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Strolling Around the Famed Tenryuji Temple Grounds in Arashiyama

The Bamboo Grove may be the most Instagrammed attraction in Arashiyama, but Tenryuji Temple is without doubt the most important. This World Heritage Zen temple was established all the way back in 1339, and quickly became the top ranking temple of Kyoto’s...

Kiyomizudera: Beyond The Main Hall

As I lower my camera amidst a sea of temple goers at Kiyomizudera, I get the feeling I’m being watched. Sure enough, in my peripheral vision, I spot two school boys, perhaps 14 years old, nervously looking from one another to me...

The Tranquil Gardens of Kodaiji Temple: A Higashiyama Must

Kyoto’s eastern Higashiyama area is positively packed with beautiful historic temples, shrines, statues, pagodas, gardens and much, much more. But with so many outstanding places to see, where should you start? One of my personal favourite spots in the area is Kodaiji...

Ancient Treasures at the World Heritage Byodoin Temple

Of all the beautiful and historic temples in Kyoto, there is only one that features twice on Japanese currency. Byodoin temple, located in the city of Uji, is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site with a history dating all the way back...

Behind the Scenes at the Silver Pavilion

Building process
Colloquially known as the Silver Pavilion or Ginkaku-ji, Jisho-ji is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist destinations. It dates back to the late 15th century and was designed by the then-shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa. It is beloved for its wooden pavilion and gorgeous...

Beloved by David Bowie: Why Shoden-ji Temple is One of Kyoto’s Hidden Gems

Shoden-ji Temple
Kyoto is the land of limitless temples and shines. That said, many of its most popular sites are packed with selfie-stick wielding tourists regardless of the time of year. If you’re seeking something private—and don’t mind stepping off of the beaten path—drop...

Contemplating the Mysterious Rock Garden of Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji Temple is a UNESCO listed Zen Buddhist Temple home to Japan’s most famous rock garden. Nobody knows who designed the ancient plot, and visitors come in droves to try and unlock its untold mysteries. The temple, though previously the villa of...

Ryozen Kannon Temple: One of Kyoto’s Best Kept Secrets

Kyoto’s Higashiyama district may be jam-packed with countless temples and shrines, but in terms of aesthetic difference, the Ryozen Kannon Temple is quite literally head and shoulders above the rest. Sharing a carpark with Kodaiji Temple—my intended destination—I mistakenly walked toward the...

A Thousand Glittering Treasures at Kyoto’s Sanjusangendo Temple

Not far from Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Taisha lies the temple famously home to 1001 statues of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. Its name—Sanjusangendo— however, refers to an old method of measurement, literally translating to ‘hall with 33 spaces between columns’. 

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