Top 10:A tourist spot where you can feel the romance of the Meiji era Part.5

⑥Meiji Era Nara

In Nara, a city rich in history and culture, the Meiji era marks a period of modernization that subtly blends with its ancient heritage. Although Nara is best known for its classical Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines from earlier periods, several sites allow visitors to experience the influence of the Meiji era:

Nara Hotel: Built in 1909 at the end of the Meiji era, the Nara Hotel represents a fusion of Western and Japanese architectural styles. It was built to accommodate Western visitors and dignitaries, reflecting the era’s push toward modernization and international openness. The hotel’s classic design and historic ambiance offer a glimpse into the elegance of the Meiji period and its efforts to balance Western influences with traditional Japanese aesthetics.

The Former Nara Prison: Completed in 1908, this is another important Meiji structure in Nara. It demonstrates the Meiji government’s focus on modernizing the penal system. The architecture incorporates Western designs that were considered innovative at the time. Although not a typical tourist site, it is historically significant as a symbol of the government reforms of the period.

Naramachi: While this commercial district dates to the Edo period, it underwent significant changes during the Meiji era as Nara developed. The area retains several traditional machiya (merchant houses) that subtly reflect the transition during the Meiji period as Nara adapted to modern trades and crafts influenced by Western technologies and practices.

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