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  • Arashiyama / Kinkaku-ji Temple Area
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Arashiyama / Kinkaku-ji Temple Area
8 Umegahata Toganocho, Ukyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 616-8295, Japan
  • Buildings (Temples / Shrines / Cathedrals)
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Date of post:2015/11/24

One of the oldest temples in Kyoto, World Heritage Site, Origin of Japan’s Manga culture

  • Temple / Shrine

♪~kyoto Togano-o Kozan-ji koi ni tsukareta onna ga hitori~♪
(a lonely lady with broken heart clad in Oshima tsumugi kimono and tsudure obi cast ashadow onto the stone pavement)

About one hour by bus from Kyoto station this old temple is located. The song by a Japanese vocal quartet made this place more popular during mid-1950s. The tune of the song really fits this place!

This temple is famous as the first place in Japan that tea trees were planted and spread throughout the country by the abbot “Myoe” in the 13th century. Most of the original buildings destroyed by fire in the civil war time, Sekisui-in exists. This house gives us the true sense of so-called “Wabi Sabi”---taste for the simple, quiet and subdued refinement. Sekisui-in, which is thought to have been the hermitage of Abbot Myoe, ‘exudes elegance within simplicity and boldness and it is also extremely functional. It is a masterpiece of residential architecture and it has been called the crystallization of the wisdom for living.’ (according to the pamphlet of the temple). A statue of Zendaidoji carved by Nishimura Koku stands in the middle of the wide veranda which adds this small house more elegance and tranquility.

It will take at least 30 minutes to explore through the compound of this temple. However, we can feel nature and enjoy walking in the woods.

This temple is also famous for having a set of 4 scrolls called Chojugiga (Picture Scrolls of Frolicking Birds and Animals) that is said to be the origin of Japanese Manga (comic). They are now conserved in Kyoto National Museum.

In the neighborhood of this temple is best famous in autumnal foliage in Kyoto along with Jingoji temple nearby. Restaurants are not available when it’s not the season of colored leaves but taking a bus or walking 10 minutes to Jingoji area, you can find ones. This place is a bit far from Kyoto, but getting timetable of JR bus or Kyoto city bus you can enjoy this secluded beautiful place. Even in summer this place is not so hot as middle Kyoto.

I have to confess you that if you want to visit Jingoji temple please get ready to climb up more than 500 stairs. They are steep in some part.

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