Natural scenery, temples, shrines, towns and homes intermingle with a poignant historical beauty.
Whether it is the Gion Festival, the Tea Ceremony or Japanese flower arrangement or Nishijin-brocade, so many aspects of characteristic Japanese culture continue to thrive in Kyoto.
Over a period of 1200 years, dating from the decision to move the capital to Kyoto in 794, it nurtured a splendid, delicate and unique kind of culture, and over the course of history came to be considered the mother of culture within Japan.
For this reason, Kyoto is often called “Japan’s heartland”, and it is said that it is impossible to know the real Japan without knowing Kyoto. On the other hand, Kyoto is not simply protecting its old traditions and culture, but is rather building upon the rich traditions of predecessors as a foundation for open domestic and international exchange.
It is a city which maintains a revolutionary spirit, a city of ideas and the cultural capital of Japan, constantly creating new traditions. In a partnership of trust with the people, efforts are made to create a relaxing lifestyle in a vibrant city, as a positive response towards the new era, while simultaneously protecting and developing traditional culture.
Kyoto is a true jewel – Japan’s asset and the world’s treasure.
The gateway to Kyoto.
Icoca, the prepaid smart touch card used to access Kansai’s transport system.
The station building, a new landmark of the old city of Kyoto, opened in 1997 and boasts of a concourse with an impressive 60-meter-long atrium, a 45-meter-long raised glass passageway connecting the eastern and western parts of the station.
It is a terminal for a city of the future. Surrounding the station are modern areas where department stores, restaurants, shopping arcades, theaters and hotels can be found.
Sashimi is thinly sliced, raw seafood.
Many different kinds of fresh fish and seafood are served raw in the Japanese cuisine. Sashimi is usually beautifully arranged and served on top of shredded daikon and shiso leaves.
Depending on the kind of sashimi, wasabi or ground ginger may accompany the dish and be added to the sashimi as a condiment.
The sashimi pieces are then dipped into a dish of soya sauce before being eaten. The daikon and shiso can also be dipped in soya sauce and eaten; both have a fresh, minty taste.
Standing 131 meters tall just across Kyoto Station, Kyoto Tower is Kyoto’s tallest building and a rare modern iconic landmark in the city famous for its ancient temples and shrines.
The tower was completed in 1964, the same year as the opening of the shinkansen and the Tokyo Olympics.
A viewing platform is located 100 meters above ground and affords a 360 degree view of Kyoto and as far as Osaka.
Kyoto Tower stands on top of a typical commercial building, which contains souvenir shops, restaurants and a hotel, as well as a public bath in the basement.
These are the souvenir shops below Kyoto Tower.
Today, reaction to Kyoto Tower remains divided. Many foreigners who come to Kyoto seeking an elusive sense of old Japan are surprised to see both the modern, glass and steel Kyoto Station and the imposing steel tower directly across the street.
Critics have called the tower “a stake through the heart” of the city.
While some disapprove of the tower, many locals have welcomed station and tower, believing them to help add a touch of modernity to the city to ensure that it does not become foreign to the rest of new Japan.
Unlike many other towers, such as Tokyo Tower that are constructed using metal lattice frames, Kyoto Tower’s interior structure consists of many steel rings stacked on top of each other.
The concept behind Kyoto Tower’s characteristic shape is a lighthouse; built to illuminate the landlocked city of Kyoto.
The Kyoto Tower is an example of Monocoque ‘structural skin’ architecture, wherein the thinner outer shell supports the weight of the structure,similar to the construction of planes or boats, or the same way crabs and shrimp are structured.
The structure was then covered with lightweight steel sheets with a thickness between 12–22 mm
(0.47–0.87 in) and then welded together and painted white.
From the observation deck on the top floor at a height of 100m, one can enjoy a complete 360°view of Kyoto and see Osaka on a clear day.
As dusk turns to night the City lights up and the gently sloping ridge of the thirty-six peaks of Higashiyama are beautiful and fantastic.
More pictures of Kyoto Tower below:
LOL!! Magic mirror!
Established in 778, this temple has continuously attracted worshippers from among the populace since the Heian Period as “Kiyomizu-Kannon.”
The temple contains buildings from the 15th to 17th centuries, including Jishu – jinja Shrine. The Main Hall (Hondo), built in the “stage” style, is noted for its beautiful background scenery which changes with the four seasons – including the cherry blossoms and greenery of spring, and the leaves of autumn.
Built atop a precipice, the main hall, which is a National Treasure, is famous as the “Kiyomizu Stage” – offering a magnificent view of the city below.
The temple precincts contain fifteen buildings designated as Important Cultural Properties, including the inner Temple (Okunoin), Amida Buddha Hall (Amidado), and the three-tiered pagoda.
More pictures of Kiyomizu below.
Cloudy lil’ pond.
A shrine dedicated to the deity of love and matchmaking. There are two stones placed 18 meters apart, in front of the shrine. It is said to bring you love, by successfully finding your way from one to the other with your eyes closed.
And these are the streets that line up Kiyomizu temple.
Rokuon-ji Temple or better known as Kinkaku-ji, was originally built as a villa by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, who had taken possession of a mountain villa of Saionji Temple in 1397.
It was converted into a temple after Yoshimitsu’s death.
Officially named Rokuonji Temple, this temple is famous both in Japan and abroad as a symbol of Kitayama culture.
The started calling it Kinkaku, or “Golden Pavilion,” and eventually the name stuck.
Pathway leading towards the shrine.
Covered with gold, the image of the pavilion which stands at the edge of Kyokochi pond, is reflected in the water.
Doing some shopping.
There was a big sale going on.
Those kid boots look really colorful and cheerful!
Decided to grab a bite..or two.
“I AM MEGATRON!!”
If you want the Decepticon leader, this is the toy to get.
Forget the tanks, forget the planes, forget the stupid dinosaurs… if you want a Megatron, this gun is the only one that counts.
He allows no exceptions to his motto: “Everything is fodder.”