feeling the cool and crisp air and listening to the chorus of the insects.
|Daigokuden, or Audience Hall|
I came across a big fallen tree tangled by the broken branches of other tree.
I don't know when and why this tree fell down....maybe because of the typhoon No. 18?
(I went there before the typhoon No. 19.)
When I passed by this tree in April, it was standing tall and proud.
|In the ditch|
The weather got unnerving rapidly.
The rain was short-lived and when I was leaving the old palace site, the Audience Hall was
enveloped in the rosy glow of the evening.
- A little more about the Heijyo Palace Site -
Nara was the capital of Japan from 710 to 784. When the capital was moved from Nara to the new capital in 784, large part of the city was abandoned and the major buildings were dismantled and transferred to the new place. Gradually being used as rice paddies, the ancient Nara Palace lay quietly under the rice paddies for more than 1200 years. It was 1852 when a local official realized that the footpaths of the square rice paddies were traces of the 8th century grid system of the ancient capital. Years long later in 1963, the government realized at last the historic value of the site and bought the rice paddies from the farmers. Today almost all the site is owned by the national government and is preserved as a Special National Historic Site. It was designated as World Heritage Site in 1998.
Three major structures of the former palace complex were restored according to the information gathered from excavation research so that they would look as close as possible to the originals. The construction was based on old methods, composed of several different pieces of timber without the use of nails or metal. However because of earthquake resistance according to the new building standard codes, some metal bolts and cramps wee used and concrete for the base. As an additional reinforcement, the foundation platform has a base-isolated structure, which is a contemporary technique used as an earthquake-proof measure. Daigokuden, Audience Hall, was reconstructed on the occasion of the 1300th anniversary of Nara Capital and opened to the public in April, 2010.
Major temples like Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji on the hills in the outskirts of the palace site lasted long and Nara has survived as a religious and resort site.
By the way, this is one of the most glorious skies right after the sunset in October so far. I took this photo from the western tip of the hill where my residential area is located. The sun set behind the Ikoma Mountains, border of Nara and Osaka.