To be able to absorb the wholeness of the Japanese spirit, experiencing a brief moment of Zazen meditation can be quite bracing and uplifting. At the Shorinji Temple in Kyoto, regarded as the oldest Buddhist temple in Kyoto built in 712, visitors are allowed to engage in Zazen meditation sessions by reservation.
Tomogashima Island in Wakayama Prefecture is a natural and historical treasure that combines the allure of crumbling architecture with lush natural greenery and impressive rock formations.
At most vegan restaurants in Japan the ingredients aren’t always obvious. And many of the top 100 vegan restaurants listed online are mostly popular for their proximity to tourist destinations, or that make Western-styled foods such as tacos or burgers. This article highlights the three best places to eat in Kyoto that have a more authentic Japanese twist to them.
A memorable and exhilarating trip to Kifune Shrine and Kurama Temple up the mountains of Northern Kyoto was a perfect way to close the year in preparation for the New Year. Although the winter chill made the walk and climb quite challenging, it should be very pleasant during other seasons, such as autumn and spring when the forests beam with mesmerizing colors of maple leaves and cherry blossoms.
For non-first time Kyoto travelers who seem to feel that the over-visited Kiyomizu-dera, Ginkakuji, Kinkakuji, Heian Shrine, Fushimi-inari Shrine, or Arashiyama have become too cliché for tourism, there are other numerous worthwhile treasures in Kyoto to explore, quite off the beaten path.
Established over 2100 years ago in the 7th year by Emperor Sujin, its rustic structures not only exude the antiquity of the site, but the sprawling territory housing approximately 40 small shrines within various sections is absolutely impressive. It is definitely worth visiting since it is known to be the head shrine in the largest shrine network in Japan that is comprised of about 4,000 shrines nationwide.
Kyoto is especially known for traditional sweets, particularly colorful (pink, green, yellow, beige, light purple) higashi dry confectionery shaped as leaves, flowers, fruits or Japanese crests, which usually accompany a bowl of matcha tea during tea ceremony.
One Kyoto local has taken the tourism boom as an opportunity to provide a sustainably-focused day tour from Kyoto. Chuck Kayser, moved to Kyoto over 20 years ago and has been organic farming for 11 years. He is also a member of Seeds of Sustainability Kyoto, a group which hosts events throughout the city promoting sustainable ideas.
A stroll through Mt. Atago in Kyoto gives travelers a refreshing and relaxing stroll through spectacular nature and the Japanese spiritual mindset.
The original Fushimi Castle was completed in 1594 but was destroyed two years later by an earthquake. It was quickly rebuilt, and then under the control of Torii Mototada, a vassal of Tokugawa Ieyasu, in 1600, the castle fell in a famous and significant siege by Ishida Mitsunari (the commander of the Western Army at the famous Battle of Sekigahara).