Kiyomizudera: Hondo

– Kiyomizudera Hondo – 清水寺本堂 – Kyoto(京都) – August 7, 2018 Kiyomizudera (Pure Water Temple) is a sprawling temple in the Higashiyama part of Kyoto. The Hondo, or Main Hall, is famous for it’s stage that hangs over the hill below. This is the goshuin for the Kiyomizudera Hondo. The stage attached to the Hondo is about 43 feet above the hill and is built without nails using traditional methods. The surrounding sakura and maple trees make it especially stunning in the spring and fall. However, the view of Kyoto in the distance is wonderful at any time of year.…

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Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine

Goshuin from Kitano Tenman-gu

– Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine – 北野天満宮 – Kyoto(京都) – May 4, 2018   Kitano Tenman-gu is a large, beautiful shrine that was built over 1000 years ago. It was built in honor of Sugawara Michizane, a scholar from the Heian period. It’s extremely popular among students who are studying for entrance exams. As you walk up, there are many statues of cows along the walkway. People touch them for good luck. There is also a large grove of plum trees growing here that is beautiful in the spring. If you visit in March, you should check them out. Location:

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Chishaku-in

– Chishaku-in– 智積院 – Kyoto (京都) – June 17, 2017   Chishaku-in was the last place we visited before the iaido taikai banquet. It’s a Buddhist temple in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto. It was built in the 1500’s and is famous for its beautiful garden and also its collection of painted panels. Sadly, we were tired and mostly just enjoyed the garden after visiting the temple. Next year I’ll go look at the panels. This goshuin is in my Inuyama Castle Goshuincho. Location

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Sanjusangendo

– Sanjusangendo– 三十三間堂 – Kyoto (京都) – June 17, 2017 Sanjusangendo is a 120 meter long temple in Kyoto that was built in 1164. Why is it so long? Because inside it has 1001 statues of Kannon. They’re all a bit taller than an adult man. In the middle of the building sits a large and intricate statue of Kannon. Sanjusangendo means “33 Spaces,” referring to the 33 spaces that between the columns in the building. It is the longest wooden building in Japan. It is located in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto. I was staying at Hotel Tozankaku for…

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Toyokuni Shrine

Toyokuni Shrine Goshuin

– Toyokuni Jinja – 豊国神社 – Kyoto (京都) – June 17, 2017   Toyokuni Shrine was built in Kyoto in 1599 to commemorate Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It’s a shrine in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto. It houses the blade Honebami, a blade that was once a naginata blade but later became a wakizashi. It has also been made into a character in a game called Touken Ranbu. I play Touken Ranbu, so I was excited about visiting one of the swords for the first time. There are also various goods available at the shrine with Honebami on them. I was in…

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Kinkaku-ji

Kinkaku-ji Goshuin

– Kinkaku-ji – 鹿苑寺 – Kyoto (京都) – May 5, 2017   Kinkaku-ji is probably one of the most famous buildings in Japan. It’s a Zen temple in Kyoto that’s covered in gold leaf built in the middle of a pond. It’s one of the few temples that require an entry fee (400 yen). The grounds are massive and you can see Kinkaku-ji from many angles. There area other buildings as well, such as the head priest’s old living quarters, a tea house, and more. This goshuin is in my Inuyama Castle Goshuincho. Location

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Heian Shrine

– Heian Jingu – 平安神宮 – Kyoto (京都) – May 4, 2017   Compared to many shrines in Kyoto, Heian Shrine is new. It was built in 1895 on the 1100th anniversary of Kyoto becoming the old capitol. Every May and June the iaido taikai are held across the street in the Miyakomesse. On my way to the taikai, I always see the massive torii, but I never took the time to visit Heian Shrine, but this year I did. The grounds are massive and all what white stuff is gravel. I don’t recommend taking your rolling suitcase with you…

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Nishiki Tenman-Gu Shrine

Nishiki Tenman-Gu Shrine

– Nishiki Tenman-Gu – 錦天満宮 – Kyoto (京都) – May 3, 2017   Nishiki Tenman-gu is a small, quirky shrine on Teramachi Street in the Ponto-cho area of Kyoto. It was built during the Heian period and was moved to its current location by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It’s quite cute, with various electronic fortune machines around the inside. Sadly, there was no calligrapher there, so I got a loose paper goshuin that was prepared before and pasted it into my goshuincho. This goshuin is in my Inuyama Castle Goshuincho. Location

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Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Jinja Goshuin

– Shimogamo Jinja – 熱田神宮 – Kyoto (京都) – May 3, 2017   Shimogamo Shrine and its sister shrine, Kamigamo Shrine, are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are over 2000 years old. In other words they were built before Kyoto was ever the old capital. Shimogamo Shrine is in a lovely green forest called Tadasu no Mori. Every year at the start of the Aoi Matsuri, there is a big yabusame (horseback archery) demonstration. If you noticed the date I received this goshuin, yes, I was lucky enough to watch yabusame. I was amazed at how fast they were…

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