JP 2016 Feb Kinki (Part 1)

Kyoto/Uji, Nara

visited several World Heritage sites in Kyoto and Nara when there were less tourists in Feb. Returned to Osaka/Namba after Nara.

Byodoin (平等院)

Byodoin is in Uji, a town famous for green tea and is about 30min by commuter train from Kyoto. It’s more than 1000 years old and its Phoenix Hall is featured on the back on the JPY10 coin. Apart from its beautiful architecture and garden, there are many valuable artifacts such as paintings, statues and sculptures in its treasure house.

Japan Guide

Uji Shrine and Tea house

After brief soba lunch, visited the Uji Shrine on the opposite side of the Uji river. Returned back to the tea alley to visit 500-year old tea house, whose founder had served the shogun.  The current owner is already the 16th generation. The Uji-cha (tea) sets with local desserts were excellent.  A Swiss guy serving us showed us to visit the tea information room on 2F.

 

To-ji (東寺)

Toji, literally “East Temple”, served as one of the capital’s guardian temples, when the capital was relocated from Nara to Kyoto in the Heian-era (circa 700AD). The pagoda is still the tallest pagoda in Japan and is the symbol of Toji and Kyoto.

It happened that the 5-storey pagoda was opened to the public in Feb when we visited. A free English-speaking guide briefed us on the history of To-ji. Apart from the pagoda, the Kondo (“Gold hall’) and Kodo (“Lecture hall”) exhibit many precious Buddhist artifacts such as sculptures, statues, paintings etc.

Kitano Tenmangu (北野天滿宮)

Visited Ume (Plum) blossom in garden. Though it was not in full bloom when we visited, Ume flowers in various colours were blooming.

==> Nara  ==>

 

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