Asia Favorites – Kyoto, Japan

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Kyoto, Japan previously home to the nations capital, houses one of the most famous Asian temples, the KiyomizuTemple. Built above Kyoto, the temple has not only fascinating architecture, but spectacular views as well. Comprised of many temples dedicated to different aspects of life, Kiyomizu has much to see for a day trip above Kyoto. The Main Hall of the temple was once a place for risk-takers to test their jumping skills. Traditionally, if a jumper lived, one of his wishes would be granted; note that the Main Hall is dedicated to the goddess of mercy over 40 feet above the ground. Today however, the practice of jumping from the Main Hall has been banned. It continues to attract a wealth of tourists for its views and the countless shops selling unique souvenirs.

Holding Hands Between Love Stones
Find True Love, Kyoto Japan

Behind the Main hall lies the Jishu-jinga Shrine dedicated to the god of love. Tradition holds that if visitors successfully walk between two love stones with their eyes closed, they will find the truest love. Many young Japanese visit this shrine to participate in this ancient custom. This shrine exemplifies how well Japanese tradition mixes with the current culture in Japan and the importance still placed on sites like these.

Holy Water
Holy Ground Kyoto JapanThe Kiyomizu location includes another top tourist destination, Otowa Falls. The water runs beneath the Main Hall falling into a lovely pond below. Since located on holy ground, some say the falls hold healing powers. Also, the root of the word Kiyomizu translates to ‘pure water’ clearly referring to the cleanliness of the falls located here. Most tourists visit Kyoto during the spring summer and fall seasons because of it’s beautiful blossoming plants. Also, the temple occasionally opens at night and offers an unbeatable view of the sparkling lights of Kyoto below.

Golden Pavillion
Kamo River Kyoto JapanThe Kamo River runs through Kyoto, upon which many Japanese still live. In contrast to the modest life upon the river, the Golden Pavilionsits nearby. Beautiful and grand in structure, still covered in gold leaf, it was made a Zen monastery in the 14th century. Tourists and locals visit the Pavilion for spiritual guidance, a serene calm day and to learn of its history. Also filled with history and traditionally customs, many tourists visit the Nishijin Textile Center. Its collection of old silk fabrics, ancient and traditional kimonos cannot be beat.

Kyoto offers tourists a view of ancient life in Japan while exemplifying its evolution into a vital part of today’s Japanese culture. Kyoto is a must for your vacation’s itinerary.

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