Honshū Japan

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Kinkaku-ji Kyoto Japan

Kinkaku-ji Kyoto Japan History of the great Kinkakuji Zen Temple:

“Kinkakuji” is the most popular Zen temple in Japan. The temple’s main pavilion has covering with gold leaves that shimmer in front of the pond – Kyoko-chi (Mirror Pond). The temple was originally built in 1397 as a villa for the Court noble Kintsune Saionji and improved by the second owner Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. “Rokuonji” is the former name of the temple which was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. He desired to convert the place as a Zen temple. Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu’s son Yoshimochi fulfilled his after desire after his demise in 1408. During Onin War the great temple met more destruction.

This golden temple is situated at the foot of the Kinugasa Hill and in the northwest of Kyoto. Devotees can make a short walk to the north from Hirano Shrine and Waratenjin Shrine. “Waratenjin Shrine” is famous for fulfilling the prayers of safe childbirth and easy pregnancy. “Hirano Shrine” is in the Kyoto city. This temple is popular for its trees and garden.

Key points about Kinkakuji Zen Temple

  • Kinkakuji temple is kept open from 9 am to 5 pm every day and it is opened year around
  • The entrance charge to Kinkakuji for adults is 400 yen and children up to junior high school 300 yen.
  • UNESCO recognized Kinkakuji as one of the historical building of Japan and listed in World Cultural Heritage.
  • The temple’s garden encompasses a charming Teahouse from where the people can taste a cup of Matcha tea and traditional sweet
  • 30-50 minutes is usually the visiting time inside and outside the temple
  • 3-storey Kinkakuji Pavilion’s upper two walls are covered with golden foil and there is bronze phoenix statue on the stone roof.
  • This golden pavilion is located in Kyoto, the seventh largest city in Japan.
  • In 1987 some parts of the temple were resurfaced with gold plates and some interior were remolded in 2003
  • In the three-storey temple, the upper two stories have a covering of gold layers.
  • The second-floor design represents a Zen style whereas the ground floor showcases the shinden-zukuri style.
  • The total area of the temple ground is 1, 32,000 square meters and the Kyoko-chi Pond alone occupies 60,600 square meters, includes islands of various sizes such as Nakajima and Iwa-Jima.
  • The golden temple’s reflection strikes the pond.

Best time to visit Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion Temple:

Weather is favorable in spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) seasons and they are the appropriate months to visit Kyoto. It is better to avoid June and August due to the heavy rainfall and hot sun. Japan’s vacation starts on the first week of May, so it would be a favorable time to visit all the places in Kyoto.

Popular Festivals in Japan:

  • Yuki Matsuri, Snow Festival (Sapporo) – Snow sculpture – February
  • Hakata Dontaku Matsuri (Fukuoka) – Hakata Dontaku Port Festival – 3rd and 4th of May
  • Kanda Matsuri (Tokyo) – Festival Kanda Matsuri Shrine- May Mid
  • Gion Matsuri (Kyoto) – Shrine Festival – Entire July
  • Tenjin Matsuri (Osaka)- Land and river procession – 24th to 25th July
  • Nebuta Matsuri (Aomori) – Lantern floats depicting human figures dance – 2nd to 7th of August
  • Tanabata Matsuri (Sendai, Miyagi)- Chinese legendary festival – 6th to 8th August
  • Awa Odori (Tokushima)- Traditional Dancing Festival-12th to 15th August
  • Kochi Yosakoi Matsuri (Kochi) – Old folk songs based dance- August Mid
  • Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri (Kishiwada, Osaka) – Hoping and dancing on the wooden floats- September Mid

Favorite sighting spots in Kyoto

Ryoan-Ji temple:

This is the most famous Zen temple in Japan. This tiny rock garden contains 15 rocks and white gravel, a pond. The Karesansui rock garden is a national special landscape and this temple is listed under 17 world cultural heritage sites of Kyoto.

Nijo-jo castle:

Ninomaru-Goten building and one of its three gardens are primary attractions of Nijo-jo-castle. Ninomaru-Goten mansion is a national treasure. Ninomaru Teien garden possesses a history of national landscape and it comes under 17 World cultural heritage sites of Kyoto.

Gion Corner:

This is a popular theater where the tourists enjoy the 7 kinds of Japanese traditional arts and entertainment in a single setting. The 7 types of entertainments are Japanese Harp, Puppet Play, Tea Ceremony, Kyoto-style Dance, Flower Arrangement, Comic Play, and Court Music.

Kiyomizu-Dera temple

This temple is famous in Kyoto and more than 4 million people visit the place annually. Hondo is the key attraction of the temple; The main hall has been existing on a steep slope which has a stage in front of it. 139 pillars help to support the structure of the temple, the workers had not used any nail while building the temple. Honda is considered as a national treasure.

Kyoto Station Building, Kyoto Gosho, Ginkaku-Ji temple, Handy Craft Center, Heian-Jingu shrine, Sanjusangen-do temple, Arashiyama and Sagano district, To-Ji temple, Nanzen-Ji temple are the other amazing visiting spots in Kyoto.

Places to Board & Lodge:

The tourists can see many hotels, guest houses, star hotels in and around Kinkakuji temple. It is better to get a clear guidance before start your trip to such a traditional shrine.

Mount Fuji Honshū Japan

Mount Fuji Honshū Japan Japan owns the pride of having Mount Fuji naturally which is the highest mountain here. Mt. Fuji situated at the border of two regions called Shizuoka and Yamanashi. With an unparalleled majesty and a beautiful cone shape Mt. Fuji won out many selections in the paintings and literature. It is a gigantic symbol of Japan.

“Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha” Shrine is present at the foot of Mount Fuji which is the headquarters of 1300 Sengen Jinja shrines in Japan. Climbers use to worship the shrine before climbing up the mountain. In “Yabusame Festival”, the Japanese Samurai performance will be held here every May with bows and arrows on the horse in the shrine.

Mount Fuji is an ancient mountain worship place of Japan. Today it has turned to be a popular mountain to climb and many people climb the mountain to watch “Goraiko” the sunrise from the pinnacle of the mount. Access to the 5th station has been made easy and well maintained; so that the tourists can go up to the point and enjoy the mountain’s radiance very nigh from May to November.

Interesting facts about Mount Fuji:

  • This gigantic elevation is about more than 12,388 feet in height
  • It is tall, cone shaped with active volcano
  • Mount Fuji covers three ghastly volcanoes namely Komitake at the bottom, Kofuji at the middle and Fuji at the top
  • The last eruption of the volcano happened 300 years ago. The eruption started in the December 1707 and continued until the first day of 1708
  • Every year more than 2, 00,000 people climb the summit. About 30% of the climbers are foreigners and rest Japanese.
  • Mt. Fuji comes under UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site
  • It has been a trust that Mount Fuji is named after the Fuchi, who is the Buddhist goddess
  • An anonymous Buddhist Monk was the first person who climbed the mountain in the year 663
  • There was no permission for Women to climb Mount Fuji until 1912
  • There are five beautiful lakes around the mountain namely Kawaguchiko, Yamanakako, Saiko, Motosuko and Shojiko
  • The climbers can climb the mountain only in July and August. Climbing the mount is not an easy job. The temperature at the tip of the mountain would be deadly low and may fall down below -35 degree Celsius.
  • Mount Fuji is one of the sacred mountains in Japan
  • The mountain is a part of Fuji-Hakone-Izu, a National Park. It is the most visited and attractive national park of the country
  • Mount Fuji is being the place for samurai warrior training

Climbing season at Mountain Fuji:

Climbing season in the Mt. Fuji starts at the early July and ends in August. The daytime temperature will not be higher than 41°F and August the temperature will be not more than 44°F. In these months trails and mountain amenities open. The mountain will be free of snow along with mild weather during the time. People who are amateur in climbing advised to tackle the climbing during the official climbing season. Climbing the summit is a peril from October to mid-June. Those months have extreme gushing wind, bad weather condition, snowfall with a risk of avalanches.

Admission Fee to Mt. Fuji

In the climbing season, climbers will have to pay 1000 yen per person at the collection stations at each trailhead as a climbing fee. The money will be useful for spending to some expenditure during summer, especially to protect the environment and take safety measures for the climbers. The climbing follows four different trails and it usually takes 8-12 hours to ascend and 4-6 hours to descend. Many climbers fix their ascent to witness the rising sun from the summit.

Never fail to see

Fuji Q Highlands: Fuji Q is a famous amusement park that features with Japan’s fastest, longest, steepest and tallest roller coasters. You can view Fuji exactly from a roller coaster that drops at 172 km/h.

Fuji Shibazakura Festival: This festival usually starts from late April to late May in Fuji Motosuko Resort, Fujikawaguchiko. In this festival, tourist can view about 80,000 blooming Shibazakura (mountain phlox flowers) fill 6 acres of sloping hills with brilliant red, pink and white flowers. It is really an awe-inspiring.

Hakone: Hakone resort town located on the edge of Mount Fuji which is well known for its Onsen and Ryokan. It has been a weekend spot for Tokyoites. Hakone is being a popular Tokyo side trip among international tourists.

Kamakura: This coastal town is popular for its majestic Buddha, temples, historical attractions, surfing beaches. You can view Mount Fuji clearly from Kamakura’s beaches.

Gotemba: It is the best destination for shopping (Gotemba Premium Outlets) near to Mt. Fuji. The mall encompasses 50 restaurants, a Ferris wheel, and around 200 shops.

Tokyo Sky Tree, Iyashi no Sato, Enoshima, Lake Kawaguchiko, Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, Oshino Hakkai, Ko no Hana Museum, Sengen Shrine are the notable places to visit in and around Mt. Fuji.

Where to stay?

You can see many hotels, restaurants, lodges, resorts at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Luxury to budgetary accommodation is available there according to your convenience.


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