While in Kyoto, Jamilla and I also visited Chion-in Temple.
Chion-in Temple (知恩院) is head temple of Jodo-shu, the most commonly practiced branch of Bhuddism in Japan. The original temple was built in the 13th century, but most of the buildings which survive to this day were built in the 17th century.
There is about a 5 minute walk from the entrance of the temple, to Sanmon, the main gate… and then another long climb up some steps to get to the temple itself. Sightseeing in Japan is not for people who cannot walk!
Sanmon Gate is one of the National Treasures of Japan.
(This is the umpteenth time that I mention that something is a National Treasure, but to be fair – many of them are located in Kyoto)
One of the things I love about Kyoto is that it is a great mix of urban city life and traditional scenery. You can see modern buildings in the background.
The temple itself is under renovation until 2014. It was quite beautiful and there were many tourists there to see the buildings and scenery.
Hope you enjoyed this trip to Chion-in Temple in Kyoto, Japan!
In late November, Jamilla came to Osaka, and we spent a few days sightseeing together!
Kyoto Gosho (Kyoto Imperial Palace) is an imperial palace, but the Emperor has lived in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo since the mid 19th century. The grounds are open to the public, and there are several interesting buildings to see. The palace itself can be seen through tours which are held multiple times each day – unfortunately, they are not held on Saturdays, Sundays, or public holidays. I did not know this, and therefore Jamilla and I were not able to see the inside!
We were extremely lucky with beautiful weather this day.
Kyoto was packed everywhere we went. Fall is one of the most popular seasons for sightseeing in Japan.
Kenreimon, one of the gates into the palace.
If you do decide to visit the Imperial Palace, know that you will be asked to provide photo ID if you want to visit the inside.
Hope you enjoyed this brief tour of the Kyoto Imperial Palace!
In mid-November, I went to Nijo Castle (二条城) in Kyoto. Nijo Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the Historical Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, and is protected by various Japanese designations such as being a National Treasure, and a National Special Historical site.
Nijo Castle, which was built in 1626, was where the Tokugawa Shogunate resided when they visted Kyoto. The Tokugawa Shogunate ruled Japan from 17th century to the mid-19th century, and had a huge impact on Japanese history. For example, the Sakoku period (the 200 year period in Japanese history where Japan had almost no foreign relations), which I mentioned in my post about Kobe Ijinkangai and my post about Nagasaki, was established by the Tokugawa Shogunate.
No pictures are allowed inside the buildings, but there is a self-guided tour showing the purpose of each of the rooms. Getting a bit of knowledge on Japanese history and ancient culture may be helpful to understand, as there are different rooms for the castle inhabitants to meet visitors depending on the rank of the visitor.
I rented a wide angle lens for this day trip. It was a lot of fun to use, but a lot heavier than the prime lens that I am used to using. Not sure yet if I can commit to buying one, although I may rent it again!
In addition to the main castles, the gardens are also quite famous, and become quite crowded during the spring and the fall.
Hope you enjoyed my trip to Nijo Castle in Kyoto!