The 1300th Anniversary of Nara

Nara is home to the largest Buddha in Japan, built about half a century before the Heian period officially begins.

The Heian period officially starts in 794, the year that Imperial Capital of Japan moved from Nara to Heian Kyo, or modern day Kyoto.  This year is Nara’s 1300th anniversary, and there will be myriad festivals and celebrations in the city throughout the coming year.

Todaiji, the Temple housing the giant Buddhas.

Nara is a very charming small city, totally underrated in comparison to Kyoto. While it is understandable that many visitors to Kansai would bypass it in favor of the much-larger Kyoto, it’s a shame, because Nara never became a huge city and retains the feeling of a small ancient imperial capital.

Also, there are tame deer you can hand-feed buckwheat cookies.

http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/travel/03headsup.html

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2 Comments

Filed under buddhism, festivals, travel, Uncategorized

2 responses to “The 1300th Anniversary of Nara

  1. I have yet to visit either city but I actually would prefer to visit Nara even more than Kyoto due to it’s even more ancient history and the fact that it is not as overrun by tourists.

  2. jcg03002

    Agreed. Another underrated city in Kansai is Uji, which I’ll have to post about soon.

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