March 14, 2011 – Japan Retrospective – Kyoto

The Japan tribute continues today with a visit to Kyoto.

One thing that usually strikes me outside of the US is the age of the rest of the civilized world. The Heian Shrine is a baby in terms of Japanese history, built in 1895, to commemorate the 1,100th year anniversary of Kyoto.

Heian Shrine

The grounds inside this Shinto shrine were beautiful.

I love the look of supreme confidence, beauty, and protection this new mother gives to the world.


Kinkaku-ji (also known as the Temple of the Golden Pavilion) is a Zen Buddist temple in Kyoto as well. This temple dates back to the 1300s. The Kinkaku-ji grounds were built to mimic the descriptions of the western paradise of the Buddha, intending to illustrate a harmony between heaven and earth.

nijo castle grounds

Here is a view on the grounds of the Nijo Castle, home of the Tokugawa Shoguns. It was built in 1601, and contains concentric circles of moats and embankments.

zen garden

Ry?an-ji (The Temple of the Dragon at Peace) is a Zen temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The most famous element of this temple is the ‘Zen garden’ which dates to the 1400s. The garden consists of raked gravel and fifteen moss-covered boulders, which are placed so that, when looking at the garden from any angle (other than from above) only fourteen of the boulders are visible at one time. It is traditionally said that only through attaining enlightenment would one be able to view the fifteenth boulder.

one year ago…”Maple Syruping Season Begins”

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