Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 7 in Kyoto - Higashiyama district

The Higashiyama district lies to the east of the Kamo River and includes the Gion distict where much of the architecture reflects the style of old Kyoto, with narrow streets, small shops and dwellings and numerous temples and shrines.

We caught the Toji Subway to Higashiyama Station and then walked along narrow laneways to the Chion-in temple. This is the headquarters of the Jodo sect of Buddhism. The sanmon entrance gate is the largest of it's type in Japan. We sat for a while in the founders hall as the monks chanted.

There is also a small hall with an exquisite Amida Buddha

We continued on through Marayama Park and stopped for morning refreshments - green tea and Japanese sweets - the green tea is amazingly frothy and stays that way - very light and has is own distinctive taste - nothing like western tea. The sweets are made from rice flour and come in a syrup with soy flour - again, very different from western sweets.

After this we headed up towards the Kiyomizudera (Pure Water) Temple.

It is 1000 years old and is constructed on the side of a hill with spectacular views over the city. The huge terraced effect of the temple perched on huge wooden columns on the side of a steep hill is pretty impressive as well. There is a sacred spring immedietely below the terrace where pilgrims come to drink.

 More photos of Kiyomizudera

-- Post From Geoff's iPhone

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