Japan: Kyoto | Simply Me / Karen Jardeleza

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Japan: Kyoto

Kyoto is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan.

Roughly 30 minutes (43 km) from Osaka is the ancient city of Kyoto. Kyoto was Japan's capital after the Nara Period, and was the emperor's residence from 794 A.D. until late in the 19th century. Because of its rich cultural heritage, Kyoto was not targeted in the air raids of World War II, and as a result, it is still home to numerous priceless structures, temples, and shrines. At the same time, Kyoto is a bustling modern city. Come experience the place where tradition is the modern way of life.
with girls wearing traditional Japanese Kimono

Kiyomizu-dera officially Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera  is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site.
one of Japan's most popular temples, Kiyomizudera
 was founded in 780 AD and still functions as a temple
associated with the Hosso sect of Japanese Buddhism
The temple complex includes several other shrines, among them the Jishu Shrine, dedicated to Ōkuninushi, a god of love and "good matches".  Jishu Shrine possesses a pair of "love stones" placed 6 meters/20 feet apart, which lonely visitors can try to walk between with their eyes closed. Success in reaching the other stone with their eyes closed implies that the pilgrim will find love, or true love. One can be assisted in the crossing, but this is taken to mean that a go-between will be needed. The person's romantic interest can assist them as well.
1- Kiyomizudera 3-storey pagoda
2 and 3 - Two of the love stone
5 - The Shinto deity Okuninshi no Mikoto and his meddenger rabbit at the Jishu-jinja Shrine beside Kiyomizudera can help in matters of the heart.
8 and 11 - Otowa-no-taki, the waterfall where visitors drink for health, longevity, and success in studies
12 - Torii of Jishu-jinja, a matchmaking shrine

The complex also offers various talismans, incense, and omikuji (paper fortunes). The site is particularly popular during festivals (especially at New Year's and during obon in the summer) when additional booths fill the grounds selling traditional holiday foodstuffs and souvenirs to throngs of visitors.

In 2007, Kiyomizu-dera was one of 21 finalists for the New Seven Wonders of the World. However, it was not picked as one of the seven winning sites.
1 and 2 - Selling good luck charms
3 and 4 - Statuettes of Ksitigarbha (or Jizou) en masse

The Heian Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Kyoto, Japan. The torii before the main gate is one of the largest in Japan, and the main building, or shaden, is designed to imitate the Kyoto Imperial Palace on a three-fourth scale.

The shrine was damaged by fire in January 1976, but its repair was completed quickly.

Heian Jingu's Torii

1 & 2 - Outer Sanctuary of the Shrine is gained through the vermillion-painted Ote-mon gate

4 & 5 - East Hall rises the colorful pagodas of the Byakko-ro or White Tiger Towers
6 & 7 - "Saki" - Rice Wine
9 to 11 - Daigoku-den-den are a series of wish trees (Omikuji); people tie their wishes (good and bad) to the tree after praying in the main sanctuary.

Previous.... Japan: Nara
Next..... Japan: Hamamatsu

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