Heijō-kyō (平城京, also Heizei-kyō, sometimes Nara no miyako), was the Capital of Japan during most of the Nara period, from 710–40 and again from 745–84. The imperial palace is a listed UNESCO World Heritage together with other places in the city of Nara (cf. Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara).

Heijō-kyō ruins
1/1000 scale model of Heijō-kyō, held by Nara City Hall
Groundplan of Heijō-kyō
Closer map of the major sites of Heijō-kyō
Satellite view of Heijō-kyō site (平城宮趾)
Miniature model of the Heijō Palace
The Daigokuden, the main building to Heijo Palace
The Suzakumon, the main entrance to Heijo Palace

Empress Genmei ordered the Imperial capital moved from Fujiwara-kyō to Heijō-kyō in 708, and the move to Heijō-kyō was complete in 710. Heijō-kyō was modeled after Chang'an, the capital of Tang-dynasty China, although Heijō-kyō lacked walls. In the city, merchants and traders from China, Korea and India introduced various foreign cultures to Heijō-kyō through the Silk Road. As a result, Heijō-kyō flourished as Japan's first international and political capital, with a peak population of approximately 100,000. The overall form of the city was an irregular rectangle, and the area of city is more than 25 km2.


In the area of Heijō-kyō, there are ancient Buddhist temples, and some temples are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage together with Heijō Palace.

1300th anniversaryEdit

The year 2010 marked the passage of 1300 years since the establishment of Nara Heijō-kyō. Commemorative events of the 1300th anniversary of Nara Heijō-kyō Capital (Japanese:平城遷都1300年祭) were held in and around Nara Prefecture from April 24 to November 7, 2010. These events included special displays of national treasures and other cultural properties, walking events that explore famous places in Nara, and traditional events in various places throughout Nara.

   A:Entrance Plaza
     ●Heijō Palace Site Tour Center
     ●Corporate Participation Hall
   B:Heijō History Museum/Full-Scale Replica of Japanese Diplomatic Ship for Envoys to Tang China
   C:Suzaku Gate Plaza
     ●Suzaku Gate
   D:Exchange Plaza
     ●Mahoroba Stage
     ●Exchange Hall
   E:Heijō Palace Site Museum
   F:Front Courtyard of the Former Imperial Audience Hall
   G:South Gate Plaza
     ●Tenpyo period costume rental area
   H:Heijō-kyō Hands-on Learning Plaza
     ●Heijō-kyō Hands-on Learning Center
     ●Ministry of the Imperial Household
   I:Excavation Site Exhibition Hall
   J:Eastern Palace Garden Plaza
     ●Eastern Palace Garden

  • Other Events Site

   Ikaruga and Shigisan Areas (cf. Ikaruga, 斑鳩・信貴山)
   Asuka and Fujiwara Areas (cf. Asuka, 飛鳥・藤原)
   Katsuragi Area (葛城)
   Yoshino Area (cf. Mount Yoshino, 吉野)
   Yamato Kogen Plains and Uda Area (大和高原・宇陀)

See alsoEdit


  • Martin, John H.; Phyllis G. Martin (1993). Nara: A Cultural Guide to Japan's Ancient Capital. Tuttle Publishing. pp. 11–14. ISBN 0-8048-1914-9.
  • Yoko Hsueh Shirai. Envisioning Heijokyo: 100 Questions & Answers about the Ancient Capital in Nara. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2011. ISBN 978-1463768225

External linksEdit

  Media related to Heijō-kyō at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Capital of Japan
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Shigaraki Palace
Capital of Japan
Succeeded by

Coordinates: 34°41′28″N 135°47′41″E / 34.69111°N 135.79472°E / 34.69111; 135.79472