capital city of Japan during the Nara period, 710–740 and 745–784

Heijō-kyō (Japanese: 平城京, also known as Heizei-kyō) was twice the ancient Imperial capital of Japan from 710 to 784. It was where Nara is today.[1]

Grid plan of Heijō Kyō



In 710, Empress Gemmei moved the Imperial capital from Fujiwara-kyō which is about 18 km south.[1]


  • 707 (Keiun 4): Emperor Mommu orders construction of a new capital city, but the work is not complete before his death.[2]
  • 710 (Wadō 3, 3rd month): Empress Gemmei moves from Fujiwara-kyō to Heijō-kyō. The palace of the empress was named Nara-no-miya.[3]
  • 784 (Enryaku 3): Capital is moved briefly to Nagaoka
  • 794 (Enryaku 13): Capital was moved to Heian-kyō and the palace was named Heian no Miya.[4]
  • November 17, 794 (Enryaku 13, 21st day of the 10th month): The emperor traveled by carriage from Nara to Heian-kyō in a grand procession.[5] This marks the end of the Nara period and the beginning of the Heian period in Japanese history.



The Heijō Palace[6] and some of the Buddhist temples at Heijō-kyō are named together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site,[7] including



  1. 1.0 1.1 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2002). "Heijō-kyō" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 304-305.
  2. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, p. 64.
  3. Brown, Delmer. (1979). Gukanshō, p. 270.
  4. Brown, p. 277.
  5. Brown, p. 279.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Naracity Tourist Association, World Heritage Archived 2012-01-12 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2011-12-8.
  7. UNESCO, "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara"; retrieved 2012-4-19.

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