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Kennin-ji Temple was founded in 1202 by the priest Eisai as the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto. This temple is famous for a painting The Wind and Thunder Gods by Tawaraya Sotatsu. This painting was drawn in the first half of the 17th century. The original version is now exhibited in Kyoto National Museum, and this is the digital copied version that was made by Canon Project Team. Also, this temple is famous for the painting Twin Dragons. This was drawn in order to celebrate the 800-year anniversary of this temple’s establishment in 2002. Surprisingly, it took the artist only less than two years to complete the painting. Site



Chio-in Temple was built in 1175 as a head temple of the Pure Land sect of Buddhism. Some part of Chio-in Temple, San-mon gate and Mieido and so on, was built in 17 century in Edo Era. From Tokugawa family to the common, various class and large number of people worshiped this temple. This temple is famous partly because Einstein visited this temple and practice some practice by using Great Bell Tower in this temple in order to prove that you cannot hear the sounds of the bell when you are standing right under the bell. Site



In 1150, Saicho, the founder of Tendai-shu sect of Buddhism, built Shoren-in as a dormitory for his priests. Shoren-in is different from other temples in a point that people from imperial family or from regency family take over the position of chief priest. This type of temples are called Monzeki temple. One of the temple treasures, a replica of Blue Cetaka, a blue guardian deity of Shoren-in Monzeki Temple, is registered as a National Treasure. This temple is specially open at night in spring and autumn and illuminated in blue for the Blue Cetaka. Site


Kodai-ji Temple was built in 1606 by Lady Kitano-Mandokoro Nene, who was one of the wives of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the strongest general at that time. They couldn’t have their child, but Nene loved Hideyoshi very much. After his death, she built this temple to mourn for him. This is why you can see her love for him everywhere in this temple. For example, Kan-getsu-dai (important cultural property) was made to look up the moon. It is said that Nene looked up the moon from here as she remembered Hideyoshi. This is just one of expression of love. Kodai-ji Temple is full of romantic love from Nene to Hideyoshi. At night …



Gion district near Yasaka-Jinja Shrine has many traditional banquet houses called Ochaya enjoying with Maiko and Geiko (Geisha is called “Geiko” in Kyoto). They still have traditional membership system, so no one can visit without referral of existing customer. This area is called Hanamachi (meaning of flower town), because you find it to be a place of colorful fantasy. Maiko and Geiko wearing beautiful traditional Kimono live near here. They perform Japanese traditional dance and music during dinner time in Ochaya. So you have more chance to see Maiko and Geiko if you walk around this area at night.


The origin of Kiyomizu-dera Temple dates back to more than 1,200 years ago. In 8th century, Monseigneur Enchin built Kiyomizu-dera Temple following his dream. 2 years later, a famous Samurai Sakanoue Tamuramaro came here to hunt deer, which was said to be good for easy birth for his wife. However, Enchin told him to stop useless killing and he was so impressed by Enchin‘s words and he decided to construct the temple with his wife. One of the main attractions of this temple is the stage. This stage was originally for Japanese traditional music performances but it is also known for famous phrase. “Jumping off the stage of Kiyomizu” which …



Just downhill from and slightly to the north of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, you will find out Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka area. A lot of old wooden houses are lined along the street in this area. These are traditional or modern shops and restaurants. For example, traditional Japanese spice (called Shichimi) shop, tofu restaurant, very interesting soap like jelly fish, Green tea ice cream, Samurai T-shirts, etc. If you want to get nice Kyoto souvenirs, it is highly recommended to see around this street. In this street, you will meet many staffs standing and holding tasting food in front of each shops. They are saying “Do you want to try our snacks ?” …

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