• 630

    The first Japanese envoy was dispatched to Tang Dynasty China.

  • 694

    The capital was relocated to Fujiwarakyo.

    Fujiwarakyo was located in an area surrounded by the Three Mountains of Yamato.


  • 697

    Emperor Monmu ascended the throne.

  • 701

    The Taiho Code was enacted.

  • 707

    Empress Genmei ascended the throne.

  • 708

    Wado Kaiho coins were issued.

    People could buy 1.8kg of rice with one Wado coin in around 710.


  • 710

    The capital was relocated to Heijokyo.

  • 712

    Oono Yasumaro finished writing the “Kojiki” (Japan’s oldest historical record).

  • 715

    Empress Gensho ascended the throne.

  • 720

    Nihon-shoki (the oldest chronicles of Japan) was completed.

  • 724

    Emperor Shomu ascended the throne.

  • 729

    Prince Nagaya was forced to commit suicide for suspicion of conspiring against the state. (Conspiracy of Prince Nagaya)

  • 730

    Empress Komyo established the Seyakuin(a free hospital for poor people)within the Kogogushiki (the imperial household agency).

  • 737

    A smallpox pandemic broke out, and many noblemen from key government posts died, including four brothers of the Fujiwara family.

  • 740

    After the rebellion of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu in Dazaifu, the capital was relocated to Kunikyo.

  • 741

    An imperial edict to establish a provincial temple monastery and nunnery in each province was issued.

  • 742

    Shigaraki Palace was built.

  • 744

    The capital was relocated to Naniwakyo.

  • 745

    Gyoki became Daisojo (a Buddhist priest of the highest order).The capital was once relocated to Shigaraki no miya Palace, but returned to Heijokyo.

    During this period, the capital was relocated from site to site.

  • 747

    The casting process of the Great Buddha began at Todaiji Temple.

  • 749

    Empress Kouken ascended the throne.

  • 752

    The ceremony to consecrate the Great Buddha in Todaiji Temple was held

    Vairocana Buddha in the Great Buddha Hall of Todaiji Temple
    Photograph by Takehiko Yano

  • 754

    Jianzhen came to Japan from Tang Dynasty China to transmit Buddhist religious precepts.

  • 758

    Emperor Junnin ascended the throne.

  • 759

    Jianzhen founded Toshodaiji Temple.

  • 764

    The rebellion of Fujiwara no Nakamaro occurred.
    Emperor Shotoku ascended the throne.

  • 770

    Emperor Konin ascended the throne.

  • 760 – 770

    During this period, the Man’yoshu (the oldest anthology of tanka)poetry, was completed.

    Nara Prefecture Complex of Man’yo Culture
    Nara Prefecture Complex of Man’yo Culture
    10 Asuka, Takaichi-gun Asuka-mura, Nara Prefecture 634-0103
    TEL : 0744-54-1850  FAX : 0744-54-1852
    Phone: 0744-54-1850 Fax: 0744-54-1852

  • 781

    Emperor Kammu ascended the throne.

  • 784

    The capital was relocated to Nagaokakyo.

  • 794

    The capital was relocated to Heiankyo.

  • 809

    Emperor Heizei abdicated the throne in favor of Emperor Saga and changed his residence to Heijo Palace.

  • 810

    Retired Emperor Heizei attempted to relocate the capital to Heijokyo, but failed. (Kusuko Incident)

  • 855

    Following an earthquake, the head of the Great Buddha in Todaiji Temple toppled to the ground,

  • 861

    Great Buddha in Todaiji Temple was restored.

  • 864

    During this period, roads in the old capital of Heijokyo were plowed and used as agricultural lands

  • 1017

    The five-storied pagoda in Kohfukuji Temple was struck by lightening, and Tokondo Hall was burnt down in the subsequent fire. (The pagoda has been burnt down and reconstructed several times.

  • 1180

    Taira no Shigehira and his army invaded Nara and set fire to temples including Todaiji Temple, Kohfukuji Temple and Gangoji Temple.

  • 1185

    Great Buddha in Todaiji Temple was restored.

  • 1194

    Kondo Hall in Kohfukuji Temple was restored.

  • 1195

    Great Buddha Hall in Todaiji Temple was restored.

  • 1333

    The Kamakura shogunate fell, and Emperor Godaigo started the restoration.

  • 1336

    Ashikaga Takauji assumed the reins of government, and Emperor Godaigo evacuated to Yoshino. (Beginning of the Nanbokucho Period)

  • 1392

    The Northern and Southern Courts (Nanbokucho) were integrated.

  • 1567

    Matsunaga Hisahide set fire to Great Buddha Hall in Todaiji Temple.

  • 1692

    Great Buddha in Todaiji Temple was restored.

  • 1692

    The Great Buddha Hall in Todaiji Temple was restored.

  • 1709

    Great Buddha Hall in Todaiji Temple was restored.

  • 1852

    Kitaura Sadamasa completed . (Heijokyu Daidairi Ato Tsubowari No Zu”)

  • 1868

    After the Meiji Restoration, an ordinance to distinguish Shinto and Buddhism was issued. As a result, many temples were destroyed, due the movement to abolish Buddhism (Haibutsu-kishaku).

  • 1871

    (The feudal domain) system was abolished, Nara Prefecture was established. and later integrated with Sakai prefecture.

  • 1880

    Nara Park opened.

    Nara Park

  • 1884

    Ernest Fenollosa and Okamura Tenshin researched the Statue of Kuze Kannon in Horyuji Temple’s Yumedono Hall.

  • 1887

    Nara Prefecture was reestablished.

  • 1917

    Nara’s local people including Tanada Kajuro and Mizobe Bunshiro established Nara Daigokuden Preservation Society.

  • 1922

    The former site of the main hall of the Chodoin government office in the Daigokuden Hall of Heijo Palace was designated as a Historic Site.

  • 1946

    The first Exhibition of Imperial Articles’ from the Shosoin Repository was held.

  • 1952

    Heijo Palace was designated as a Special Historic Site.

    Heijo Palace

  • 1961

    The first Mokkan(a narrow strip of wood on which an official message is written) was found in Heijo Palace.

  • 1988

    The Suzakumon Gate and East Palace Gardens are restored.
    “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara” that includesincluding Heijo Palace was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

  • 1998

    Suzakumon Gate and East Palace Garden were restored.

    Suzakumon Gate after restoration


    East Palace Garden after restoration


  • 2001

    The First Daigokuden restoration project began.

  • 2010

    First Daigokuden in Heijo Palace was restored.

    Main Hall of First Daigokuden after restoration