Fushimi Inari-taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is the head shrine of Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto. The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari which is 233 meters above sea level, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines which span 4 kilometers and takes approximately 2 hours to walk up.
For a long time, Inari was seen as the patron of business, and merchants and manufacturers have traditionally worshipped Inari. Each of the torii at Fushimi Inari Taisha is donated by a Japanese business. First and foremost, though, Inari is the god of rice.
This popular shrine is said to have as many as 32,000 sub-shrines (bunsha) throughout Japan.
The shrine became the object of imperial patronage during the early Heian period. In 965, Emperor Murakami decreed that messengers carry written accounts of important events to the guardian kami of Japan. These heihaku were initially presented to 16 shrines, including the Inari Shrine.
From 1871 through 1946, Fushimi Inari-taisha was officially designated one of the Kanpei-taisha, meaning that it stood in the first rank of government supported shrines.
The earliest structures were built in 711 on the Inariyama hill in southwestern Kyoto, but the shrine was relocated in 816 on the request of the monk Kūkai. The main shrine structure was built in 1499. At the bottom of the hill are the main gate (rōmon, "tower gate") and the main shrine (go-honden). Behind them, in the middle of the mountain, the inner shrine (okumiya) is reachable by a path lined with thousands of torii. To the top of the mountain are tens of thousands of mounds (tsuka) for private worship. ®Wikipedia.org
The Heian Shrine (平安神宮 Heian-jingu) is a Shinto shrine located in Sakyō-ku, Kyoto. It is listed as an important cultural property of Japan.
In 1895, a partial reproduction of the Heian Palace from Heian-kyō (the former name of Kyoto) was planned for construction for the 1100th anniversary of the establishment of Heian-kyō. The Industrial exposition fair (an exhibition of development of Japanese and foreign cultures) was held in Kyoto that year, where the replica was to be the main monument. However, failure to buy enough land where the Heian Palace used to stand, the building was built in Okazaki at 5/8 scale of the original. The Heian-jingū was built according to designs by Itō Chūta.
After the Exhibition ended, the building was kept as a shrine in memory of the 50th Emperor, Emperor Kanmu, who was the Emperor when Heian-kyō became the capital. In 1940, Emperor Kōmei was added to the list of dedication.
Kyoto was shocked and depressed after the capital was moved to Tokyo. Later, the citizens came together to build a new city after World War II. The construction of Heian Shrine was a symbol of revival for the city. The revival consisted of the new Kyoto in education, culture, industry, and daily life, where at the same time the "good old" Kyoto was maintained.
In 1976, the Shrine was set on fire; and nine of the buildings, including the honden, or main sanctuary, burned down. Three years later, the burned buildings were reconstructed with money collected from donations.
The architecture design was a reproduction of the Chōdōin (Emperor’s palace in the former eras) in 5/8th scale (in length). The large red entrance gate is a reproduction of the Outenmon of the Chōdōin. The architecture of the main palace mirrors the style and features of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the style from the 11th–12th century (late Heian Period). The Shrine’s torii is one of the largest in Japan. ®Wikipedia.org
Himuro jinja (氷室神社) is a Shinto shrine in Nara, located directly across the street from the Nara National Museum.
Established in the 8th century, around the time the capital was moved to Nara, the central ritual at this shrine centered around encasing fish in blocks of ice, and offering them to the gods.
The main worship hall (haiden) is two ma wide, and one ma deep.
During the Edo period, the shrine was one of a number of sites employed by the Imperial Court and Tokugawa shogunate as a site for important government rituals. It was also a central hub of performers, of bugaku in particular (Japanese court dance). In earlier periods, Himuro jinja was a major gagaku (Japanese classical music) site as well. ®wiki.samurai-archives.com
Located in northwest Kyoto, Hirano Shrine (平野神社 Hirano-jinja) was established in the year 794 when the capital was transferred to Heian-kyo (the ancient name for Kyoto) from Nagaoka-kyo.
The shrine has long enjoyed a relationship with Japan's Imperial Household and royal family.
The shrine however is more famous today for its lovely cherry trees.
Hirano has held a cherry blossom festival every year since 985. The first of these festivals was held during the reign of Emperor Kazan.
The actual festival - as opposed to the informal crowds that gather - begins in the morning with a ceremony at the mausoleum of Emperor Kazan. Then, in the afternoon, a procession moves from the shrine through the neighboring area and then back. The festival is held on the second Sunday in April.
Old Imperial ceremony codes "Konin shiki" and "Engi shiki", the established of Heian period, the Hirano shrine was selected high class of 22 Imperial Palace guardian shrines.
In the Heian period (1467-1477) wasted the Hirano shrine. But the shrine was rebuilted in 1628 by Heishi clan noble Nishinotoin Tokiyoshi. In1871, the Emperor Meiji ordered the Hirano shrine to the "Kanpei Taisha" (Big shrine holder by the Imperial Japan).
Kasuga-taisha (春日大社) is a Shinto shrine in the city of Nara. Established in 768 AD and rebuilt several times over the centuries, it is the shrine of the Fujiwara family. The interior is famous for its many bronze lanterns, as well as the many stone lanterns that lead up the shrine.
The architectural style Kasuga-zukuri takes its name from Kasuga Shrine's honden (sanctuary).
Kasuga Shrine, and the Kasugayama Primeval Forest near it, are registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara".
The path to Kasuga Shrine passes through Deer Park. In Deer Park, deer are able to roam freely and are believed to be sacred messengers of the Shinto gods that inhabit the shrine and surrounding mountainous terrain. Kasuga Shrine and the deer have been featured in several paintings and works of art of the Nambokucho Period. Over three thousand stone lanterns line the way. The Man'yo Botanical Garden is adjacent to the shrine.
The shrine became the object of Imperial patronage during the early Heian period. In 965, Emperor Murakami ordered that Imperial messengers were sent to report important events to the guardian kami of Japan. These heihaku were initially presented to 16 shrines including the Kasuga Shrine.
From 1871 through 1946, Kasuga Shrine was officially designated one of the Kanpei-taisha, meaning that it stood in the first rank of government supported shrines. ®Wikipedia.org
Zenkyo-an (禅居庵) is a sub-temple of Kennin-ji. It is normally not open to the public but on some special occasions, such as zazen (zen meditation).
Kennin-ji (建仁寺) is a historic Zen Buddhist temple in Higashiyama, Kyoto, near Gion, at the end of Hanami Lane. It is considered to be one of the so-called Kyoto Gozan or "five most important Zen temples of Kyoto".
Kennin-ji was founded in 1202 CE and claims to be the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto.
The monk Eisai, credited with introducing Zen to Japan, served as Kennin-ji's founding abbot and is buried on the temple grounds. For its first years the temple combined Zen, Tendai, and Shingon practices, but it became a purely Zen institution under the eleventh abbot, Lanxi Daolong ( Rankei Dōryū) (1213–1278).
The Zen master Dōgen, later founder of the Japanese Sōtō sect, trained at Kennin-ji. It is one of the Rinzai sect's headquarter temples.
When first built, the temple contained seven principal buildings. It has suffered from fires through the centuries, and was rebuilt in the mid-thirteenth century by Zen master Enni, and again in the sixteenth century with donations of buildings from nearby temples Ankoku-ji and Tōfuku-ji.
Today Kennin-ji's buildings include the Abbot's Quarters (Hōjō), given by Ankoku-ji in 1599; the Dharma Hall (Hatto), built in 1765; a tea house built in 1587 to designs by tea master Sen no Rikyū for Toyotomi Hideyoshi; and the Imperial Messenger Gate (Chokushimon), said to date from the Kamakura period, and still showing marks from arrows. It also has 14 subtemples on the Kennin-ji precincts and about 70 associated temples throughout Japan.
In 2002, the architectural setting was enhanced by a dramatic ceiling painting of two dragons by Koizumi Junsaku (1924–2012). The piece was first painted in the sport hall of a former Elementary school. This bold artwork was installed to commemorate the temple's 800th anniversary. The dragon symbolises the rain of Buddhist teachings. The Shōkoku-ji in Kyoto also features a dragon on the ceiling of its main hall. ®Wikipedia.org
Kikō-ji (喜光寺) is a Buddhist temple in Nara. Founded in the eighth century, its Muromachi-period Hondō and the Heian-period statue of Amida Nyorai enshrined within are Important Cultural Properties.
In those days this temple was called "Sugawara-dera". When the Emperor Shomu visited here in 748, a mysterious light was emitting from the principal image of Buddha. The Emperor was so delighted he renamed the temple "Kikoji", meaning "delightful light temple". It is said that the Buddhist Saint Gyoki learned and got information from the main hall of this temple when he was in charge of building Todai-ji Temple.
After achieving various great projects, Gyoki passed away in this temple.
Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺, literally "Temple of the Golden Pavilion") officially named Rokuon-ji, literally "Deer Garden Temple"), is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto. It is one of the most popular buildings in Japan, attracting a large number of visitors annually. It is designated as a National Special Historic Site and a National Special Landscape, and it is one of 17 locations making up the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which are World Heritage Sites.
The site of Kinkaku-ji was originally a villa called Kitayama-dai, belonging to a powerful statesman, Saionji Kintsune. Kinkaku-ji's history dates to 1397, when the villa was purchased from the Saionji family by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and transformed into the Kinkaku-ji complex. When Yoshimitsu died, the building was converted into a Zen temple by his son, according to his wishes.
During the Onin war (1467–1477), all of the buildings in the complex aside from the pavilion were burned down.
On July 2, 1950, at 2:30 am, the pavilion was burned down by a 22-year-old novice monk, Hayashi Yoken, who then attempted suicide on the Daimon-ji hill behind the building. He survived, and was subsequently taken into custody. The monk was sentenced to seven years in prison, but was released because of mental illnesses (persecution complex and schizophrenia) on September 29, 1955; he died of tuberculosis. During the fire, the original statue of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu was lost to the flames (now restored). A fictionalized version of these events is at the center of Yukio Mishima's 1956 book The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.
The present pavilion structure dates from 1955, when it was rebuilt. The pavilion is three stories high, approximately 12.5 meters in height. The reconstruction is said to be a copy close to the original, although some doubt such an extensive gold-leaf coating was used on the original structure. In 1984, the coating of Japanese lacquer was found a little decayed, and a new coating as well as gilding with gold-leaf, much thicker than the original coatings, was completed in 1987. Additionally, the interior of the building, including the paintings and Yoshimitsu's statue, were also restored. Finally, the roof was restored in 2003. The name Kinkaku is derived from the gold leaf that the pavilion is covered in. Gold was an important addition to the pavilion because of its underlying meaning. The gold employed was to mitigate and purify any pollution or negative thoughts and feelings towards death. Other than the symbolic meaning behind the gold leaf, the Muromachi period heavily relied on visual excesses. With the focus on the Golden Pavilion, how the structure is mainly covered in that material, creates an impression that stands out because of the sunlight reflecting and the effect the reflection creates on the pond. ®Wikipedia.org
The Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) is a shrine built in the northwest section of Kyoto over 1000 years ago. The shrine was built during 947AD by the emperor of the time in honor of Sugawara no Michizane, a scholar and politician who represented the middle Heian period (794 AD – 1185 AD), as well as for the peace of the nation. Ever since, the imperial family, nobles, samurais and commoners alike all visit the shrine to worship.
The Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is the very first shrine in Japanese history where an actual person was enshrined as a deity. He is known as the “god of agriculture,” “god of honesty and sincerity,” “god of dispelling false accusations” and “god of performing arts.” However, he is best known for being the “god of academics.” Sugawara no Michizane is a historical figure who read poems at the age of five and wrote Chinese poems at the age of 11. His superior talent is what led to the dissemination of the “Tenjin faith” throughout Japan. There are as many as 12,000 shrines that are dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane in Japan, but the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is the origin and the main shrine. To this day, many students that pray for passing scores on examinations and persons who wish for the improvement of their abilities come here to visit.
Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺), officially Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site.
The place is not to be confused with Kiyomizu-dera in Yasugi, Shimane, which is part of the 33-temple route of the Chūgoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage through western Japan, or the Kiyozumi-dera temple associated with the Buddhist priest Nichiren.
Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period. The temple was founded in 778 by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu. There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.
It was originally affiliated with the old and influential Hossō sect dating from Nara times. However, in 1965 it severed that affiliation, and its present custodians call themselves members of the "Kitahossō" sect. ®Wikipedia.org
Kōfuku-ji (興福寺) is a Buddhist temple that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, in the city of Nara. The temple is the national headquarters of the Hossō school and is one of the eight Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Kōfuku-ji has its origin as a temple that was established in 669 by Kagami-no-Ōkimi, the wife of Fujiwara no Kamatari, wishing for her husband’s recovery from illness. Its original site was in Yamashina,Yamashiro Province (present-day Kyoto). In 672, the temple was moved to Fujiwara-kyō, the first planned Japanese capital to copy the orthogonal grid pattern of Chang'an. In 710 the temple was dismantled for the second time and moved to its present location, on the east side of the newly constructed capital, Heijō-kyō, today's Nara.
Kōfuku-ji was the Fujiwara's tutelary temple, and enjoyed as much prosperity for as long as the family did. The temple was not only an important center for the Buddhist religion, but also retained influence over the imperial government, and even by "aggressive means" in some cases. When many of the Nanto Shichi Daiji such as Tōdai-ji -declined after the move of capital to Heian-kyō (Kyoto), Kōfuku-ji kept its significance because of its connection to the Fujiwara.
The temple was damaged and destroyed by civil wars and fires many times, and was rebuilt as many times as well, although finally some of the important buildings, such as two of the three golden halls, the nandaimon, chūmon and the corridor were never reconstructed and are missing today. ®Wikipedia.org
Kumano shrine (熊野神社 Kumano-jinja) is located on the north west corner of the intersection of Higashiyama and Marutamachi streets in the north east of Kyoto close to Kyoto University, the Kyoto Handicraft Center and Heian shrine.
Kumano shrine was founded in 811 by the monk Nichiren, the founder of Nichiren Buddhism. The shrine is dedicated to various deities from the Kumano region of Japan in present day Wakayama and Mie prefectures. The shrine was established to serve as protection for the country. Izanagi and Izanami, who in Japanese mythology gave birth to the islands of Japan, are also enshrined here and bring supplicants to pray for a safe birth and success in marriage.
Badly damaged during the Onin War (1467–1477) during the Muromachi Period, Kumano shrine was restored in 1666 during the Edo Period. A further restoration took place in 1835 with with buildings relocated from Shimogamo shrine. Kumano shrine has long been patronized by the Imperial family based in the nearby Imperial Palace. ®JapanVisitor.com
Nishiki Tenmangu (錦天満宮) is a Tenjin shrine located in central Kyoto.
The shrine has existed since the Heian period, and was established originally in the home of Sugawara no Koreyoshi, father of Sugawara no Michizane (Tenjin). It was later moved to the estate of Minamoto no Tôru (son of Emperor Saga, and a possible model for Hikaru Genji, the eponymous protagonist of the "Tale of Genji").
It was moved to its current location by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the Azuchi-Momoyama period. Located today in the major Nishiki shopping district, between Teramachi-Kyôgoku and Shin-Kyôgyoku, the shrine represents the very center of Old Kyoto. Despite being one of the most famous & important Tenjin shrines in Kyoto, it has turned away from being a shrine of scholarship and literature, and is instead a shrine dedicated to love.
The worship hall holds old calligraphic plaques, Chinese lions, and attendants. Flowers bloom in the precincts in all four seasons, and a number of other small shrines, including an Inari shrine, a sun shrine, one for commercial prosperity, and others can also be found at the site. Furthermore, the famous capital water "Nishiki water" bubbles up naturally there from the ground. The water in that well comes up from 100 shaku (over 30 meters) below the ground, and is about 17-18 degrees C (62-65 F). A survey revealed it has no flavor, no smell, and no bacteria.
The road leading to the shrine extends all the way to Teramachi and Kyôgyoku, and in particular, the ichi-no-torii (the first, outermost gate) is famous for its legs sticking out into the northeast homes. ®wiki.samurai-archives.com
Saidai-ji (西大寺) or the "Great Western Temple" is a Buddhist temple that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, in the city of Nara. The temple was established in AD 765 as a counterpart to Tōdai-ji and it is the main temple of the Shingon Risshu sect of Buddhism after the sect's founder, Eison, took over administration in 1238.
One building, the Aizen-dō, houses a statue of Aizen Myō-ō, while the main image is of Shakyamuni Buddha, erected by Eison in 1249.
Saidai-ji stands close to Yamato-Saidaiji Station on the Kintetsu Nara Line. ®Wikipedia.org