Janne Robberstad

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Kyoto – temple-town and shrine-city

By spotogspindel | October 16, 2016

Kyoto – the cultural and historical capital of Japan. 1,5 million citizens. And so many World Heritage Cutural sites! There is so much to see in this city, everywhere you turn, it seems.

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When I arrived, I walked to the Kyoto Museum of Modern Art. And right next to it, the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts. The first one was good, the second was great! It had working craftsmen there, showing techniques in pottery and jewelry. And in the story above I stumbled across a crafts-fair, with lots of artists selling their own things.

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This is the Heianjingu shrine, right next to the museums. There is a fall festival going on, there are celebrations going on everywhere, drums and theatre-performances.

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The Heianjingu shrine had a sacred garden, and it was such a delight! In the middle of the city, such peace, and such beauty!

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A procession was about to take place, with hundreds of ladies dressed in the same cotton kimonos…

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But some are celebrating independently of the fall festivals. Like this 3-year old boy, who is having his first formal visit to the temple. All dressed up and posing for the photographer.

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Today I was really lucky: I had a guide with me all day, and boy, did we see a lot!

The Fushini Inari shrine is actually a mountain, 260 meters high in the middle of the city. Over 10 000 of these orange portals are framing the pathways all the way up to the top of the mountain. We only walked about half-way up, but got a great view of the city. The main thing though, was not the view, but the amazing “hallways” of portals. (Apparently made well-known after the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha”)

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Arriving at the Tenryuji temple, we were met with another procession, this time reenacting when an imperial princess visited the temples shrine 700 years ago. A big parade with musicians, drummers, priests and of course the princess herself.

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Moving swiftly on, we visited the bamboo forrest. And the days second wow-I-wanna-be-here-forever-place. Even with all the other tourists, it was such a serene place. (Sorry, I just had to post one of those been-there-done-that-photos)

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Next we went to the Ninnaji temple, one of the three 5-stories high pagodas in Kyoto. We didn´t even get in the gate before we were in the middle of yet another procession. Here are a couple of the monks waiting to welcome the visiting deity.

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Finally, the pagoda. This was built in the 17th century, and was so impressive! Even though some of the other temples we´d seen were older, as old as a thousand years old. Others were rebuilt after fires.

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And finally, we visited the Kinkakuji temple with the golden pavilion. Golden as in covered with real gold-leaf. It used to be a guest-house for the shogun living here, but was later turned into a temple.

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And this is just a bit of what I´ve seen the past days. It´s just too much to tell in one post. I am still processing all the impressions myself. Thank you Leiko, for showing me so much of this beautiful city!

Stay tuned for part 2!

Topics: travel | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Kyoto – temple-town and shrine-city”

  1. Leiko Hirasuga Says:
    October 17th, 2016 at 16:20

    Thank you so much for sharing your precious time with me. It was such a wonderful day! I was really happy to spend one day with you.
    Your photos are very nice with beautiful colors.
    I hope to see you again. 🙂

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