Sunday, 21 July 2013

Night Walk in Nara City

EMU Kintetsu 1252 series passes through the site of Heijo-kyo Ruins in the late afternoon
After a visit to the Former Imperial Audience Hall, we continued strolling around the ruins of Heijo-kyo. When we came to an old gate, we heard the sound of a train. I was surprised that a Kintetsu train, the EMU 1252 series, was passing through the site of ruins (see the top photo)... why?

The reason is as follows. Heijo-kyo has been farmland for a long time since the capital was moved to Nagaoka-kyo in Kyoto in 784. It means that Heijo-kyo had been a long-forgotten capital. The railway company didn't realise it was the old capital, and constructed the track in 1914. Currently, a new underground track is planned, but it hasn't been achieved yet.

When we returned to Nara City, the day had completely set in, but we continued walking in the downtown area. Our destination was Nara Park, which is an extensive park including forests, ponds, shrines and temples. It is also famous for many deer roaming about... sorry, sleeping at night. We came to Ukimido, an old hall constructed in Sagi-ike Pond. It is an octagonal wooden building with a cypress bark roof. Lit up, it was fantastic (see the following photo). Nara is beautiful all day and night.

For your information, the EMU Kintetsu 1252 series (the top photo) is part of the 1230 series group, which was launched in 1987 as a standard commuter train for Nara, Kyoto, Osaka and Nagoya lines. A VVVF inverter control system with induction motors is adopted.
Night view of Ukimido in Nara Park near Kintetsu-Nara Station