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Heijo Palace Site
The ancient capital of Japan in the 8th century
For 74 years starting from 710 A.D., the capital of Japan was Nara Heijokyo. Heijo Palace, situated at the center of the capital was a gigantic palace extending 1.3km east to west and 1km north to south, occupying a total area of 120ha. Recently, "Suzakumon," the main gate of the Capital and "Toin Teien" garden have been reconstructed. The Nara Palace Site Museum displays pictures of the excavations of Heijo Palace, and models of the old buildings.
tel0742-34-3931 (The Nara National Cultural Properties Research Institute) / 9:00 - 16:00 / Closed on Mondays (The Nara Palace Site Museum and the Excavation Site Exhibition Hall)
admissionAdmission Free
accessTake bus No. 12 or 140 from JR or Kintetsu Nara Station and get off at Heijokyuseki.

Saidaiji Temple
Try powdered green tea served in an oversized bowl
Established in 765 A.D., Saidaiji Temple literally means the Great Western Temple of Nara Heijokyo, then the Capital. "Ochamori" is a popular but unique and casual tea ceremony practiced at Saidaiji Temple. Visitors are served powdered green tea in an extra large tea bowl more than 50cm in diameter. The bowl of course is too large to taste from without the help of your neighbors and the sight will bring a laugh for everyone.
tel0742-45-4700 / 8:30 - 16:30 / Open 7 days a week
admissionadmission400 (Kondo Hall) admission300 (each for the Juhokan Hall and Shihokan Hall)
accessA 3-minute walk from Kintetsu Yamato Saidaiji Station

Yakushiji Temple
The eastern terminus of the Silk Road
The East Pagoda is the only building existing from the Hakuho Period (8th century) in Yakushiji Temple, and stands 34m in height. Inside the Main Hall is 'Yakushi Nyorai,' a divine protector against illness, and its two side-attendant Buddhist statues. These three Buddhist statues, which are collectively referred as "Yakushi Sanzon", are made of bronze, are 2.6m in height and are among the finest examples of Buddhist art in Japan.
tel0742-33-6001 / 8:30 - 17:00 / Open 7 days a week
accessNext to Kintetsu Nishinokyo Station

Toshodaiji Temple
Uchiwamaki - a ceremony in which paper fans are given away to remove bad luck
Founded in 759 A.D. by Priest Ganjin, a priest of the Tang Dynasty, Toshodaiji Temple practices the Ritsu Sect of Buddhism. Ganjin underwent tremendous hardships in his attempts to visit Japan and spread Buddhism. After a period of 12 years, in which he failed five times to cross the Japan Sea, he was finally able to land in Japan, though he had, by that time, become totally blind due to the tough voyage. He ended his life at Toshodaiji Temple. The statue of the Priest Ganjin is a national treasure, and is the oldest portrait sculpture in Japan. The Uchiwamaki ceremony takes place on May 19th, when heart shaped paper fans are scattered among the crowd to ward off bad luck.
tel0742-33-7900 / 8:30 - 17:00 / Open 7 days a week
accessA 7-minute walk from Kintetsu Nishinokyo Station
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