Heiankyo (Kyoto), located in the centre of Honshu island, was the capital of Japan for over a thousand years and gave its name to one of the golden ages of Japanese history, the Heian Period (794-1185 CE). Built according to Chinese design by Emperor Kammu, the city had a huge palace complex, wide avenues, pleasure parks, and many Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples of national importance. Tokyo became the new capital in 1868 CE, but in many ways, Kyoto remains Japan's cultural capital, boasting, for example, 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites in or around its precincts.

More about: Heiankyo


  • 778
    The Buddhist Kiyomizu-dera temple is built at Heiankyo (Kyoto).
  • 785
    Saicho establishes the first Buddhist shrine at what would become the Enryakuji temple complex on Mt. Hiei, Japan.
  • 794
    Emperor Kammu moves the Japanese capital to Heiankyo (Kyoto).
  • 794 - 1185
    The Heian Period in ancient Japan.
  • 794
    Emperor Kammu builds the Shinto Herano shrine at Heiankyo (Kyoto).
  • 826
    A five-storey pagoda is added to the To-ji temple complex in Heiankyo (Kyoto).
  • 854
    Ennin becomes the abbot of Enryakuji, Heiankyo (Kyoto), Japan.
  • 859
    The Iwashimizu shrine is built and dedicated to the Shinto god Hachiman in Heiankyo (Kyoto).
  • 874
    The Buddhist Daigoji temple is founded by Shobo at Heiankyo (Kyoto).
  • 888
    Completion of the Buddhist Ninna-ji temple in Heiankyo (Kyoto).
  • c. 951
    The five-storey pagoda is built at Daigoji, Heiankyo (Kyoto).
  • 1115
    The Buddhist Daigoji temple complex at Heiankyo (Kyoto) is significantly expanded.
  • 1164
    The Buddhist Sanjusangendo temple is founded at Heiankyo (Kyoto), Japan.
  • 1183
    Kiso Yoshinaka defeats a large Taira army at Kurikara in Etchu and occupies the Japanese capital Heiankyo (Kyoto).
  • 1249
    The Buddhist Sanjusangendo temple in Heiankyo (Kyoto), Japan is destroyed by fire.
  • 1254
    The large gilded wood statue of Kannon is sculpted at Sanjusangendo, Heiankyo (Kyoto), Japan.
  • 1266
    The Buddhist Sanjusangendo temple in Heiankyo (Kyoto), Japan is rebuilt.
  • 1397
    The Kinkakuji or 'Golden Pavilion' is built in Heiankyo (Kyoto) by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.
  • 1460 - 1483
    Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion) is built in Heiankyo (Kytoto) Japan by Ashikaga Yoshimasa.
  • 1473
    Ryoanji in Heiankyo (Kyoto) becomes a Zen Buddhism temple.
  • c. 1500
    The famous Zen rock garden at Ryoanji temple in Heiankyo (Kyoto) is laid out.
  • 1591
    Toyotomi Hideyoshi builds the massive Odoi ("Great rampart") fortification wall around Heiankyo (Kyoto).
  • 1594
    Toyotomi Hideyoshi builds the Fushimi Castle outside Heiankyo (Kyoto).