Nara, the Original Capital City of Culture

August 24, 2017 by Mark Guthrie

Some 1,300 years ago the Empress Genmei established the seat of power in the mountainous area of Heijō-kyō, and in doing so created the country’s first ever permanent capital. With the nation being ruled from the city (present-day Nara) this time has come to be known as the Nara period. Today Nara is a small and compact city that, […]

The National Treasures that Roam through Nara Park

July 22, 2016 by Justin Hanus

Pigs are sacred in Egypt. Cattle are sacred in India. Goats are sacred in Syria. Elephants are sacred in Thailand. In Nara the animals worshiped are deer. Deer have been roaming the Kasuga Hills in these parts since before there was a written language, before there was a Japan. When Nara was established as capital […]

Be Enchanted by a Historical Firelit Noh Performance at Nara’s Kofukuji Temple this May

April 24, 2016 by Justin Hanus

Traditional Noh performances might occur at temples across Japan, but Nara’s Kofukuji Temple is the original home of the sacred event, and seeing a performance there is a truly unforgettable experience. Noh, which is derived from a Japanese word meaning “talent,” is a coveted musical drama performance that began in the 14th century and has […]

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