Travel Video: Our Favourite Temples of Kyoto and Osaka

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Temples of Kyoto and Osaka

Kyoto is of course famous for it’s many temples, and the quieter ones with their beautiful gardens can provide moments of deep tranquility.  In this film I’ve captured some of the experiences of visiting the temples, mainly in Kyoto, but also one or two from Osaka


Ryōan-ji (Shinjitai: 竜安寺, Kyūjitai: 龍安寺, The Temple of the Dragon at Peace) is a Zen temple located in northwest Kyoto, Japan. The garden design generally featuring distinctive larger rock formations arranged amidst a sweep of smooth pebbles (small, carefully selected polished river rocks) raked into linear patterns that facilitate meditation.

Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺, literally “Temple of the Golden Pavilion”), officially named Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺, literally “Deer Garden Temple”)is one of the most popular buildings in Japan, made famous in 1950 when it was destroyed by a 22-year-old novice monk, Hayashi Yoken, who then attempted suicide on the Daimon-ji hill behind the building.

Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is the head shrine of Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan. The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari which is 233 metres 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.

Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺), officially Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺), 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.[1] It was one of 20 finalists for the New7Wonders of the World.

Tenryū-ji (天龍寺)is located in Susukinobaba-chō, Ukyō Ward, Kyoto, Japan. The temple was founded by Ashikaga Takauji in 1339. As a temple related to both the Ashikaga family and Emperor Go-Daigo, the temple is held in high esteem, and is ranked number one among Kyoto’s so-called Five Mountains.

The temple of Jojakko-ji is situated on the side of a mountain and was established at the end of the 16th century. It is famous for its autumn leaves. The steep stairway upwards from the thatched Nio-mon (a gate with Buddhist statues standing at either side) leads to the main hall which enshrines a Buddhist image, the Myoken-do, and the Taho-to pagoda (which enshrines, among other things, the Buddha).

Nison-in (二尊院 Nison-in) is a popular destination during the Japanese maple viewing season. Shitennō-ji (Japanese: 四天王寺; also Arahaka-ji, Nanba-ji, or Mitsu-ji) is a Buddhist temple in Ōsaka, Japan. It is sometimes regarded as the first Buddhist and oldest officially administered temple in Japan, although the temple buildings have been rebuilt over the centuries.

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