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Kyoto: Ryoanji (Temple)

Located in 13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City in Kyoto Prefecture, Ryoanji (Temple) is one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto. 

The land where the temple now stands was once part of an estate owned by the Fujiwara clan in the 11th century. A temple named Daiju-in and the Kyoyochi Pond was built there sometime in the 11th century under the orders of Fujiwara Saneyoshi.

Then in 1450, the land was acquired by Hosokawa Katsumoto who was a powerful warlord during those days. He built his residence there and founded the Zen temple of Ryoanji. Sadly, the temple was destroyed during the Onin War. Hosokawa Matsumoto passed away in 1473 leaving the task of rebuilding the temple to the hands of his son, Hosokawa Matsumoto who finished the task in 1488.

Throughout time, the temple became a famous burial ground of emperors. A part of the temple is known as the "Seven Imperial Tombs". It is the burial places of the following emperors; Uda (867-931), Kazan (968-1008),…

Kyoto: Kinkakuji (Temple) Revisited 2018

Located at Kinkakujicho, Kita, Kyoto City in Kyoto Prefecture, Kinkakuji (Temple) is one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto. 

Famously called the Golden Pavilion, Kinkakuji is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto City (and probably in the whole of Japan). The temple was built in 1397 as a retirement villa for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. It was then converted into a temple after his death according to his will.

To date, Kinkakuji is one of the most visited temples in Kyoto City. Regardless of the season, this place is always jam-packed with tourists and very rarely would you see this place free from a crowd. 

I was lucky enough to visit Kinkakuji twice already. The first was in 2014 and then recently this 2018. (You can read about my first visit to this historic temple by clicking this LINK). Very little had changed since my first visit (which is good). If there is, it is usually maintenance and restorative works of the infrastructures inside the temple vicinity. 

Kyoto: Kitano Tenmangu (Shrine)

Located at Bakurocho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City in Kyoto Prefecture, Kitano Tenmangu (Shrine) (北野天満宮)is one of the most important of the several hundred shrines across Japan that are dedicated to Sugawara no Michazane who was known as a great scholar, poet, and politician. He is associated with Tenjin who is a Shinto god of education.

Kitano Tenmangu (Shrine) was built in 947 to appease the angry spirit of Sugawara no Michazane whose death in exile was said to have brought drought and plagues to Japan. Years after its construction, the shrine became an object of Imperial patronage during the early Heian period. In 965, Emperor Murakami ordered that Imperial messengers, called heihaku, to report important events to the guardian kami of Japan in the belief that they'd get the message across. In 991, Emperor Ichijo added three more shrines to the list. This includes Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine was officially designated as one of the Kanpei-chusha which lasted from 187…