Nara City: The Cradle of Japan’s Civilisation
Nara city is an ancient Japanese city that first came into contact with civilisation as far back as the 8th century, making it one of Asia’s first cities to achieve this feat.
The city, located in the Kansai region of Japan is home to some of Asia and Japan’s most historic, famous and ancient monuments including the ruins of ancient Japanese temples, statues and shrines.
During the peak of the city, it served as the official capital of Japan and home to the emperor of the kingdom until it was moved to Kyoto after the decline of the city.
The city managed to rise again in the late 1800s, and 1898 was officially declared a Japanese city. It must be noted that even though the city served as the capital of Japan between 710 and 790, it was not recognised as an official city of the Japanese kingdom.
In terms of commerce, the city became an important trading centre in the early 1900s after being made an official city of Japan. For decades, it was the singular most important trading city in Japan with traders coming from parts of the country to conduct trading activities in the city.
However, since the turn of the 20th century, tourism has taken over as the most important sector in Nara and today, the city is more famous for its tourism sector rather than commerce.
An uncountable number of ancient temples, shrines and building can be found throughout the city, most famous among them being the Todai-Ji temple, Daibutsu (The iconic bronze statue of Buddha) and the Kasuga Taisha shrine which was built in the 700 A.Ds.
These historical artefacts and monuments in the city have strategically placed Nara as a great tourist destination where history fanatics can visit and tour some of these ancient monuments and learn about the history of Japan.
Aside from these historical monuments, the city has been able to establish a couple of modern tourist attractions such as the Nara National Museum where delicate ancient artefacts are kept in galleries for public displays.
The city even though boasts of a meagre population of just over 300,000 as of 2015 is well equipped to receive a considerable number of tourists.
To the outside world, Nara may be a fantastic tourist destination they hope to visit, but to the people of Japan, Nara remains the symbol of their history, their culture, a place that reminds them of how far they have come and where it all started.