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Nishi and Higashi Hongan-ji: East Meets West in Central Kyoto

Nishi and Higashi Hongan-ji are neighbour temples, hidden in plain sights in the middle of Kyoto city.

Shisendо̄: Kyoto’s Rustic Retreat

Shisendо̄, a former hermitage, is tucked away in Kyoto's Higashiyama district, offering a perfect blend of rustic design and subtle beauty.

Zuiganzan Enkoji Temple: Moss, Maples, Modernism

Zuiganzan Enkoji is a traditional Buddhist temple with a modern twist, hidden in Kyoto's eastern Higashiyama hills.

Raizan Sennyо̄ji Daihiо̄in: Exploring Itoshima’s ‘Thunder Mountain.’

Itoshima's 'Thunder Mountain' is home to Raizan Sennyо̄ji Daihiо̄in temple, a repository of artefacts sequestered among the cedars.

Nanzen-ji: Heart of the Five Mountains.

'Temple Fatigue' is one of the most common afflictions affecting foreign visitors to Kyoto. Of course, each and every guidebook claims that any given Buddhist Temple is 'unmissable.' Lacking clear guidance, tourists traipse from one near-identical zen paradise to the next. Eventually,...

Sanzen-in: a Place Among The Pines

Ohara village is one of a number of satellite settlements nestled in the rolling mountains surrounding the basin of Kyoto city. Idyllic rural villages are abundant in Japan, each being a patron of its own localised culture and traditions. However, Ohara's most...

Choraku-ji and Anyo-ji: Hidden in the Hills, Lost in Time.

Kyoto is abundant in micro-temples which atmospherically melt into forests and hills. Naturally, they're a perfect antidote to the more popular and all too often overcrowded temples and shrines in the city. Two such temples in Kyoto city lie hidden in Higashiyama's...

Nison-in: Busy Arashiyama’s Secret Mountain of Fire

Visiting Arashiyama in autumn will be one of two things: incredible, or infuriating. Unfortunately, Arashiyama's exceptional autumnal beauty makes it a victim of its own success. Recently, the area has become so crowded that people cannot walk from one part of town...

Jindaiji Temple: A Spiritual Day Trip From Tokyo

Follow the Keio line to Chofu in West Tokyo where you'll find a massive, magnificent temple complex. The second-oldest temple in Tokyo, a day trip to Jindaijii lets visitors feel transported to the Edo era, without actually leaving the city. Read on...

Myoshin-ji Temple and Taizo-in’s Garden: Kyoto’s Past, Perfectly Preserved.

Although much of Kyoto city's architectural and cultural history has skyrocketed in popularity in the last five years, many almost 'undiscovered' sites also exist. The lack of visitation creates a tangible atmosphere of living, breathing history. The vast temple complex of Myoshin-ji...