Places of Interest: Kyoto

The capital of Japan for a thousand years, Kyoto is a city of countless magnificent temples.

It is still the religious and cultural centre of Japan.

Every visitor to Japan should visit Kyoto.

KINKAKUJI ( The Golden Temple )

Completely covered with gold leaf and situated on the edge of a garden enclosed lake, this temple is so beautiful it is one of the most visited and photographed of all the Kyoto temples.

GINKAKUJI

Known as The Silver Temple, even though it was never covered with silver as originally planned,it is famed for its manicured gardens and walkways.

SANJUSANGENDO

First built in 1164 it houses a thousand life-size multi armed images of Buddha grouped about a huge central Buddha all guarded by 28 fierce warrior statues. A famous archery festival is held here each year in January.

KIYOMIZU DERA

First built in 789 has a huge verandah supported on hundreds of pillars from where there is a splendid view over magnificent gardens to Kyoto. Visitors can drink from the sacred waters from the temple waterfall.

RYOANJI

The most photographed raked sand and rock garden in Japan. Six hundred years ago a garden was created with 15 rocks being placed In a sea of sand enclosed by an earthen wall. The visitor is left to meditate on their meaning. For centuries people have been fascinated by this garden and have sat in quiet contemplation of its simple beauty.

The PHILOSOPHER'S WALK

It follows a traffic free path along a canal past many traditional houses and gardens. While beautiful in any season it is most spectacular in April when the cherry trees which line the walk are in full bloom

GION

This district is lined with 17th century traditional tea houses and restaurants many of which are exclusively reserved for geisha entertainment. In the early evening geishas and their apprentices can often be seen dressed in full traditional kimonos hurrying on their way to appointments.

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