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Kinkaku-ji

One of my new favorite Japan pictures, the reflection was nice.

 

Ginkaku-ji

The first time we've seen them tending to the sand, very interesting.

The "not so inspiring" Ginkaku-ji ... the gardens is what is most well known about the Silver Pavilion anyway.

This mound of gravel and sand represents Fuji-san.

A display of all the different mosses that are growing in the gardens ... it is Very Important Moss (read the placard)!

A very nice view of the Ginkaku-ji and the main garden.

Kyoto

There is no grass, only moss covering the entire grounds!

The phoenix on top of Ginkaku-ji.

 

Fushimi Inari Tansha

A little better shot of this opening section than I got the first time.

I couldn't resist but take a couple pictures!

 

Kiyomizu-dera

Kiyomizu-dera (or Kiyomizudera; Japanese: 清水寺) refers to several Buddhist temples but most commonly to Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺) in Eastern Kyoto, and one of the best known sights of the city. The temple dates back to 798, but the present buildings were constructed in 1633. The temple takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills - kiyoi mizu (清い水) literally means pure water.

The main hall of Kiyomizu-dera is notable for its vast veranda, supported by hundreds of pillars, which juts out over the hillside and offers impressive views of the city. The expression "to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu" (清水の舞台から飛び降りる) is the Japanese equivalent of the English expression "to take the plunge". This refers to an Edo period tradition that held that, if one were to survive jumping from the stage, one's wish would be granted.

This appears plausible: the lush vegetation below the platform might cushion the fall of a lucky pilgrim, though the practice is now prohibited. 234 jumps were recorded in Edo period and of those, 85.4 percent survived. The fall is indeed only 13 meters, which remains impressive for a wooden construction.

Beneath the main hall is the waterfall Otowa-no-taki, where three channels of water drop into a pond. Visitors to the temple collect the water, which is believed to have therapeutic properties, from the waterfall in metal cups. It is said that drinking the water of the three streams confers health, longevity, and success in studies.

The temple complex contains several other shrines, notably Jishu-jinja, decidated to Okuninushino-Mikoto, a god of love and "good matches". Jishu-jinja possesses a pair of "love stones" placed 18 meters apart, which lonely visitors attempt to walk between with their eyes closed. Success in reaching the other stone, eyes closed, is taken as a presage that the pilgrim will find love. One can be assisted in the crossing, but this is taken to mean that an intermediary will be needed. The person's romantic interest can assist them as well.

On January 1, 2006, Kiyomizu Temple was included on the list of candidates for the New Seven Wonders of the World.

The road leading up to Kiyomizu ... like everything else, lined with shops on both sides.

The red/orange architecture was taken from China, the colors are very vibrant.

A 3-story pagoda, where our tourist guide told us they kept Buddha's hair and bones.

I just think these grape (I think) vines are awesome ... you can see them all around Japan, but the base looks nearly rotten, but it is very healthy.

Vibrant colors!

The New Seven Wonders of the World banner as Kiyomizu Temple is one of the 21 finalists, I think maybe it is worthy.

This was a place where you show your strength and get "blessings" if you can lift these objects, the one David is trying (and successful was 30 lbs.)

Now the big one was another story ... 200 lbs. ... and David and I barely got it up, but were awarded with a nice applause from the Japanese onlookers

Otowa-no-taki is the waterfall where visitors drink for health, longevity, and success in studies. (Some people were washing their whole face!)

The main temple's famous platform

Ashley and Amy talking to our guide as David listens. She was a student practicing her English, it was nice to hear what she had to say.

Mary Nell striking a pose.

Some ladies in kimonos walking through the buildings at the base of Kiyomizu.

Ashley get the most information she can from our tour guide.

All of us at the beginning!