2017年01月07日

'Kuramadera' Buddhist temple, known as the place of ascetic practices by 'Ushiwakamaru', the childhood name of 'Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune' a 'samurai' hero in the 12th century, is a base of mountain religion on the teaching of esoteric Buddhism.

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The origin of Kuramadera temple, standing along the south-facing steep slope of Mt.Kurama in the north of Kyoto, dates back to the 8th century. 'Makura-no-soshi' essay, written by a well-known woman essayist 'Seisho Nagon' in the 10th century, described the meandering steep approach way of this temple as an example of 'close yet far'. In a large fire in the 12th century and the repeated fires thereafter, most buildings were gone, however they were rebuilt each time. On the other hand, many precious Buddhist images as well as the historical materials designated as a national treasure or important cultural asset have survived these disasters. 'Niomon' main gate in the picture was rebuilt in 1911, from here a cable car is running up halfway to the main building of this temple.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:57 | Kyoto | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年11月07日

'Kifune Shinto Shrine' in the northern part of Kyoto, a mountainous region, is the head shrine of 450 kifune shrines throughout Japan.

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The origin of Kifune Shrine is unclear though, a note of the rebuilding of this shrine is found in an old book in the 7th century. 'Honmiya' main shrine as shown in the first picture, 'Nakamiya' second shrine and 'Okumiya' rear shrine are standing in a line along Kifune stream within walking distance from each other.
As this shrine is believed to be a spirit for rain-making, the believers used to donate a black horse for rain, and this offering had gradually changed to a tablet with a horse picture on the back. It is said that present 'Ema' votive tablet found at every shrine in Japan was originated in this shrine. In addition, the people working for restaurant business, water is essential in this field, worship this shrine.
By the way, there are many restaurants along Kifune stream as shown in the second picture. People enjoy 'Yuka' , which means an open-air restaurant temporarily built top of the stream, in hot summer. Many Yuka restaurants found in the heart of Kyoto are originated in this place.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:44 | Kyoto | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年11月04日

'Sanzen-in' Buddhist Temple in Ohara, Kyoto, dating back to the 8th century, is a 'Monzeki jiin' temple which means that the chief priest of this is from the Imperial family.

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The history of Sanzen-in is very old, which originated from one building of 'Hieizan Enryakuji' Buddhist Temple established by 'Saicho', the founder of 'Tenday' sect of Buddhism, in the 8th century. Since the beginning of the 12th century, when the first chief priest from the Imperial family took office, this temple had become Monzeki-jiin temple. This temple, thereafter, moved several times from the original site to the heart of Kyoto. And finally was settled in Ohara in the 19th century from a Court noble district near the Imperial Palace.
Ohara was known as a secluded location for the nobilities in Kyoto who wanted to escape from the noise of the capital. Before this final relocation of Sanzen-in to Ohara, 'Ojo Gokurakuin' built in the 12th century was standing at the same site.
Accordingly, Ojo Gokurakuin is included now in the precincts of Sanzen-in as shown in the first picture. Sanzen-in stands elegantly befitting its status in a green environment.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:03 | Kyoto | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする