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.
Here we present 15 things to do in the rural area above Tokyo known as Chiba. From spectacular mountains, beautiful temples, Disneyland and more. Chiba has a magic to it, few other prefectures have.
Motosu City is in the countryside of Gifu, and the main attraction is the Usuzumi cherry blossoms. At the park, there is one very large, old tree on display. The explanation next to the tree, in all Japanese, explains that Usuzumi is over 1500 years old and is considered one of three great cherry blossom trees in Japan.
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.
You probably now have an image of the Heaven and Hell concepts surrounding this area, especially if you saw the mandaras in the museum. Well how about getting a hands-on, 3-D multi-sensory experience for yourself! Time to move on to Mandara Yuen for a modern and artistic representation of Tateyama’s Heaven and Hell! As it has indoor and outdoor experiences, going in fine weather is preferable.
So, what about those like me who choose to stay in Japan despite the seeming adversity? Why have we been here for so long and why will we continue here?
Since I moved to Chiba Prefecture, I found a garden I really fell in love with, this beautiful garden is “Keisei bara en” it is a 30,000 square meter and the area has 10,000 roses of 1,600 varieties.
Itako is a small town in Ibaraki Prefecture known for its pretty waterways and annual iris festival, and its location less than two hours from Tokyo makes it a wonderful weekend getaway from the metropolis.
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.
The Tateyama Museum of Toyama complex here offers a number of interesting facilities revealing Ashikuraji’s centuries as a religious centre. A day can be pleasantly spent strolling through time in this tranquil mountain village.
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.