The lush greenery of summer has given way to the tints of autumn, forming a perfect contrast with the clear azure sky. The preeminent cultural zone of Kyoto, Okazaki is also famous as a tourist spot. Okazaki has many modern academic and art-related facilities, like the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, the Kyoto Prefectural Library, and the Kyoto City Zoo, as well as many historic sites, such as the Lake Biwa Canal (completed in 1890), a project that ushered in the modern age in Kyoto. However, the symbol of the district is the elegant Heian Jingu Shrine.
Along with the start of the new system of government in Japan in the first year of the Meiji Period in 1868, the capital was transferred to Tokyo and Kyoto fell into a period of serious decline. However, the citizens of Kyoto were instrumental in bringing about a restoration through the staging of the 4th Domestic Industrial Promotion Exposition (an exhibition designed to promote the expansion of industry), which was held in 1895. In the same year, Heian Jingu Shrine was constructed as part of a commemorative project to celebrate the 1,100th anniversary of the transfer of the capital to Heian-kyo, (now Kyoto). The funds for these events were raised by the citizens of Kyoto, rather than the central government, and included contributions from people all across the country who responded to calls for support.
Heian Jingu Shrine is dedicated to the Emperor Kammu, who promoted the transfer of the capital to Kyoto, and the Emperor Komei, the last Emperor of the Heian Capital in Kyoto, enshrined as deities together at the shrine. The Chodoin Hall at the shrine was constructed as a 5/8-scale replica of the Daidairi Hall at the Heian Capital in Kyoto (where important government functions were conducted).
The shrine was constructed as a monument to the period of more than 1,000 years during which Kyoto prospered as the nation's capital, and as a symbol of the spirit behind the restoration of Kyoto. This dignified structure can also be seen as a symbol of modern Kyoto and modern Japanese culture.