ruling over a land of law-abiding people who enjoyed alcohol and were divided into classes distinguished by tattoo marks. Five centuries later, Japan’s own Kojiki and Nihon-shoki chronicles describe the creation of the imperial dynasty in the year 660 B.C : the first emperor, Jimmu (“Divine Warrior”)—great grandson of the Sun Goddess’s grandson—embarked on an expedition of conquest from Kyushu along the Inland Sea coast to the Yamato Plain of the Kinki region (near modern-day Nara).

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    Accommodation near Nara

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    Hotels near Nara

    Landmarks near Nara

    Looking for something to do or a place to go see near Nara? Here is our list of options.

    Points of Interest near Nara

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    • Haibara Station
      No info yet.. Please go to this page and enter some.
      Haibara Station, Japan
    • Osaka Castle
      By 1568, when Kyoto was at last seized from the Ashikaga shogunate, there ruthless generals- Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa- had banded together to eliminate all remaining opposition. Realizing the importance of Western military technology.

      Nobunaga mastered the manufacture of gunpowder and made firearms form melted-down temple bells. The triumphant trio were the first to develop the appropriate defenses against the new firepower. They replaced the old small castles on high ground protected only by wooden stockades with large central fortresses out of range behind broad moats. Surrounded by solid stone ramparts and earthworks strong enough resist cannon fire.

      Cleverest of the three, Nobungana used another Western weapon, Christianity, against the principal remaining threat to his authority – the strongholds surrounding Kyoto. While sending out armies to destroy the Buddhist monasteries and confiscate their lands, he simultaneously fostered Christianity to win adepts away from the Buddhist faith.

      Nobunaga was assassinated by one of his own generals in 1582, and Hideyoshi, who had started out as a simple infantryman, succeeded him. Seeing in Christianity a threat to his central authority, Hideyoshi systematically suppressed Christian activity; in 1597 six missionaries and 20 Japanese converts were crucified a Nagasaki. He was also master of art of conspicuous consumption, contrasting sharply with the restraint shown by the Ashikaga shoguns in their more subtle displays of wealth.

      A forerunner of this castle: a gigantic edifice he erected at Osaka was the biggest Japan had ever seen, requiring a work force of 30,000 men. Perhaps his most astounding coup was the monstrous Kitano tea ceremony attended by hundreds of rich and poor followers, who were all obliged to stay to the end. It lasted ten days.
      Osaka Castle 1-1 Ōsakajō, Chūō-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu 540-0002, Japan
    • Fushimi Inari Taisha

      The Fushimi-Inari Shrine is in southern Kyoto. It is a shrine to the Shinto rice deity Inari. It is the most famous and important Inari shrine in the land.

      The city of Kyoto can be said to be overflowing with "must-see" places, but this is one place almost certain to use up any superlative descriptions that you might have in your tired-out lexicon.

      Fushimi Inari Taisha 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchichō, Fushimi-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 612-0882, Japan
    • MIHO MUSEUM
      You can take train from Kyoto Station to JR lshiyama Station, then 50 minutes on the Teisan bus line. Open 10am-5pm daily except Mondays, 10am-8pm on Saturdays (open in spring from 15 March to 10 June, in summer 21 July to 16 August, and in autumn 1 September to 15 December).
      MIHO MUSEUM Japan, 〒529-1814 滋賀県甲賀市信楽町田代桃谷300
    • Tofukuji Temple

      Tofukuji is a major Zen temple complex. In addition to many impressive buildings, Tofukuji has 4 Zen gardens located in the "hojo" or abbot's quarters.

      At Tofukuji's center is there is a gorge with maple trees.

      Tofukuji Temple Japan, 〒605-0981 京都府京都市東山区本町15−778
    • Toji
      Toji is one of Kyoto's oldest temples and its massive pagoda is the largest in Japan.
      Toji 1 Kujōchō, Minami-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 601-8473, Japan
    • Rengeoin Sanjusangendo

      Sanjusangendo known as the "Hall of 33 Bays." The original temple was built in around 1164 and survived only about a hundred years. What you see today is a reconstruction which is still very old as it dates from the thirteenth century.

      Its centrepiece is a ornate wood statue of the seated Kannon Bodhisattva. 3.3 m (11 f0 high, with 11 faces on the crown of its head and 40 arms (extravagantly known as "a thousand arms") wielding bells, wheels, and lotus flowers.

      However Sanjusangendo's main wonder is its legion of 1.000 gilded Kannon images flanking the central Buddha. The identical statues were carved by the 13th-century masters Kokei, Unkei. and Tankei, with 70 assistants.

      Rengeoin Sanjusangendo 657 Sanjūsangendōmawari, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0941, Japan
    • Kyoto National Museum

      You will have found one of Japan's greatest assemblage of paintings and sculptures in the Kyoto National Museum.

      Additionally you can view traditional amour and weapons from over 10 centuries of tradition.  If noh theatre is your thing then the costumes and masks used in these performances will be of interest.

      Most of the items (which are without-peer in Japan) on display have been gleaned from temples & palaces in Kyoto, Nara, and other important cultural centres.

      Kyoto National Museum 527 Chayachō, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0931, Japan
    • 東本願寺
      Higashi- Honganji is part of the headquarters of the Jodo-Shinshu (“Pure Land”) sect.
      東本願寺 Japan, 〒600-8505 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Shimogyō-ku, 烏丸通七条上る常葉町754
    • Katsura Imperial Villa

      If you must visit only one of the two imperial villas in Kyoto the Katsura is the ultimate "must see" in a city full of them.

      Meticulously planned, Katsura is a Japanese masterpiece of residential design and garden landscaping subtlety.

      Every wall in the villa's 7 pavilions is a panel that can be slide open to view the surrounding landscape, including the gardens and also the Arashiyama Hills which are found beyond them.

      Katsura Imperial Villa Katsuramisono, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 615-8014, Japan

    Exchange Rate History Japan

    Exchange rate fluctuations can have a considerable impact on your trip budget. If your home currency has appreciated in value in the recent term over the currency of your destination you are likely to find the place inexpensive.

    Select your home currency from the drop down to compare it to the currency in use in Japan.

    Currencies fluctuate all the time, to keep updated of rapidly devaluing currencies follow us on Twitter or Facebook , or if you have somewhere special in mind sign up for an account and plan a trip. We will then keep an eye on their currency rates, and send you an alert if their currency goes down in comparison to yours.

    Climate near Nara

    Do you know of anything else about the enviroment that makes you happy to come to Nara? If it's a city or neighbourhood are there any climatic, or microclimatic features that you could tell others about. If the location is a building or place, then can you describe it maybe as "sun-lit", or "cold in the mornings". We'd love you to contribute - why not let us know in the drop box below

    Graphic showing average weather in Nara in Celcius and Centimeters (Change to Farenheit and Inches)

    Month Temp °C Rainfall Cm Temp °F Rainfall Inches
    Jan 2.5 53.4 36.5 21
    Feb 3.1 70.2 37.6 27.6
    Mar 6.4 105.1 43.5 41.4
    Apr 12.1 138 53.8 54.3
    May 17 129.7 62.6 51.1
    Jun 21.3 219.2 70.3 86.3
    Jul 25.9 174.3 78.6 68.6
    Aug 26.7 128.7 80.1 50.7
    Sep 22.7 198.6 72.9 78.2
    Oct 16.3 140.4 61.3 55.3
    Nov 10.5 81 50.9 31.9
    Dec 5.4 55.3 41.7 21.8

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        Summary

        Name : Nara
        Address : Nara, Nara Prefecture, Japan
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