Reduced-scale reconstruction of the Saikuryo
The Saiku in the Heian period (late 8th to 12th centuries) had roads laid out on a grid plan, which divided the Saiku into blocks containing the palace and office buildings.
Two adjoining blocks running east-west in the center of the Saiku were called the Naiin, which was the location of the Saio’s residential palace.
The building where the Saio normally resided was surrounded by double fences. Thin pieces of hinoki cypress bark layered on top of each other were used for the roofing material of this and other important buildings. It is believed that in addition to the Naiin, the Saiku had blocks hosting the various departments of the Saikuryo. The northern blocks of the Saiku had storehouses.
This model is based on archaeological evidence as well as inferences drawn from them, because many parts of the site still remain unexcavated. Excavation of the Saiku site is ongoing, and has brought to light information not available when this model was created. For example, buildings that are today reconstructed to their actual size at the Saiku Heian Era Park are only partially shown in this model. It is expected that future excavations will provide a fuller picture of the Saiku.
Underneath this model is an aerial photograph of the Saiku site today. The yellow lines correspond to the roads in the model. The orange lines denote the area designated by the national government as a historic site. This museum is located within it.
The Saiku site today is part of a residential area where many people live. Although it is difficult to imagine it, still lying underneath the houses and railroad tracks are the remains of the Saiku, an ancient palace and office complex.