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Kyoto, Japan shines with endless interesting sights (pt 2)

Fushimi Inari-taisha Temple is famous for its thousands of torii gates; the custom to donate a torii started to spread in the Edo period (1603 – 1868) to get a wish to become true or to thank for a wish that became true

Fushimi Inari-taisha Temple is famous for its thousands of torii gates; the custom to donate a torii started to spread in the Edo period (1603 – 1868) to get a wish to become true or to thank for a wish that became true

Rock gardens are designed to embody nirvana; this garden is at Kanchi-in Hall which houses Japan's largest and most well-preserved collection of esoteric Buddhist writings

Rock gardens are designed to embody nirvana; this garden is at Kanchi-in Hall which houses Japan's largest and most well-preserved collection of esoteric Buddhist writings

Kyoto has 1600  temples and most of the complexes have similarly designed buildings; not all of the temples had good signage in English so I don't know the purpose of this unique building at Ninnaji Temple

Kyoto has 1600+ temples and most of the complexes have similarly designed buildings; not all of the temples had good signage in English so I don't know the purpose of this unique building at Ninnaji Temple

There were plenty of rules at Arashiyama Monkey Park like don't stare at the monkeys, don't crouch, don't take close-up photos, etc. but the monkeys generally ignored the tourists which was wonderful

There were plenty of rules at Arashiyama Monkey Park like don't stare at the monkeys, don't crouch, don't take close-up photos, etc. but the monkeys generally ignored the tourists which was wonderful

Kyoto's sister cities include Boston, Cologne, Prague, Florence, Kiev, Zagreb and Guadalajara; 1 of the 3 great festivals of Japan occurs here every July culminating in a massive parade July 17

Kyoto's sister cities include Boston, Cologne, Prague, Florence, Kiev, Zagreb and Guadalajara; 1 of the 3 great festivals of Japan occurs here every July culminating in a massive parade July 17

My visit wasn't during sumo wrestling season so I was spared that; buses are a great way to get around Kyoto with an all day pass costing only $6

My visit wasn't during sumo wrestling season so I was spared that; buses are a great way to get around Kyoto with an all day pass costing only $6

Completed in 1236, Tofukuji Temple is one of the five great Zen temples of Kyoto; the temple features a large number of Japanese maple trees and is most crowded during the autumn season when people flock to see the autumn foliage

Completed in 1236, Tofukuji Temple is one of the five great Zen temples of Kyoto; the temple features a large number of Japanese maple trees and is most crowded during the autumn season when people flock to see the autumn foliage

Photos of Tofukuji Temple in autumn are amazing with the colorful maple leaves; Kyoto was considered by the US as a target for the atomic bomb but ultimately escaped destruction during World War II

Photos of Tofukuji Temple in autumn are amazing with the colorful maple leaves; Kyoto was considered by the US as a target for the atomic bomb but ultimately escaped destruction during World War II

Shosei-en is the detached garden of Higashi Honganji Temple, and has been the property of the temple since 1641 when the ruling Shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, granted the temple the land; the garden is only a 10 minute walk from Kyoto Station

Shosei-en is the detached garden of Higashi Honganji Temple, and has been the property of the temple since 1641 when the ruling Shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, granted the temple the land; the garden is only a 10 minute walk from Kyoto Station

Inside the 120 meter long Sanjusangen-do (built in 1266) is a collection of 1001 statues of the Buddhist deity, Kannon; the statues at this UNESCO World Heritage Site were all made in the 12th and 13th centuries

Inside the 120 meter long Sanjusangen-do (built in 1266) is a collection of 1001 statues of the Buddhist deity, Kannon; the statues at this UNESCO World Heritage Site were all made in the 12th and 13th centuries

Founder's Hall Gate of Higashi Honganji Temple; summers in Kyoto are hot and humid with winters being relatively cold with occasional snowfall

Founder's Hall Gate of Higashi Honganji Temple; summers in Kyoto are hot and humid with winters being relatively cold with occasional snowfall

Kyoto Station had everything you could imagine and was always super crowded; luckily, our hotel was right across the street so wherever we went in the city it was easy to get back again

Kyoto Station had everything you could imagine and was always super crowded; luckily, our hotel was right across the street so wherever we went in the city it was easy to get back again

The Kyoyochi Pond at Ryoanji Temple was built in the 12th century; this UNESCO World Heritage Site was one of my favorites and it wasn't nearly as crowded as some of the others

The Kyoyochi Pond at Ryoanji Temple was built in the 12th century; this UNESCO World Heritage Site was one of my favorites and it wasn't nearly as crowded as some of the others

The internationally famous Zen garden at Ryoanji Temple is compromised of 15 rocks and gravel (created around 1500); I liked these peaceful, no maintenance gardens because there is nothing to kill and you can travel for months and not worry about it!

The internationally famous Zen garden at Ryoanji Temple is compromised of 15 rocks and gravel (created around 1500); I liked these peaceful, no maintenance gardens because there is nothing to kill and you can travel for months and not worry about it!

The Kyozo building at Ninnaji Temple was used to store Buddhist scriptures; most of the temples had an admission charge of between $5 and $10 so I figured my temple expenses in Kyoto easily exceeded $100

The Kyozo building at Ninnaji Temple was used to store Buddhist scriptures; most of the temples had an admission charge of between $5 and $10 so I figured my temple expenses in Kyoto easily exceeded $100

The giant Nio-man Gate is at the entrance to Ninnaji Temple; this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of 17 (I managed to visit 12 of them)

The giant Nio-man Gate is at the entrance to Ninnaji Temple; this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of 17 (I managed to visit 12 of them)

The Kamigano Shrine is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan and is one of the seventeen Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

The Kamigano Shrine is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan and is one of the seventeen Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

The shrine in the Goeida of the Nishi Kongwanji; convenience stores are everywhere in Japan so Coke Zero is never far away

The shrine in the Goeida of the Nishi Kongwanji; convenience stores are everywhere in Japan so Coke Zero is never far away

The main building at UNESCO World Heritage Site Nishi Hongwanji; entering any of the Buddhist or Shinto buildings required removing your shoes

The main building at UNESCO World Heritage Site Nishi Hongwanji; entering any of the Buddhist or Shinto buildings required removing your shoes

Much of the Nijo-jo Castle complex was being restored; this view of the UNESCO World Heritage Site is from the base of the keep tower

Much of the Nijo-jo Castle complex was being restored; this view of the UNESCO World Heritage Site is from the base of the keep tower

It was amazing how quickly you could escape the city; we took the subway and walked to this overlook where the water in the river was so clear that we could see the bottom

It was amazing how quickly you could escape the city; we took the subway and walked to this overlook where the water in the river was so clear that we could see the bottom

We were told that the baby monkeys were only 2 weeks old; they were very wobbly and couldn't really walk but the moms kept the kids nearby

We were told that the baby monkeys were only 2 weeks old; they were very wobbly and couldn't really walk but the moms kept the kids nearby

There was some consideration by the United States of targeting Kyoto with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II because, as an intellectual center of Japan, it had a population large enough to possibly persuade the emperor to surrender

There was some consideration by the United States of targeting Kyoto with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II because, as an intellectual center of Japan, it had a population large enough to possibly persuade the emperor to surrender

The understated beauty of the buildings (like here at Ginkakuji) often hides interesting details; each Japanese cypress wooden shingle is about 30 cm long with only 3 cm showing and they are fixed with bamboo nails

The understated beauty of the buildings (like here at Ginkakuji) often hides interesting details; each Japanese cypress wooden shingle is about 30 cm long with only 3 cm showing and they are fixed with bamboo nails

The Zen garden at Ginkakuji Temple represents waves with Mt. Fuji in the background; this UNESCO temple lies at the end of the popular Philosopher's Path

The Zen garden at Ginkakuji Temple represents waves with Mt. Fuji in the background; this UNESCO temple lies at the end of the popular Philosopher's Path

The rental of traditional kimonos by Japanese females was quite popular; they would then take tons of photos at the temples and shrines

The rental of traditional kimonos by Japanese females was quite popular; they would then take tons of photos at the temples and shrines

Zenrinji Temple had one of the rare painted religious buildings in Kyoto; few people smoke here and there are large areas where you can't even smoke on the public streets

Zenrinji Temple had one of the rare painted religious buildings in Kyoto; few people smoke here and there are large areas where you can't even smoke on the public streets

Amida-do Hall at Eikando Zenrinji Temple (1497); we had fantastic weather for our 3 days in Kyoto which was appreciated since there was a ton of walking required to see the city

Amida-do Hall at Eikando Zenrinji Temple (1497); we had fantastic weather for our 3 days in Kyoto which was appreciated since there was a ton of walking required to see the city

Kyoto has about 1.5 million people, about the same number as in 1980; I would definitely recommend including Kyoto on any trip to Japan

Kyoto has about 1.5 million people, about the same number as in 1980; I would definitely recommend including Kyoto on any trip to Japan

For over a thousand years, Kyoto was the former Imperial capital of Japan; in 1868, the capital was moved to Tokyo but much of Kyoto's treasured past has been preserved

For over a thousand years, Kyoto was the former Imperial capital of Japan; in 1868, the capital was moved to Tokyo but much of Kyoto's treasured past has been preserved

The Sanmon Gate at Nanzenji Temple contains stairs to an elevated viewing area which was the setting for a famous scene in a 1778 Kabuki play inspired by the story of the criminal Ishikawa Goemon who is said to have spoken of the beauty of the view

The Sanmon Gate at Nanzenji Temple contains stairs to an elevated viewing area which was the setting for a famous scene in a 1778 Kabuki play inspired by the story of the criminal Ishikawa Goemon who is said to have spoken of the beauty of the view

Not a single nail was used in the buildings of Kiyomizu-dera Shrine; in 2007, Kiyomizu-dera was one of 21 finalists for the New Seven Wonders of the World

Not a single nail was used in the buildings of Kiyomizu-dera Shrine; in 2007, Kiyomizu-dera was one of 21 finalists for the New Seven Wonders of the World

Kiyomizu-dera Shrine was more tourist-friendly than most Japanese temples since they were open from 6am-6pm while others were 9am-5pm;the highlight of Kiyomizu-dera Temple is the 42.6-foot-high veranda overlooking cherry and maple trees

Kiyomizu-dera Shrine was more tourist-friendly than most Japanese temples since they were open from 6am-6pm while others were 9am-5pm;the highlight of Kiyomizu-dera Temple is the 42.6-foot-high veranda overlooking cherry and maple trees

View of downtown Kyoto from Kiyomizu-dera Shrine; part of the fun of visiting Kiyomizu-dera is the approach to the temple along the steep and busy lanes of the atmospheric Higashiyama District

View of downtown Kyoto from Kiyomizu-dera Shrine; part of the fun of visiting Kiyomizu-dera is the approach to the temple along the steep and busy lanes of the atmospheric Higashiyama District

Posted by VagabondCowboy 21:25

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It's such a beautiful city. We spent a week there last month and only scratched the surface. There's just so much to see!

by Peter

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