Most viewed - NARA 奈良県
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Takamikura Throne where the emperor sat when there was an audience.602 views
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I first heard about Nara's 1300th anniversary a few years ago through this mascot named Sento-kun. A boy priest with deer antlers was so absurd that he has become very popular and recognizable.573 views
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Todaiji Temple477 views
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Horyuji temple Five-Story Pagoda and Kondo Hall, National Treasures 五重塔 金堂367 views
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Ad for Heijo-kyo 1300th anniversary in a train.330 views
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Japan's largest Buddha statue in Todaiji. National Treasure.316 views
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Crawl through a pillar292 views
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Japan's most famous temple, with the world's oldest wooden buildings (over 1,300 years old), is also the country's first World Heritage Site. Also called Ikaruga-dera, the temple is the headquarters of the Shotoku-shu Buddhist Sect. Path to260 views
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Gate god258 views
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Sento-kun at JR Nara Station.258 views
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Horyuji temple, Nandaimon Gate, National Treasure 南大門(国宝)255 views
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Inside JR Nara Station. Ceiling looks like a temple.218 views
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Horyuji temple Kondo Main Hall, National Treasure 金堂208 views
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Map of Horyuji. Large complex of buildings. Only two precincts are open to the public.204 views
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The torch is positioned at the corners. It is totally dark when the torches are lit.197 views
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Todaiji Temple193 views
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Burn baby burn...179 viewsThe fire is put out by 9 pm. Unless you're near the fire, it can get very cold, so dress warmly for this festival.
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Horyuji temple, Yumenodo Pavilion, National Treasure 夢殿174 views
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Great Buddha173 views
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Rear view170 views
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Five-Story Pagoda and Kondo Hall, National Treasures 五重塔 金堂169 views
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Horyuji Goju-no-To (Five-Story Pagoda) National Treasure 五重塔165 views
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A World Heritage Site and one of Japan's most famous temples, Todaiji houses Japan's largest statue of the Buddha, a National Treasure. Temple was established about 1,200 years ago.161 views
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Nandaimon Gate 南大門155 views
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Path to Todaiji154 views
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Horyuji and World Heritage Site (Japan's first) marker151 views1 comments
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Sai-in Garan West Precinct 西院伽藍141 views
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Horyuji temple, Daikōdō Hall, National Treasure 大講堂141 views
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Goju-no-To (Five-Story Pagoda), National Treasure, Horyuji 五重塔132 views
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Also called Ikaruga-dera, the temple is the headquarters of the Shotoku-shu Buddhist Sect founded by Shotoku Taishi.128 views
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西院伽藍126 views
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The Heijo Palace guard (Ejitai) holds the Gate-closing ceremony at the end of the day at Suzaku Gate.126 views
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Bell tower in East Precinct 東院鐘楼122 views
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Admission charged. The 1,000 yen ticket gets you into the three major sights.120 views
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三経院 National Treasure116 views
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Horyuji is one of Japan's most famous temples, with the world's oldest wooden buildings (over 1,300 years old). Japan's first World Heritage Site.112 views
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There were many of them in Tempyo Procession, Nara Heijo-kyo.112 views
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Signs to other temples110 views
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The Daigokuden Hall (Former Imperial Audience Hall) is a magnificent reconstruction. This was where the emperor performed his duties during the Nara Period. 大極殿110 views
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Mountain ascetic priests.109 views
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東院鐘楼108 views
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On the day I went (May 9) during Golden Week, they held the Tempyo Gyoretsu Procession featuring 1,300 people in Tempyo (Tenpyo) Period (729-749) costumes.107 views
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On the Sunday before the second Monday of Jan., 33 hectares of a hill called Wakakusa-yama (seen in the distance here) next to Nara Park is burned at night.106 viewsThe burning hill looks more spectacular from afar, but we went up close.
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You can enter or see inside the buildings, but no photography is allowed inside.104 views
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Former Imperial Audience Hall.97 views
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Kondo Main Hall, National Treasure 金堂96 views
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Kondo Main Hall, National Treasure 金堂94 views
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Kondo Main Hall, National Treasure 金堂93 views
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Chūmon Gate, National Treasure 中門92 views
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Aoniyoshi Parade at Heijo-kyo, Nara91 views
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My YouTube video of the Aoniyoshi Parade.90 views
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Lantern relief89 views
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Kondo Main Hall, National Treasure 金堂88 views
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Daikodo Hall and Five-Story Pagoda, National Treasures 五重塔88 views
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Even the corridor is a National Treasure 西院伽藍の廻廊87 views
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Daiho-zoin Museum 大宝蔵院87 views
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Pretty little princess87 views
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Every evening during March 1-14, Todaiji temple priests carry torches on the balcony of Nigatsu-do Hall. Sparks falling from the torches bring good health. Todaiji temple 二月堂86 views
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Tempyo Procession, Nara Heijo-kyo86 views
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Bamboo torches and bamboo brooms85 viewsThe bamboo torches is filled with kerosene and plugged with cotton cloth. They are used to set the hill afire. The bamboo brooms are used to spread the fire or extinguish it. The brooms burn up by the end of the festival.
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Bon fire burns85 views
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Kondo Main Hall, National Treasure 金堂85 views
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Bell tower in East Precinct 東院鐘楼84 views
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These pictures were taken in early May so the flower motif might change in later seasons.84 views
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Wakakusa-yama hill in January83 viewsWakakusa-yama hill actually has three hills. We see only the first one here.
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Corridor and Chūmon Gate 西院伽藍の廻廊83 views
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The Heijo Palace guard (Ejitai) holds the Gate-closing ceremony at the end of the day at Suzaku Gate at 5:10 pm. 衛士隊83 views
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To Daikōdō Hall82 views
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Chūmon Gate, National Treasure 中門81 views
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Daikōdō Hall, National Treasure. Houses Buddha statues. 大講堂80 views
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My YouTube video of Sento-kun.80 views
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Sacred torch arrives at the foot of the hill.78 viewsThe sacred torch is lit at Kasuga Taisha Shrine and brought to Nogami Shrine in a torch procession. It is a small shrine at the foot of the hill.
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Gate to Yumenodo Pavilion78 views
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Ceremony at Nogami Shrine77 views
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Lantern77 views
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Only 10 torches are lit. Most photos show a time-lapse shot which lights up the entire hall. Tripod required though, and you need to be a press photographer.76 views
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Dry grass ready to burn...75 views
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Yumenodo Pavilion, National Treasure 夢殿75 views
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The priest runs while spinning the torch on the balcony. Also see the video at YouTube.75 views
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Tōdaimon Gate, National Treasure 東大門74 views
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Fireworks73 views
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The hill behind also starts to burn.73 views
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The deer have no idea what danger they are in...72 views
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絵殿、舎利殿72 views
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絵殿、舎利殿72 views
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Bamboo torches and bamboo brooms70 viewsThe bamboo torches is filled with kerosene and plugged with cotton cloth. They are used to set the hill afire. The bamboo brooms are used to spread the fire or extinguish it. The brooms burn up by the end of the festival.
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Bon fire site69 views
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The sacred torch lights the bonfire at around 6 pm.69 viewsYou can also see three lanterns for Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, and Kofukuji Temple. This is a joint festival between these three temples and shrine.
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Other torches are thrown in.69 views
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Daiho-zoin Museum. Admission included in the 1,000 yen ticket. 大宝蔵院69 views
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Path to Yumenodo Pavilion69 views
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Water bags68 viewsThe third item the volunteer firemen carry are water bags. The water bag is filled with water weighing 20 kg or so. A nozzle is also attached. It is used to extinguish the fire.
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National Treasure68 views
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My YouTube video of the Tempyo Procession (Part 1).68 views
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Bamboo torches67 viewsThe bamboo torches is filled with kerosene and plugged with cotton cloth. They are used to set the hill afire.
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Deer on the hill67 views
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The crowd67 views
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JR Nara Station67 views
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Ticket gate to Yumenodo. Admission included in the 1,000 yen ticket.66 views
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Volunteer firemen65 viewsThe hill set alight by 300 volunteer firemen and prefectural workers who climb up the hill.
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Chūmon Gate and Kondo Hall65 views
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Large crowd behind us. Tripods are not allowed.65 views
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Path to Yumenodo Pavilion64 views
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Horyuji Station platform64 views
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The torch walk ends in 20 min. Police and firemen are present.64 views
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The sacred torch is brought.63 views
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Path to Yumenodo Pavilion63 views
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The Palace guard completes its job and I caught the last shuttle bus back to Nara Station at 6 pm.63 views
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My YouTube video of the Tempyo Procession (Part 2).63 views
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Volunteer firement gather before going up the hill.59 viewsThe hill set alight by 300 volunteer firemen from all over Nara and prefectural workers who climb up the hill.
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Volunteeer firemen and staff hike up the hills.59 views
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At the Mahoroba Stage, the Sento-kun show was held to a full house. (Standing room only.)55 views
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Horyuji Station, under construction in Mar. 2007 法隆寺駅53 views
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I took this Kintetsu Line train at Kyoto Station. You should also bring your passport which will enable you to enter a few Heijo-kyo attractions for free.53 views
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Kasuga Taisha Shrine is also noted for many bronze hanging lanterns.53 views
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It was 1,300 years ago in 710 when Japan's capital was moved to this place in Nara. Hence, the 1300th anniversary celebration in 2010.52 views
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Inside the Former Imperial Audience Hall. In the center was the Emperor's Takamikura Throne.52 views
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But now, anyone can enter this reconstruction for free. There was a long line, but it proceeded quickly and it took only 10-min. or so to get in.51 views
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A few of the guards were female.51 views
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Azalea and Suzaku Gate.51 views
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About the Former Imperial Audience Hall in English.50 views
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Bus stop in front of Horyuji Station. Takes you to the temple.49 views
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Phoenix atop the Takamikura Throne.49 views
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The Aoniyoshi Parade reflects the Tempyo Period when Japan held exchanges with foreign cultures and when Buddhism was introduced to Japan.49 views
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On the balcony of the Former Imperial Audience Hall before entering the building through a side entrance.47 views
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This is the heart of the Heijo Palace site. The focal point is the Daigokuden Hall (Former Imperial Audience Hall) in the distance. 大極殿・前庭46 views
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This thing is so nice that they should get a real emperor's coronation or enthronement here someday.46 views
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Takamikura Throne46 views
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They had a large stage out front on the day I visited and these ribbons attached to the building.46 views
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Balcony railing.46 views
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Flowers in spring.46 views
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Ornament on a balcony railing.45 views
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Panel displays explaining about the Former Imperial Audience Hall.45 views
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Daigokuden Former Imperial Audience Hall, Heijo-kyo, Nara45 views
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The Heijo-kyo History Museum includes a full-scale replica of the ship used to transport Japanese envoys to and from Tang China during the Nara Period. 平城京歴史館/遣唐使船復原展示45 views
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About the Takamikura Throne in English.44 views
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Exit of Daigokuden Hall.44 views
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衛士隊の再現(南門広場)44 views
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And here's Sento-kun, the official mascot of the 1300th anniversary of the Heijo-kyo Capital. When he was first introduced a few years ago, some people lambasted the design as insulting to priests.44 views
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Deer antlers on the head of a boy priest was funny. But he has proven to be a major hit among the masses and critics are silent now. The deer antlers come from the famous deer of Nara Park where they wander around with tourists.44 views
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Deer on a bronze lantern atKasuga Taisha Shrine, Nara.44 views
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I arrived at Yamato Saidaiji Station which is within walking distance to the Heijo-kyo site. You can also go to JR Nara Station and ride a free shuttle bus to the Heijo Palace site.43 views
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About the Former Imperial Audience Hall in English.43 views
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If there's something you have to see here, it's this building.43 views
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Pillar post holes which were excavated here. 遺構展示館43 views
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Koreans43 views
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Kasuga Taisha Shrine bright vermillion color contrasts with the dark brown tones of nearby Buddhist temples.43 views
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I went during Golden Week when they had flowers and various events and entertainment. I recommend visiting here on a weekend or holiday period. That's when they have more events and entertainment. The crowds are not unbearable.42 views
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Life-size model of the Shibi ornament atop the roof's ridge.42 views
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At 1 pm in front of the South Gate, the Heijo Palace guards (Ejitai) reenact a guard routine. They appear three times a day. 衛士隊42 views
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Twice a day, the colorful Aoni-yoshi Parade is held for 30 min. in front of the South Gate. 平城遷都1300年祭 あをによしパレー42 views
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This is in front of the South Gate.42 views
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Sento-kun also danced to his silly-sounding theme song. Also see my video at YouTube.42 views
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Display of a model of the emperor's residence (Imperial Domicile).42 views
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Model of the Imperial Domicile.42 views
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Overlapping pillar holes. The hole was reused.42 views
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It was an impressive parade even though most of them didn't walk with much style.42 views
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Also see my video at YouTube.42 views
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Stone lanterns leading to Kasuga Taisha Shrine.42 views
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This was the center of the capital and symbol of state authority. Only high-ranked aristocrats were allowed to enter the Daikokuden Hall.41 views
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The Daigokuden Hall's front gate, called Suzaku Gate, can be seen.41 views
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Roof tile used in the reconstruction.41 views
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Suzaku Gate is the other prominent landmark at the Heijo-kyo site.41 views
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Eastern Palace Garden 東院庭園広場41 views
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As you can see, the place is quite spread out. Be prepared to do some walking if you want to see things.41 views
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It looks like a portable shrine.40 views
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We could also go outside on the balcony and see a good view.40 views
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Behind the Takamikura Throne.40 views
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Buddhist priests in the Aoniyoshi Parade.40 views
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Hands-on Learning Center 体験楽習広場40 views
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Photo studio where you can dress up in Tempyo Period costumes and get your picture taken.40 views
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Eastern Palace Garden40 views
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Hello!40 views
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Path toward the central area. The Daigokuden Imperial Audience Hall is in the distance on the left. This Heijo-kyo area is a National Special Historic Site.39 views
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About the excavation of Former Imperial Audience Hall in English.39 views
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Roof edges.39 views
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Aoni-yoshi Parade is a great photo op.39 views
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Layout of the excavated pillar holes.39 views
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Straight ahead is the entrance to the Eastern Palace Garden.39 views
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Top of the Takamikura Throne38 views
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Design pattern on the Takamikura Throne panels.38 views
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The ceiling has hand-painted flowers.38 views
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Metal fittings on a door.38 views
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Metal fitting and ornament on balcony railing.38 views
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Roof edges of Daigokuden Hall.38 views
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These two represent the many traders from China, Korea, and India doing business in Heijo-kyo.38 views
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This Aoniyoshi Parade might be canceled in the event of rain.38 views
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View of Entrance Plaza from the ship. The museum (photography not allowed inside) has animated films and panel displays.38 views
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