Nara is the capital city of Nara prefecture located in Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara prefecture bordering Kyoto Prefecture. The city is also noted for it’s natural beauty and has the largest number of buildings designated as national treasure in Japan. In the modern age as the seat of prefectual government, Nara has developed into a local center of commerce and government. The city was officially incorporated on February 1st 1898.


Nara was the first capital establishes in the year 710. The city was modeled after the Chinese T’ang dynasty capital Ch’ang-an. The Buddhist monasteries were built in the new capital, signification and Buddhism were most highly developed. Chinese language and literature were studied intensively. The Chinese characters were adapted to the Japanese language. Eventually the chinese influence gradually started to decline many of the important ideas were changed in order to meet particular Japanese needs, several governmental offices were established in addition to the government offices were established in addition to the government system which was copied after Chinese model.

The Fujiwara family controlled the political scene of the Heian period over several centuries through strategic intermarriages with the imperial family and by occupying all the important political offices in Kyoto and the major provinces. The power of the clan reached its peak with Fujiwara Michinaga in the year 1016. After Michinaga, however, the ability of the Fujiwara leaders began to decline, and public order could not be maintained.

The Fujiwara supremacy came to an end in 1068 when the new emperor Go-Sanjo was determined to rule the country by himself, and the Fujiwara failed to control him. In the year 1086 Go-Sanjo abdicated but continued to rule from behind the political stage.In the 12th century, two military families with aristocratic backgrounds gained much power: the Minamoto (or Genji) and Taira (or Heike) families. The Taira replaced many Fujiwara nobles in important offices while the Minamoto gained military experience by bringing parts of Northern Honshu under Japanese control.

After the Heiji Rising (1159), a struggle for power between the two families, Taira Kiyomori evolved as the leader of Japan and ruled the country from 1168 to 1178 through the emperor.After Kiyomori’s death, the Taira and Minamoto clans fought a deciding war for supremacy, the Gempei War, which lasted from 1180 to 1185. By the end of the war, the Minamoto were able to put an end to Taira supremacy, and Minamoto Yoritomo succeeded as the leader of Japan, he was appointed Shogun (highest military officer) and established a new government in his home city Kamakura.


Places Not To Miss:

  • Todai-Ji -Temple:

  • Sika Deer In Nara Park:

  • Kofuku-Ji Temple:

  • Kasuya Taisha Grand Shrine:

  • Higashimuki Shotengai:

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