Old Kyoto (World)

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Highlights of an Imperial City"

Here again, the author including "Old Kyoto" is similar to her "London" or "Paris" entries. There is so much to see and do in Kyoto. A quote from the book, "To stroll through Kyoto is to walk through eleven centuries of Japan's history." Believe me, that is no small feat.

Kyoto is beautiful, and we spent one whole day making the rounds of some of the many temples. We had Japanese hosts that went with us, so that was very helpful. We walked a lot, but also used the bus system which was very easy and efficient with a 1-day bus pass.

Our first stop was Sanjusangendo Temple which was founded in 1164 A.D. I think the biggest draw to this temple is that it has 1000 statues (Kannons) surrounding the principal Image of Kannon Bodhisattva (a national treasure) all in one room. It is impressive to say the least.

We then went to Kiyomizu Temple, stopping at some wonderful shops along the way (we walked). Kiyomizu sits high above the city of Kyoto and offers a breathtaking view. This is a major place of interest and was up for one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

From there, we took the bus across town to Kinkakuji Temple, The Golden Pavillion, which is a Zen temple. It is a World Cultural Heritage Site that is covered in gold and sits out over the water. It is a true beauty.

From there we went to Ryoanji Temple where the famous Zen rock garden is located. We sat for quite awhile in front of the 15 rocks and drank in the serenity. Not to mention tried to cool off.

It was quite a day full of Japanese history.

(See my Japan trip travelogue--June 2007 for more info)
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