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Kyoto

General Information About Heianjingu: Japanese history is unique in that the capitol has changed several times throughout history. Currently the capitol of Japan is in Tokyo, but throughout Japanese history it has been located in Kyoto, the ancient city of Japan. Heianjingu was constructed to celebrate exactly that: Kyoto as the center and capitol of Japan. Although it is not the capitol today, Kyoto is still arguably the cultural and...

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General Information About Nanzenji As one of the most prestigious Buddhist temple in Japan and ranked high among Japanese Buddhist temples, Nanzenji at first glance seems like a place where Buddhists would visit for pilgrimage or to pay homage. But Nanzenji has a lot to offer besides its religious prestige– rich with history, beauty, and philosophy, this temple is an architectural gem that will awe any visitor, whether he or...

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General Information About Ginkakuji Along with Kin’kaku, at the “Golden Temple,” and Hiun’kaku, Gin’kaku, or the “Silver Building,” is renown as the Three Kaku’s (Temple Buildings) of Kyoto. But unlike the other two kaku’s, Gin’kaku poses this interesting question that has continued to be an enigma to those who visit: WHY IS GIN’KAKU’JI CALLED THE “SILVER...

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Temples are one of the most recognizable and ubiquitous sites in Japan, but did you know that big temple complexes have smaller sub-temples?  Just as you’d guess, a sub-temple is a smaller temple on a larger temple ground. In fact, some temple complexes do not have a main temple, but rather are a group of sub-temples on temple grounds. This is actually quite common for many of the larger temples, such as Daitoku-ji Temple....

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When you set foot in the Land of the Rising Sun, you’ll notice the ubiquity of temples. Temples, temples, temples everywhere; from the heart of Urban Tokyo to the depths of Kyushu’s jungles, from the rustic country side to the scenic mountains, temples are everywhere. These historic monuments are all unique and rich with history and culture, but each one tells a different story— what’s your favorite?   Tofuku-ji’s story starts in...

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You’re probably wondering what could be so controversial about a Zen temple, just like I was. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ryoan-ji Temple (Temple of the Peaceful Dragon) is home to one of the most famous “Karesansui,” or Zen rock gardens; the origin and meaning of this garden are still contested by historians. The garden still remains today; the only plant life being the moss around the rocks. Sitting on an...

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