Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties

Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties was established in 1952 as a national institution committed to the comprehensive research of our cultural heritage. It seeks to uncover the history behind the formation of Japan’s ancient state and its cultural properties, principally through the excavation and study of the Heijo, Asuka and Fujiwara palace sites, for example.

A Message from the Director General

The Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties conducts research across a broad range of fields. A few examples include archaeology, ancient history, historical materials, architectural and garden history, historical site maintenance, cultural landscapes, conservation science, environmental archaeology, dendrochronology, non-invasive site investigation, photo documentation, site and artifact measurements, and cultural heritage informatics.
Researchers at the Institute have studied Nara’s historic imperial palace sites for decades, generating insights and techniques that now contribute to the research, conservation, maintenance, and utilization of sites across Japan. The Institute also actively participates in joint international projects and technology-transfer initiatives to help conserve historical sites around the world. In Nara, our researchers are working to enrich existing interpretations and increase public engagement with the Nara Palace Site and the Asuka-Fujiwara Palace Site.
Our researchers have made critical contributions to cultural heritage research both at home and abroad. Much work remains to be done, but securing funding for our activities has grown increasingly challenging in recent years. We established this site in August, 2020, to ask for donations from like-minded partners who share our goals. We hope you will consider making a donation today and help us continue our important mission to research and conserve cultural heritage.

Motonaka Makoto, Director General
Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties