This is a hidden tourist attraction in Nara! My impression when I came here first time was " Oh, This is the loveliest scenery in the most boring place". Here is the rooftop of Nara Prefecture Office Building, the six storied modern building.
Here you enjoy is the 360 degree panoramic view of Nara City.
Whenever I stand here, I realize Nara is a basin surrounded with the lush mountains. Time seems to flow slowly and differently. In the olden days, Nara was called "Yamato".
I remember one tragic hero in a legend, Prince Yamato Takeru, 日本武尊 who lived around the 1st century.
His Last poem.
大和は 国のまほろば たたなづく 青垣 山ごもれる 大和しうるわし
There is no place better than Yamato.
Surrounded by the mountains,
Ranging like verdurous hedges,
How beautiful Yamato is!
By Yamato Takeru
(Yamato is the ancient name of Nara and also Japan.)
While trying to stop his twin elder brother rising in rebellion, Takeru kills accidentally his brother. Their father, Emperor, gets angry with Takeru and orders him to conquer the enemies in a remote area. As soon as he completes his mission, his father dispatches Takeru to other enemy lands. The father never forgives Takeru or welcomes him in his hometown, Yamato. Takeru loves his father, but the father seems to want Takeru to die. When he fights against the deity of Mt. Ibuki following the order of his father, Takeru seriously gets injured and ill. On the way back to Yamato, he becomes unable to move anymore and dies dreaming of Yamato. The above poem is mentioned by dying Takeru. This story has a consolation. His soul transforms into a big white bird and flies away to Yamato. He can go back to a beautiful Yamato at last!
Did he dream of these mountains?
His sad story has been written by many writers. The Japanese sympathize with and love tragic heroes. Next month, July in Tokyo "Yamato Takeru" written by Umehara Takeshi will be performed in Super Kabuki. Since the premiere in 1986, this play has been performed more than 800 times. Super Kabuki is different from traditional classic Kabuki 歌舞伎 which has a lot of customs or rules, and whose language is rather difficult. Ichikawa Ennosuke the third created Super Kabuki, スーパー歌舞伎 transcending the customs and rules, still being based on the essence of classic Kabuki. He put more entertainment-type elements, such as acrobatic actions or extravaganza stage settings, on Super Kabuki, and made language easier. Super Kabuki focuses on 3Ss, "Story, Speed and Spectacle" while keeping attractiveness which the classic Kabuki has.
New Ichikawa Ennosuke, who is The Forth, plays "Yamato Taketru".
Here Takeru's soul transforms into a big white bird and flies away to his hometown, Yamato.
This tragedy has touched people's heartstrings for a long time. The story about a deep conflict between a parent and a child, has eternal appeals in spite of nationality, culture, time and more.
Now let's enjoy a lovely scenery of Nara City from the rooftop.
The five storied pagoda of Kofuku-ji temple and a dramatic sky in the south ..
In the east, you see the Great Buddha Hall of Todai-ji temple.
The clouds are casting shadows and slowly passing over the mountains.
People in the 8th century, when Nara was the capital of Japan,
watched the same scenery.
watched the same scenery.
Anybody can use a restaurant.
Again go back to the rooftop where the sun is setting in on Mt.Ikoma separating Nara and Osaka.