History

1.Summary

Nara Park has a long history, beginning with the founding of temples and shrines when Japan’s capital was transferred to the Heijo Palace area. Since ancient times, the park has attracted visitors for pilgrimage and sightseeing.

Period Japanese Calendar Year Year (AD) Event
Asuka Wado 1 708 An imperial edict to transfer the capital to the Heijo Palace area was issued.
Nara Wado 3 710 The capital was transferred to the Heijo Palace area, major temples including Kohfukuji were relocated to Nara.
Tenpyo-shoho 4 752 Ceremony to consecrate the Great Buddha.(Source: The Digest Record of Todaiji Temple)
Jingo-keiun 2 768 Kasugataisha Shrine was founded.(Source: Shrine records)
Enryaku 3 784 The capital was transferred to Nagaoka in Yamashiro Province.
Heian Jowa 8 841 Mt. Kasuga was worshiped as a holy mountain, hunting and tree felling were prohibited.(Source: Sandaikyaku Statute Book)
Jogan 1 859 Fujiwara no Yoshifusa expanded the precincts and buildings of Kasugataisha to hold religious services.
Hoen 2 1136 First Wakamiya On-Matsuri Festival(Source: Short Chronicle of Shrine)
Jisho4 1180 The Taira clan set fire to Nanto (Nara).(Source: Gyokuyo Diary)
Kamakura Kenkyu 6 1195 Inauguration ceremony of the rebuilt Great Buddha Hall, attended by Emperor Gotoba and Shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo.(Source: Azuma Kagami)
Shoji 1 1199 Sangatsudo Hall and Nandaimon Gate built at Todaiji Temple.(Digest Record of Todaiji Temple)
Nanbokucho Kowa 2 1382 Kasugataisha was destroyed by fire. Restoration was lead by Yoshimitsu Ashikaga.(Source: Record in the Second Year of Eitoku)
Muromachi Oei 6 1399 Memorial service for the Kondo Hall of Kohfukuji Temple, attended by Yoshimitsu Ashikaga.(Source: Record for Kohfukuji Temple Ceremony)
Eiroku 10 1567 Hisahide Matsunaga sets fire to the Great Buddha Hall.(Source: Tamonin Nikki Diary)
Edo Kanei11 1634 Edo Shogunate exempted farmers in Naramachi from land rent. (Source: Tokugawa Jikki)
Kaei 3 1850 Nara Magistrate Kawaji Toshiakira established the Shokuofunohi Monument.(Source: inscription)
Meiji Meiji 1 1868 Establishment of Nara Prefecture, formerly the Chinbushi Government-General of Yamato.

2.Post-Meiji Era summary

In the Meiji Era, the concept of public parks was introduced as one of Japan’s policies, of modernization and Nara Park was established. After its expansion and maintenance, Nara Park is regarded as one of the finest parks in Japan.

Japanese Calendar Year Year AD Event
Meiji 13 1880
  • Nara Park was opened on February 14, 1880, in accordance with the Grand Council of state proclamation.
Meiji 22 1889
  • The Japanese government gives notice of the opening of the New Nara Park Area (Nara Prefectural Park, Nara Park) including Kasugano Field and Asajigahara Field; temples and shrines including Todaiji Temple and Himurojinja Shrine; and mountains including Mt. Wakakusa and Mt. Kasuga.
Meiji 25 1892
  • Hundreds of cherry and maple trees are planted in the ancient precincts of Kohfukuji Temple and Todaiji Temple.
Meiji 28 1895
  • Japanese ciders and pine trees are planted in a vast area covering Mt. Hanayama, Mt. Hozan and Mt. Kasuga.
  • The Imperial Museum of Nara closed.
Meiji 30 1897
  • Maple, cherry, willow, Japanese ciders, crape myrtle and pine trees are planted in the park’s flat areas and Mt. Hozan.
Meiji 33 1900
  • Mt. Kasuga Touring Road opened.
Meiji 35 1902
  • Nara Prefecture Products Display Center opened.
Meiji 36 1903
  • Nara Prefectural Public Hall (Building No. 1) was built.
Meiji 41 1908
  • Horai Pond (Sagiike Pond) was constructed in Nara Park.
Meiji 43 1910
  • Kasugano Ground was constructed.
Taisho 11 1922
  • Nara Park was designated as a National Site of Scenic Beauty.
Taisho 12 1923
  • Nagi conifer forest in Kasugataisha Shrine, and the double cherry blossom trees of Chisokuin Temple are designated as Natural Treasures.
Taisho 13 1924
  • Kasugayama Primeval Forest designated as a Natural Treasure.(昭和31年 特別天然記念物に指定される)
Showa 3 1928
  • Mt. Kasuga Motor Touring Way opened.
Showa 7 1932
  • The habitat of the Tailless Bushblue butterfly was designated as a Natural Treasure.
  • The ancient precincts of Todaiji Temple designated as a Historical Site.
Showa 12 1937
  • Area encompassing Nara Park was designated as a Scenic Zone.
Showa 14 1939
  • Driveway at the base of Mt. Wakakusa was opened.
Showa 15 1940
  • The precincts of Kohfukuji Temple and Todaiji Temple were excluded from the Nara Park area.
Showa 22 1947
  • The precincts of Todaiji Temple, Kohfukuji Temple and Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine were removed from the register of Nara Park.
Showa 29 1954
  • ‘The Ordinance of Nara Prefectural Park’ and ‘Regulations for the Enforcement of the Ordinance of Nara Prefectural Park’ were implemented.
Showa 32 1957
  • Deer in Nara were designated as a Natural Treasure.
Showa 35 1960
  • As defined by the City Parks Act, the name, location and zone of Nara Park were established.
Showa 40 1965
  • Mt. Kasuga historical climate preservation area, covering the whole area of Nara Park, was officially specified.
Showa 42 1967
  • Mt. Kasuga special historical climate preservation area, covering Kasugataisha Shrine, Todaiji Temple, Kohfukuji Temple and the whole area of Nara Park, was officially specified.
  • The ancient precincts of Kohfukuji Temple were designated as a Historical Site.
Showa 55 1980
  • Exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of Nara Park was held at the Nara Prefecture Culture Hall.
Showa 62 1987
  • Nara Prefectural New Public Hall was opened.
Showa 63 1988
  • Nara Silk Road Exposition was held at Nara Park and Heijo Palace.
Heisei 10 1998
  • The whole area of Nara Park, including Todaiji Temple, Kohfukuji Temple, Kasugataisha Shrine and Mt. Kasuga Primeval Forest, was designated as UNESCO World Heritage “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”.
Heisei 27 2015
  • The name of Nara Prefectural New Public Hall was changed to Nara Kasugano International Forum IRAKA. The hall was renovated, integrated with Nara Park Silk Road Exchange Hall, and reopened.