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Nara is situated in an area known as the Nara Basin. It became the capital of Japan in 710 AD.
The Imperial Palace contained 120 hectares, with the emperor’s residence, other palaces, governmental offices and major Buddhist temple.
Nara Period Japan flourished economically and culturally, providing a lavish life style for its aristocrats. When the capital was moved to Kyoto at the end of the period it was destroyed, which was common practice in Japan.
The site is now an archeological restoration site and the gardens are being reconstructed in the original form.
There were two gardens at this site. An early Nara period Chinese style garden and a second Japanese style garden built over the existing garden sometime in the middle of the Nara period, perhaps about 767 AD.
The garden features a seascape represented by ponds, pebble shoreline, and rock formations. The Hojo or Main Hall is an island, perhaps representing Japan connected by an arched bridge.