Nara holds ceremony marking the ancient capital’s 1,300th anniversary

A ceremony was held Friday in Nara to mark the 1,300th anniversary of the move of Japan’s capital to Heijo-kyo, where it remained for much of the eighth century, with both Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in attendance.

About 1,700 guests, including representatives of nearly 50 foreign governments, gathered outside the restored Daigokuden palace on the site of the former capital, as dancers dressed in uniforms of military and civilian officers of the period and court ladies welcomed them with ancient music inspired by China’s Tang Dynasty.

Read the rest of the story: Nara fetes ancient capital’s 1,300th anniversary | The Japan Times Online.

Daigokuden- a reconstruction of an imperial hall in Nara – to be opened to the public soon

A reconstruction of an imperial hall, Daigokuden, which once served as the emperor’s office and a venue for imperial ceremonies will open to the public April 24th as part of the main venue for a festival marking the 1,300th anniversary of the establishment of the ancient capital of Heijokyo.

Heijō-kyō (平城京, also Heizei-kyō, sometimes Nara no miyako), was the capital city of Japan (710-740 and 745-784) during most of the Nara period (710-794). The Palace site is a listed UNESCO World Heritage site together with other places in the city of Nara.

The Agency for Cultural Affairs rebuilt Daigokuden, the largest building of the eighth-century Heijokyu palace, at a cost of 18 billion yen ($191.8 million).

During the festival period, the hall is expected to be illuminated at night.