Hachijogaike Pond, Nagaokakyo
The city of Nagaokakyo lies in the southwest of Kyoto. This area (northern part of the current city and the adjacent Muko City) became the capital of Japan in 784 by the order of the then emperor Kammu. Emperor Kammu moved the capital from Heijo (present-day Nara) to this location reportedly for better water transportation and also for getting out from under the power of the Buddhist clergy in Heijo. Recent excavations discovered that the city was well-designed with a sewage system, but ill-fated events such as flooding and epidemics continued over the decade. Such evil events were believed to be caused by the spirit of the late Prince Sawara, who was punished and eventually died under Emperor Kammu. The emperor, in fear of the evil spirit, moved the capital again in 794 to present-day Kyoto.
This reservoir, which stretches in front of the Nagaoka Tenmangu Shrine, the city's current landmark, was built much later in 1638 and is famous for its flaming azalea blossoms of early May.