A reconstruction of the gate. Reminds me of Spirited Away.
The elegance of the imperial palace is somewhat diminished of late...
I had forgotten that Nara had the emperor’s palace, so when I got the tourist map and noticed it, I went to a fair amount of effort to get there. This involved asking people how to get there, and I was surprised that they were a little confused at my question. It became rather more clear when I finally arrived: it’s a big field. It is the former site of the emperor’s palace; the palace no longer exists. They have done archaeological digs in the area, and have put concrete foundations where the buildings and pillars would have been, but the rest is a big field. With a train running through it. As far as fields go, however, it’s quite restful. Rarely does one see any sort of open space in Japan. Since the field is surrounded by rice paddies, it is actually pretty quiet; you can’t even hear the train.

I was somewhat annoyed that this field had caused me to spend so much time that I did not make it to the two temples in western Nara before they closed. However, in retrospect, the field stands out in my memory as a restful time. It is quiet, peaceful, and pretty, with uniform green-yellow grasses blowing silently and the frequent trains passing noiselessly in the distance. Perhaps it was a good change of pace, or perhaps it was just nice to see..., well, nothing. A mile long field is a rare commodity in Japan.