Wonderful Japan – Kyoto and Nara

By | Jul 17, 2017 | Views: 341
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(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline)

Kyoto and Nara were once two of ancient Japan’s capital cities that flourished as the county’s cultural and political centres. Japan’s capital city was relocated to Tokyo in the 18th century, and has remained so until today. The two prefectures of Kyoto and Nara are parts of the Kansai region, located at the south-central part of Honshu Island, together with other densely populated urban centres such as Kobe and Osaka. Though Tokyo may today be considered Japan’s main cultural and economic hub, Kansai is home to a counter-culture rooted in rich history and distinctive characteristics that have developed since the Edo Period (1603-1868).

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Recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, the Kyoto and Nara regions are inevitably considered unmissable destinations to experience Japan’s traditional culture. Much of Japanese history was played out in Kyoto and Nara, a stronghold of traditional Japanese culture. Kyoto houses 17 UNESCO World Heritages Sites with over 1,600 Buddhist temples, more than 400 Shinto shrines, and is known to be one of the most culturally rich cities in the world. Nara, on the other hand, is a much smaller city that contains 8 UNESCO World Heritages Sites and was Japan’s first capital city. Nara is also one of the most rewarding destinations for travellers in Japan.

Both Kyoto and Nara have elaborate gardens, temples, and shrines that boast a lot of cultural heritage including various Buddhist statues. Kyoto also includes an entertainment district (hana-machi), where beautiful maiko girls (apprentice geiko, slightly different from geisha) walk through rows of old houses and act as hostesses. Kyoto’s traditional culture has endured until today and continues to develop, in fields such as arts and crafts, performing arts, etc. Both Kyoto and Nara embody nature, beauty, and tradition, making them wonderful destinations for visitors to experience.

If you are planning to visit, below is some useful information to make your visit to Kyoto and Nara memorable and enjoyable.

 

Population

Based on the latest United Nations estimates, Japan’s current population is 126,047,196 as of Wednesday, June 28, 2017. This is equivalent to 1.68% of the world’s total population. Kyoto itself in inhabited by 1,473,110 people, while Nara is occupied by 359,666 people.

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Weather

Weather patterns and average temperatures vary enormously across Japan, resulting in inconsistent timing to best visit the vast country. Honshu’s climate is mainly influenced by the surrounding mountains and warm seas that bring plenty of rain and snow to the region.

However, the most pleasant time to visit Japan, despite frequent showers, is during spring, a time when even the weather reports show the steady progress of the famed sakura blossom. In Kyoto, the sakura flowers blossom in spring and the leaves turn red in late autumn, undoubtedly the best times to visit the city. In fact, all four seasons decorate the city gracefully in one way or another. As for Nara, the best times to visit are spring (March-May) and autumn (October-November). The rainy season occurs from mid-June to late July, however you can still visit during this time as it doesn’t rain every day.

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Visa Application

  1. To enter Japan as a visitor, you can apply for the “temporary visitor visa” (generally called “tourist visa”) directly at your nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate.
  2. Citizens from countries that are eligible for visa exemption may enter Japan with their passport without prior application, unless intending to stay for a long period of time, or to work.
  3. The period of stay granted upon entering the country is 15 days for citizens of Brunei, Indonesia, and Thailand, while a period of 90 days is granted for citizens of other countries and regions. Please click here for a list of countries and entry conditions.
  4. The visa processing period is approximately 5 working days from the day after submission of application.
  5. Visas usually hold validity for three months.
  6. A single-entry visa will cost 3,000 yen (approximately USD27), while a double-entry or multiple-entry visa will cost 6,000 yen (approximately USD54). A transit visa will cost 700 yen (approximately USD7). All fees are collected in the respective currency of the country in which the Japanese Embassy or Consulate is located.
  7. Visa application fees may vary depending on the purpose of your visit and nationality.
  8. Visitors should hold passports with at least six months of validity after planned departure from Japan.
Mt. Fuji with fall colours in Japan

Mt. Fuji with fall colours in Japan

 

DO’S and DONT’S

The city’s tourism organisation, the Kyoto Convention and Visitors Bureau, in collaboration with TripAdvisor have released an infographic outlining an etiquette manual for tourists visiting Kyoto called “AKIMAHEN”, which means “DO NOT” in the local Kyoto dialect. The manual lists 18 customs from Kyoto and information on how to avoid cultural “faux pas”, or mistakes in cultural etiquette. Below is a video featuring AKIMAHEN which visitors should watch before departing to Kyoto. An online guide is also available here.

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AkimahenOfKyoto.mp4

 

The General Manners in Japan

DO’s

  • Slurp when eating Japanese-style noodles such as soba, udon, and ramen.
  • Finish all your food to show that you enjoyed your meal.
  • Use toothpicks (youji) with your dominant hand and cover your mouth with the other hand when food gets stuck in between your teeth.
  • Do remove your shoes before entering houses, temples, and other buildings such as restaurants and bathhouses where shoes are not allowed inside. Do check and see if you are supposed to take off your shoes and wear the slippers provided inside.
  • Do keep your voice down and do not disrupt other people’s conversations in public places especially on trains, buses, and in temples.
  • Do stand in a straight line when waiting for the train.
  • Please smoke in designated areas only. Smoking is prohibited in many public locations and so is tossing of cigarette butts.
  • While the Japanese respect foreign cultures, kissing and hugging is not a common form of public expression in Japan. You may interact with the Japanese according to your own culture.
  • Do use “sumimasen” (sorry) and “arigato” (thank you) in situations when a sorry or thank you is appropriate. The Japanese say “sumimasen” even when they actually mean “arigato” to show concern over another’s consideration.
  • Do use “yoroshiku onegaishimasu” at the end of a conversation when asking for a favour or expressing your wish for an ongoing relationship with the other person.

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DONT’S

  • Pack food from restaurants, especially high-class Japanese restaurants, as Japan is a very humid country and food sanitation is difficult. Doggy bags are generally not used.
  • Do not spit or litter on the streets.
  • Do not unwrap gifts in front of the giving party as it is rude. An exception to this is when the party giving the gift asks you specifically to unwrap the gift.
  • Do not speak on mobile phones when using public transportation.

 

Travel Tips

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Most visitors tend to fly in and out of Tokyo when visiting Japan, and use a Japan Rail Pass to travel between major cities across the country. If your itinerary is confined to Tokyo and Kansai, the following ways will be useful for you to streamline your transportation expenses.

A week-long national rail pass cost 29,110 yen. To reduce this cost, you can combine the standard fare for the 2.5-hour train ride from Tokyo to Kyoto together with the 3-day Kansai Thru (Surutto Kansai) pass that covers all destinations from Kyoto to Nara to Osaka at only a little over 18,000 yen (13,260 yen for the Shinkansen bullet train and 5,200 yen for the Thru pass). You can save an additional few thousand Yen if you catch a ride on an overnight bus between Tokyo and Kyoto, saving you accommodation costs for that night.

The above is ideal when using Kansai International Airport (KIX) for either your inbound or outbound international flights, but not in the case if you need to ride back to Tokyo. The following are three airports with easy access to Kyoto:

  1. Osaka International Airport (Itami; ITM):
    • The closest airport to Kyoto
    • A 50-minute ride away using the convenient airport limousine bus
    • On the whole the airport serves domestic flights (many airlines will provide free flights to fly you here from Narita if you fly with that airline internationally)
  2. Kansai International Airport (KIX):
    • The main international access point to Kyoto
    • Approximately a 90-minute ride from Kyoto by direct express train
  3. Central Japan International Airport (Centrair; NGO):
    • About 90-minutes away from Kyoto by airport express and shinkansen

For non-Japanese speakers, do visit HyperDia for up-to-date transportation prices and connections. This may probably be the most helpful website you will need on your trip throughout Japan.

 

Top 10 Must Visit Places in Kyoto

 

1. Kinkaku-Ji (金閣寺, Golden Pavilion Temple)

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Kinkaku-ji is one of the most popular and best places to visit in Japan. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This Zen temple is located in northern Kyoto, and has two upper walls of the 3-storied pavilion covered with gold foil that shimmers in front of the kyoko-chi (mirror pond). If you arrive at dawn, just as the sun gently caresses its pure gold leaf covered facade, you get to see the gorgeous image of this pavilion floating on the water. Above its shingle roof sits an exquisite bronze phoenix.

Kinkaku-ji includes the impressive structure built overlooking a large pond that was rebuilt in 1955. It is the only building left from Ashikaga Yoshimitsu’s (September 25, 1358-May 31, 1408) former retirement complex. Ashikaga Yoshimitsu was the 3rd shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate which governed Japan from 1338 to 1573. Its first floor was built during the Heian Period (794 to 1185) in shinden style – white plaster walls and wooden beams, while its upper floors were built in bukke samurai style. The second floor contains various Buddhist images, and Kinkaku-ji also houses the Buddha’s relics.

Though the interior is closed to the public, it is possible for visitors to make out statues of the Buddha and Yoshimitsu on the first floor. Nevertheless, the gardens are delightful and visitors get to admire the pavilion from different angles.

Address: Kinkakuji-cho, Kita-ku
Operating Hours: Daily from 9am-5pm
Admission:
Adults: 400 yen
Children under 15: 300 yen
Phone: +81-75-461-0013

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Hotel Chrysantheme Kyoto (0.8 km from Kinkakuji Temple)
    Address: 51 Yanagicho, Hiranokamihaccho, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8353, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-462-1540
    Website: http://www.chrysantheme.co.jp/english/
  2. Kyohatago Mugen (2.6 km from Kinkakuji Temple)
    Address: 548-1 Kitakodaimoncho Kuromondori Kaminagachojamachi Sagaru, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8252, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-366-3206
    Website: http://kyoto-machiya-ryokan.com/
  3. Ryokan Yamazaki (2.8 km from Kinkakuji Temple)
    Address: 11 Umegahata Takahanacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto 616-8261, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-881-2303
    Website: http://www.ryokan-yamazaki.com/

 

2. Ginkaku-Ji (銀閣寺, Silver Pavilion Temple)

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Ginkaku-ji was converted into a Zen temple in 1490. Located along Kyoto’s eastern mountains (Higashiyama), Ginkaku-ji was formerly Ashikaga Yoshimitsu’s retirement villa modelled after Kinkaku-ji. It is a must see sight for local and international visitors while in Kyoto as it is one of the most beautiful temples in the city. Similar to the Kinkaku-ji, the interior of the pavilion is not open to the public.

The Ginkaku-ji complex consists of the Silver Pavilion, six other temple buildings, a unique dry sand garden, and a beautiful moss garden. The pavilion is 2-storied, constructed in two different architectural styles, and houses a statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. The Silver Pavilion is believed to have been built in order to contrast the Golden Pavilion, but it has never been covered in silver. Another explanation for the name is that the building has a silvery appearance when moon light reflects on the building’s dark exterior that used to be covered in black lacquer.

For a memorable experience, walk along a circular route around the complex grounds to view the gardens and buildings. If you climb the trail at the back of the garden, you will be rewarded with a fantastic viewpoint of the rest of the city and the entire temple compound.

It is recommended to visit right after the complex opens or just before it closes, ideally on a Monday around 10am and 4pm. If you visit during weekend or holidays, it will be packed with visitors, making it almost impossible to enjoy the place.

Address: 2 Ginkaku-ji-cho, Sakyo-ku
Operating hours:
8:30am-5pm March-November
9am-4:30pm December-February
Admission:
Adults: 500 yen
Children under 15: 300 yen
Phone: +81-75-771-5725

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Hiiragiya (3.5 km from Ginkaku-ji Temple)
    Address: 277 Nakahakusancho Huyacho Anekoji-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8094, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-221-1136
    Website: https://www.hiiragiya.co.jp/en/
  2. Tawaraya Ryokan (3.5 km from Ginkaku-ji Temple)
    Address: 278 Nakahakusancho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8094, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-211-5566
    Website: https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Hotel_Review-g298564-d310306-Reviews-Tawaraya_Ryokan-Kyoto_Kyoto_Prefecture_Kinki.html
  3. Hotel Sugicho (3.5 km from Ginkaku-ji Temple)
    Address: 172 Moriyamacho, Oike-agaru, Tominokoji, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0953, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-241-0106
    Website: http://www.kyoto-ryokan.jp

 

3. Gion District (祇園)

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Gion is one of Kyoto’s most iconic tourist attractions, and is preserved in the style of the Edo period. It is the place where geishas are trained, and geisha makeovers are also available for visitors today as well. The geisha in Kyoto are known by the local term geiko which essentially means “a woman of art” and they do not refer to themselves as geisha which means “artist” or “person of the arts”. In the past Gion underwent a restoration project that moved all overhead utilities underground as part of the ongoing efforts to preserve Gion’s original beauty. It is a fantastic district if you want to experience Kyoto’s history and culture as it is filled with historical temples and traditional architecture.

Gion is even more enchanting after dark with guests filling old wooden teahouses, and geiko and maiko (apprentice geiko) entertaining visitors. Apart from geisha, Gion has a collection of famous streets defined by old wooden teahouses and buildings, and exclusive Japanese restaurants. The yearly July Gion Matsuri also attracts millions of visitors due to its procession of festival floats and traditional musical performances.

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Matsui Honkan Ryokan (1 km from Gion)
    Address: 405 Izutsuyacho Nakagyo-ku | (Yanagino Banba Rokkaku Sagaru), Kyoto 604-8113, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-221-3535
    Website: http://www.matsui-inn.com/en/
  2. Kinparo (1 km from Gion)
    Address: 467 Setoyacho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8122, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-221-7237
    Website: http://www.newkinpa.on.arena.ne.jp/english/
  3. Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shinmachi Bettei (1.7 km from Gion)
    Address: 361 Rokkaku-cho, Rokkaku-sagaru, Shinmachidori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8212, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-257-1131
    Website: https://www.gardenhotels.co.jp/kyoto-shinmachi/

 

4. Kiyomizu-Dera Temple (清水寺, Pure Water Temple)

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Kiyomizu-Dera was first built in 798, while the present buildings were reconstructed in 1633. It is one of the most famous landmarks in the city and one of the best Buddhist temples to visit in Southern Higashiyama. The Kiyomizu-Dera is affiliated with the Hosso school of Buddhism which originates in Nara, and is another UNESCO Heritage Site in Kyoto.

Kiyomizu-Dera’s biggest attraction is the Hondo (Main Hall) that has a huge veranda made entirely out of wood, supported by pillars, juts out over the hillside. Kiyomizu-dera is situated on a mountain in Gion and is almost one with nature as it is half-shrouded by sakura trees that turn pink with sakura blossoms during spring time. During the Edo period, people actually believed that their wishes would be granted if they jumped from the 13m high cliff and survived. Over 200 people jumped and more than 85% survived according to records. The practice is now prohibited by law for obvious reasons. The valley below offers a spectacular view due to the vivid colours of Japan’s distinct four seasons that can be seen clearly from the temple.

Just below the Hondo is the Otowa-no-taki waterfall where visitors can drink the water that is believed to bestow health and longevity. Apart from the Hondo, around the precincts, are other halls and shrines. Another popular spot is the Jishu-jinja, which is a shrine up the steps above the Hondo. There is also a belief that visitors who wish for success in their love life can walk a trail roughly 18 meters with their eyes closed. If they walk between a pair of stones they will be successful. However, if they miss walking between the stones, their desire for love will not be fulfilled.

Address: 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku
Operating Hours:
6am-6pm (until 6:30pm on weekends and holidays from mid-April through July and every day in August and September)
6pm-9pm during Hanatoro around mid-March, from late March to mid-April and from mid-November to early December
Admission: 400 yen
Phone: +81-75-551-1234

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Super Hotel Kyoto Shijokawaramachi (1.9 km from Kiyomizu-dera Temple)
    Address: 538-1 Shinkyogokudori, Chukyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8042, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-255-9000
    Website: http://www.superhoteljapan.com/en/s-hotels/shijyogawara/
  2. The B Kyoto Sanjo (1.9 km from Kiyomizu-dera Temple)
    Address: 2-49-1, Sanjoohashi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0001, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-762-1300
    Website: http://kyotosanjo.theb-hotels.com/en/
  3. Kyoto Traveler’s Inn (1.9 km from Kiyomizu-dera Temple)
    Address: 91 Okazaki Enshojicho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8344, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-771-0225
    Website: http://www.k-travelersinn.com/english/

 

5. Ryoan-Ji (龍安寺, Peaceful Dragon Temple)

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Ryoan-Ji is a UNESCO Heritage Site that is well known for its mysterious rock garden, one of the best rock gardens in Japan that defies attempts at explanation. Daimyo Hosokawa Katsumoto (1561-1628) built the temple in 1450, however it remains a mystery as to who designed and made the rock garden as well as its purpose and the intention behind it. This temple is the most famous hiraniwa (flat garden) that reveals the stunning simplicity and harmony of Zen meditation’s principles.

There are fifteen carefully placed rocks that seem to drift in a sea of raked white gravel enclosed by an earthen wall. Visitors have an unimpeded view from the viewing platform right above the garden itself. However, no matter which angle you view it from, you can never see all fifteen stones. Apart from this, visitors can tour the extensive grounds of Ryoan-ji that includes larger trees and moss gardens and the particularly striking Kyoyo-chi pond (best seen in autumn).

Address: 13 Ryoanji-Goryo-no-Sita-cho, Ukyo-ku
Operating Hours:
8am-5pm March-November
8:30am-4:30pm December-February
Admission:
Adults: 500 yen
Children under 15: 300 yen
Phone: +81-75-463-2216

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Kaden (5.0 km from Ryoanji Temple)
    Address: 191 Chigiriyacho, Higashinotoin Higashiiru, Rokkakudori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8133, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-212-7000
    Website: http://kyotokaden.jp/en/index.html
  2. Luck You Kyoto (5.1 km from Ryoanji Temple)
    Address: 590-16 Kakimotocho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8357, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-366-3211
    Website: http://luckyou-kyoto.com
  3. Hoshinoya Kyoto (5.1 km from Ryoanji Temple)
    Address: 11-2 Genrokuzancho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 616-0007, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-50-3786-1144
    Website: http://hoshinoyakyoto.jp/en/

 

6. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove (嵐山竹林の小径)

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The soaring stalks of bamboo at the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove are one of Kyoto’s top sights. Pictures of the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, along with the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine’s torii tunnels, and Kinkaku-ji are often seen together in materials promoting trips to Kyoto. Entering this lush and extensive bamboo grove is like entering another world with endless stalks that seem to continue in every direction.

The bamboo in Arashiyama grow thick and strong, giving shade to cool down in the summer, while bringing warmth during the winter, as beams of sunshine descend through the trees. The grove runs from outside Tenryu-ji’s north gate to just below the Okochi Sanso villa, and its footpath is 500m long. Standing in the middle of this sprawling bamboo grove gives you an incredible feeling, and is quite different than any other forest you will ever visit.

Address: Arashiyama, Ukyo-ku
Operating Hours: 24 hours daily
Phone: +81-75-861-0012

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Gosho Nishi Kyoto Heian Hotel (7.9 km from Bamboo Forest Street)
    Address: Karasuma Kamichojamachi agaru, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-0912, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-432-6181
    Website: http://kyoto-heian-hotel.com/english/
  2. Azumaya Ryokan (7.9 km from Bamboo Forest Street)
    Address: Shichijo-agaru Horikawa-dori Shimogyo-ku | Nishi Honganjimae, Kyoto 600-8399, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-371-2364
    Website: https://www.adumaya-kyoto.com
  3. Ryokan Shimizu (8.1 km from Bamboo Forest Street)
    Address: 646 Kagiya-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8317, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-371-5538
    Website: http://www.kyoto-shimizu.net/eng/index.html

 

7. Fushimi Inari-Taisha (伏見稲荷大社)

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The Fushimi Inari-Taisha is the 1,300-year-old central shrine (taisha) for 40,000 shrines across Japan dedicated to Inari, the Shinto deity of rice and sake (Japanese rice wine) and was built by the Hata family in the 8th century. It stretches 230 metres (750 feet) up a hill with hundreds of bright red torii (gates) behind it, forming one of the most memorable and impressive sights in the whole of Kyoto.

The taisha consists of five shrines that stretch across the wooded slopes of Inari-san with a pathway that wanders 4km up the hill and is lined with dozens of atmospheric sub-shrines. As you walk up the hillside, you will come across hundreds of stone fox statues along the way. Foxes are considered the messenger animals of Inari. Keys are often depicted hanging from the mouths of the foxes, and are actually keys for rice granaries. Traditionally, the Japanese see foxes as sacred animals, capable of ‘possessing’ humans through their favoured point of entry – under the fingernails.

Within Japanese culture, deities began to be worshipped to ensure prosperity in business, as the role of agriculture decreased. This shrine holds incredible spiritual and personal significance to the locals and attracts millions when they come to pay their respects during the Japanese New Year. In the area you will also find vendors selling the sweet tsujiura senbei, a type of local cookie that is believed to be an early predecessor of the American-style fortune cookie.

Address: 68 Yabunouchi-cho, Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku
Operating hours: Dawn to dusk
Admission: Free
Phone: +81-75-561-1551

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Hotel Kanra Kyoto (3.2 km from Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine)
    Address: 190 Kitamachi Karasuma-dori Rokujo Sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8176, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-344-3815
    Website: https://www.hotelkanra.jp/en/
  2. Kyomachiya Ryokan Sakura Honganji (3.3 km from Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine)
    Address: 228 Butsuguyacho Aburanokoji Hanayacho Sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8347, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-343-3500
    Website: http://www.kyoto-ryokan-sakura.com/sakura/en/
  3. Vessel Hotel Campana Kyotogojo (3.4 km from Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine)
    Address: 498 Shimomanjujicho, Todoindori gojo-sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8180, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-353-1000
    Website: https://www.vessel-hotel.jp/campana/kyoto/

 

8. Kyoto International Manga Museum (京都国際マンガミュージアム)

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The Kyoto International Manga Museum the world’s first museum dedicated solely to Japanese comics. It is located in downtown Kyoto and is a must-visit destination for manga lovers. The museum is a joint project between Seika University and Kyoto City. The premises used to house an old elementary school that has now been remodelled to accommodate the enormous, all-encompassing manga collections, and provides lots of space for weekend art workshops that teach manga techniques, as well as for international conferences.

The museum is one of the largest in Japan that houses a collection of over 300,000 items and features a number of permanent and temporary exhibitions and events. Among the museum’s unique features is a Wall of Manga that is 200m long. It also houses 50,000 volumes of the last 50 years’ worth of manga, and includes rare or old series that are difficult to find commercially that visitors can read freely. Most of the manga in this museum can even be taken outside, if you would rather read on the lawn. For English readers, you will also find some English-language manga displayed in the international section.

Address: Karasuma-dori, Oike agaru, Nakagyo-ku
Operating Hours: 10am-6pm
Closing Days: Wednesdays and during New Year’s holidays
Admission: 500 yen
Phone: +81-75-254-7414

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Kamogawakan (1.1 km from Kyoto International Manga Museum)
    Address: 104 Nakajimacho Sanjodori Kawaramachi, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8004, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-221-4007
    Website: http://www.kamogawa-kan.co.jp/english.html
  2. Mifuku (1.2 km from Kyoto International Manga Museum)
    Address: 140 Wakamatsu-cho, Ponto-cho Sanjo-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0000, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-221-5696
    Website: http://www.yado-web.com/kinki/kyoto/egb21/egb21.html
  3. Sawaya Honten (1.7 km from Kyoto International Manga Museum)
    Address: 25, Kawahara-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8397, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-761-4141
    Website: http://www.kyotokyoto.jp/accommodations/detail_syukuhaku.php?scd=24

 

9. Nishiki Ichiba (錦市場, Nishiki Market)

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Nishiki Ichiba is the perfect choice for travellers wanting to try the authentic tastes of local Kyoto on a small budget, and is actually Kyoto’s largest traditional food market. Situated between Kawaramachi Street and Karasuma Street in downtown Kyoto, this market is a feast for the senses. It is historically known for its preservation of tradition, and is renowned for its almost infinite choice of delicious foods and goods.

The market is a narrow, yet bustling five-block long shopping street filled with more than 100 shops and restaurants. This lively retail market is known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen” as it specialises in everything related to food, from fresh produce and seafood to kitchenware. It is also from this market that seasonal foods and some of Kyoto’s specialities such as Japanese pickles, dried seafood, sweets and sushi emerged. Some of the shops give out free samples of their specialities readily, or even sell their special dishes on skewers that are meant to be eaten then and there. Ready-made foods are also sold in a few small restaurants and food stands.

Usually the stalls specialise in one kind of food and are often attached to a store specialising in the same dish. With a history of several centuries, many stalls in the market have been operated by the same families for generations. The market started as a fish wholesale district, and the first shops opened in around 1310. At a later period in time, it changed from a wholesale market to more retail orientated businesses when a larger variety of shops began to move to the area. Today, Nishiki Ichiba remains Kyoto’s most important market and is often packed with locals and tourists alike.

Address: Nishikikoji-dori, Nakagyo-ku (between Teramachi and Takakura)
Operating hours: Daily from 9am-5pm, varies for individual stalls
Closing Days: Some stalls may close on Wednesdays and/or Sundays

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Hotel Sunroute Kyoto (0.9 km from Nishiki Market)
    Address: 406 Nanbacho, Matsubara-sagaru, Kawaramachi-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8027, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-371-3711
    Website: http://www.sunroute.jp/english/hotelinfo/kinki/kyoto/index.html
  2. Shiraume (1.0 km from Nishiki Market)
    Address: Shirakawa-hotori, Shinbashi-dori, Gionmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-561-1459
    Website: http://www.shiraume-kyoto.jp/en/
  3. Hotel San Crane
    Address: 264 Daigocho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8106, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-361-0650
    Website: http://www.sancrane.com

 

10. Nijo-jo (二条城, Nijo Castle)

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Nijo-jo is located in central Kyoto and was built by the Order of Tokugawa Ieyasu (founder of the Edo period) in 1626. The Order of Tokugawa Ieyasu was the last military government of feudal Japan. This castle is one of the most awe-inspiring sights of the city, and is where the Shoguns (military warlords) wielded their power over the emperors throughout the Edo period, as demonstrated through the castle itself.

The castle is characterised by low but grand and imposing structures surrounded by gorgeous gardens, different from the more famous Himeji-jo in Himeji which soars skyward in a manner similar to European castles.

The complex includes the Ninomaru Palace, known for its “nightingale floors” designed to squeak to alert residents of the presence of intruders. The almost rococo decorative panels and carvings in their flamboyance reflect the magnitude of power and attitudes of the occupying warlords. The interior is mostly preserved in its original form, and you can walk around barefoot on the tatami mats that line the floor, letting history come alive. The Seiryu-en garden that surrounds the castle buildings is a wonderful garden that is worth a leisurely stroll through. Over the years the castle went through periods of physical change, such as expansion and ruin, and as governments rose and fell, the use of the castle similarly changed, leading to various building structures and a multitude of walls, moats, and elegant gardens.

This castle is on everyone’s “must-see” list, therefore it is best to visit just after the complex opens in order to beat the crowds. It is often packed full with Japanese school children out on school excursions, and hordes of tourists arrive on buses throughout its opening times.

Address: 541 Nijojo-cho, Nijo-dori, Horikawa Nishi iru, Nakagyo-ku
Operating hours: 8:45am-5pm, last entry at 4pm
Closing Days: Tuesdays in December, January, July, August, and December 26-January 4
Admission:
Adults: 600 yen
Junior and high school students: 350 yen
Elementary school students: 200 yen
Phone: +81-75-841-0096

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Hotel Grand Bach Kyoto Select (1.7 km from Nijo Castle)
    Address: 363 Naramonocho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8004, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-221-2211
    Website: http://www.grandbach.com/kyoto/en/
  2. Kyoto Itoya Hotel (1.7 km from Nijo Castle)
    Address: 712 Yakushimaecho, Karasumadori, Matsubara Agaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8416, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-365-1221
    Website: http://www.itoyahotel.com/eng/
  3. Hotel Gran Ms Kyoto
    Address: 410-3 Shimomaruyacho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8006, Kyoto Prefecture
    Phone: +81-75-241-2000
    Website: http://granms.jp/en/

Note: Agoda would probably be the best accommodation search site with discounts up to 80% off and more properties to choose from than any other website. You can also search the internet for accommodation that would suit your needs as a traveller.

 


 

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Nara

Nara is just an hour away by train from Kyoto and is a must-see in Kansai. With most of its attractions concentrated within the Nara Park, including the Todaiji Temple that houses a huge Buddha statue in the Big Buddha Hall. It is highly recommended that those visiting Kyoto make a short detour to Nara as a side trip. Nara was Japan’s former capital city before the capital moved to Kyoto in the 8th century. There are a number of sites of great historical significance scattered around Nara, many of which are World Heritage Sites.

Nara is in the most central area in Japan, only 35km south of Kyoto and some 28km north of Osaka. The railroad system in Nara is extremely complicated, providing more options for travel from Kyoto station than is necessary. The two companies connection Kyoto and Nara with regular train lines are:

  1. JR Nara Line Y690:
    Pick this is the option if you hold a JR Rail Pass. The Miyakoji Kaisoku Express will get you to Nara from Kyoto in 45 minutes. These trains leave every 30 minutes from Kyoto Station and JR Nara Station and cost about 710 yen. You can also use the local Futsu line, which will get you from Kyoto station to Nara station in about 70 minutes.
  2. Kintetsu Nara Line Y1110:
    The private Kintetsu line is by far the fastest way to travel to and from Nara to Kyoto. The JR Rail pass is not applicable on this line and it takes only 35 minutes for the journey. This line operates from a different but equally central train station. The express train leaves twice every hour and costs about 620 yen. The Kintetsu Nara station is actually closer to Nara Park, so taking this train from Kyoto to Nara has a major advantage.

 

Top 10 Must Visit Places in Nara

 

1. Todai-ji (東大寺, Eastern Great Temple)

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Todai-ji is one of the main attractions in Nara. Built in the 8th century, the temple has a far-reaching history that has prompted it to be recognised as a World Heritage Site. Within its Daibutsu-den (Great Buddha Hall), is the famous Daibutsu, The Great Buddha, originally cast in 746. It is one of the three largest and most well-known statues in Japan. The Daibutsu is 16 metres high, and is made from 437 tonnes of bronze and 130kg of gold.

The Great Buddha Hall, where the statue is located, is also stunning. One of the pillars there has a hole in it which is the same size as the Buddha statue’s nostril. It is believed that crawling through this hole will bring you happiness and legend says that one will receive enlightenment in the next life by doing so. Make sure to keep your eyes open to find this hole in a supporting pillar!

Address: 406-1 Zoshichou, Nara City
Opening Hours:
8am-4:30pm (November-February)
8am-5pm (March)
7:30am-5:30pm (April-September)
7:30am-5pm (October)
Admission:
Adults: 500 yen
Children below 12: 300 yen
Last entry at 30 minutes before closing
Phone: +81-742-22-5511

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Hotel New Wakasa (0.5 km from Todai-ji Temple)
    Address: 1 Higashimachi, Kita-Handa, Nara-shi 630-8274, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-23-5858
    Website: http://wakasa-bettei.com/lg_en/
  2. Kikusuiro (0.9 km from Todai-ji Temple)
    Address: 1130 Takahatacho, Nara 630-8301, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-23-2002
    Website: http://www.kikusuiro.com
  3. Daibutsukan (1 km from Todai-ji Temple)
    Address: 250 Takahatacho, Nara 630-8301, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-23-5111
    Website: http://www.daibutu.com/english/

 

2. Horyu-ji (法隆寺, Temple of the Flourishing Law)

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Horyu-ji is the oldest temple in Japan as well as the oldest wooden temple in the world. It was founded by Prince Shotoku in 607 who is considered to be a great patron of Japanese Buddhism. Before the capital moved to Kyoto at the end of the 8th century, Horyu-ji was one of the seven great temples that flourished in the capital. This list of seven great temples includes: Todai-ji, Daian-ji, Yakushi-ji, Saidai-ji, Gango-ji, Horyu-ji, and Kofuku-ji. Horyu-ji’s five-storey pagoda is exceptionally popular and admission is free.

Both the main hall and the five-storey pagoda were originally built around 600 CE but rebuilt around 700 CE after a fire. The other 26 buildings within the complex were built before 800 CE. The main hall, pagoda and the 26 buildings are all undisputedly the oldest wooden buildings in the world. As the pagoda was built first, it deserves the title for being the absolute oldest wooden building in the world. They are all undoubtedly part of a World Heritage Site.

Horyu-ji is also known to house the country’s rarest and most important treasures including priceless relics from the Asuka (538-710) and Nara (710-794) periods, the Kudara Kannon and the Dream-changing Kannon.

Address: 1-1 Horyuji Sannai, Ikaruga, Ikoma
Opening Hours:
8am-5pm (February 22-November 3)
8am-4:30pm (November 4-February 21)
Admission: 1000 yen
Phone: +81-745-75-2555

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Kakimotoya (5.4 km from Horyuji Temple)
    Address: 5-8 Shigisan Higashi, Ikoma-gun, Sango-cho 636-0831, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-745-72-8000
    Website: http://www.kakimotoya-english.com
  2. Gyokuzoin (5.9 km from Horyuji Temple)
    Address: 2280 Shigisan, Ikoma-gun, Heguri-cho 636-0923, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-745-72-2881
    Website: https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Hotel_Review-g1121312-d1368330-Reviews-Gyokuzo_in-Heguri_cho_Ikoma_gun_Nara_Prefecture_Kinki.html
  3. Grand Sunpia Nara (6.3 km from Horyuji Temple)
    Address: 92-15 Takadacho, Yamatokoriyama 639-1132, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-743-51-1120
    Website: https://travel.rakuten.com/hotel/Japan-Nara_Prefecture-Yamatokoriyama-Grand_Sunpia_Nara/145493/

 

3. Nara Koen (奈良公園, Nara Park)

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Nara Koen is large park located in central Nara established in 1880. It is the location many of Nara’s main attractions such as Todai-ji, Kofuku-ji, Kasuga Taisha and the Nara National Museum. The park is home to hundreds of deer that roam free within its vicinity. As deer were considered to be messengers of the gods in Shintoism, they have become a symbol of the city and are designated as a natural treasure.

Shinto (“the way of the gods”) is Japan’s major religion alongside Buddhism and is an indigenous religion. It is as old as Japan itself. The deer at Nara are surprisingly tame unless you attempt to feed them which is when they can be aggressive. Nevertheless, there are shika-senbei (rice crackers) being sold at 150 yen around the park and some deer have learned to approach visitors and ask to be fed.

This park has picturesque scenery during all four seasons, making it an excellent place to visit during any time of the year.

Address: Noboriojicho, Nara-shi
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily
Admission: Free

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Hotel Sunroute Nara (0.8 km from Nara Park)
    Address: 1110 Takabatakecho, Nara 630-8301, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-22-5151
    Website: http://www.sunroute.jp/english/hotelinfo/kinki/nara/index.html
  2. Tsukihitei (1.2 km from Nara Park)
    Address: 158 Kasuganocho, Nara 630-8212, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-26-2021
    Website: http://www.gambo-ad.com/english/hotel/index.php?ar=13&id=78
  3. Hotel Asyl Nara (1.6 km from Nara Park
    Address: 1-58 Aburasakacho, Nara 630-8247, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-22-2577
    Website:https://www.worldheritage.co.jp/asyl/en/

 

4. Kasuga Taisha (春日大社, Kasuga Grand Shrine)

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Kasuga Taisha is a World Heritage Site built around the 8th century by the Fujiwara family and served as their tutelary shrine established to the deity responsible for the protection of the city. The Fujiwara were exceptionally influential during most of the Nara and Heian periods. Kasuga Taisha has been rebuilt periodically, every 20 years, for many centuries. However, the periodic rebuilding was discontinued at the end of the Edo Period.

Considered one of the model shrines of Nara, Kasuga Taisha is adorned with hundreds of lanterns offered by worshippers that gives a touch of subtle elegance to the shrine. The lanterns are only lit during the bi-annual Lantern Festivals that occur in early February and mid-August respectively.

Visitors can explore beyond the shrine’s offering hall for free and pay an admission fee to go into the inner area that provides a closer view of the shrine’s inner buildings. In inner most area lies the main sanctuary that contains multiple shrine buildings. These buildings display the distinctive Kasuga style of shrine architecture that is characterised by a slanting roof extending over the front of the building.

Address: 160 Kasugano-cho
Opening Hours:
6am-6pm (April-September)
6:30am-5pm (October-March)
Inner area: 8:30am-4pm (closes occasionally)
Admission: Free (outer area), 500 yen (inner area)
Phone: +81-742-22-7788

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Kotonoyado Musashino (0.4 km from Kasuga Grand Shrine)
    Address: 90 Kasuganocho, Nara 630-8212, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-22-2739
    Website: http://www.yado-web.com/kinki/nara/nara04/nara04.html
  2. Nara Hotel (1.3 km from Kasuga Grand Shrine)
    Address: 1096 Takabatake-cho, Nara 630-8301, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-26-3300
    Website: http://www.narahotel.co.jp/eng/
  3. Asukasou (1.5 km from Kasuga Grand Shrine)
    Address: 1113-3 Takabatakecho, Nara 630-8301, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-26-2538
    Website: http://www.asukasou.com/english/index.html

 

5. Kofuku-ji (興福寺, Kofukuji Temple)

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Kofuku-ji was once the Fujiwara’s family temple that was transferred from Kyoto in 710. Situated just a short walk from Nara’s centre in the Nara Park, is one of the city’s “Big Three” must-see temples along Todai-ji and Horyu-ji. Being one of the most beautiful and historic temples, Kofuku-ji is naturally listed as a World Heritage Site.

Established at the same time as Nara itself in 710, Kofuku-ji used to consist of over 150 buildings at the height of Fujiwara’s power. Today, a few of these buildings of great historic value still remain, including the famous three-storey and five-storey pagodas first built in 730 and recently rebuilt in 1426. The five-storey pagoda is 50m high and is Japan’s second tallest, seven meters shorter than the five-storey pagoda at Kyoto’s Toji Temple. The Kofuku-ji’s pagoda is both a landmark and symbol of Nara.

Within the Kofuku-ji compound is the National Treasure Museum, the Eastern Golden Hall, and the Northern and Southern Octagonal Halls. The National Treasure Museum was recently renovated and exhibits part of the temple’s great Buddhist art collection, while the Eastern Golden Hall features a large wooden Yakushi Buddha (Medicine Buddha) statue. Both Northern and Southern Octagonal Halls date back over a thousand years, and also house some of the temple’s precious artefacts. The reconstruction of these two buildings were completed in 1210 and 1789 respectively, and are open to the public only for a few days in a year.

Kofuku-ji’s main building was the Central Golden Hall, which was unfortunately destroyed in 1717 due to fire. A smaller scale replacement hall was built in the 1800s and has recently undergone a restoration project, to mirror its former glory. Reconstruction works are currently ongoing and are scheduled to be completed in the year 2018.

Address: 48 Noborioji-cho
Opening Hours: 9am-5pm, the grounds are open around the clock
Admission: 600 yen for the National Treasure Museum; 300 yen for the Eastern Golden Hall (800 yen combined ticket)
Phone: +81-742-22-5370

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Sarusawaike Yoshidaya (0.1 km from Kofuku-ji Temple)
    Address: 246 Takabatakecho, Nara 630-8301, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-23-2225
    Website: https://travel.rakuten.com/hotel/Japan-Nara_Prefecture-Nara-Sarusawaike_Yoshidaya/50455/
  2. Yado Yoshino (0.2 km from Kofuku-ji Temple)
    Address: 19 Imamikado-cho, Nara 630-8374, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-22-3727
    Website: http://www.yado-yoshino.com
  3. Ryokan Matsumae (0.3 km from Kofuku-ji Temple)
    Address: 28-1 Higashi Terabayashicho, Nara 630-8362, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-22-3686
    Website: http://www.matsumae.co.jp/index2.html

 

6. Heijo-kyu (平城宮, Heijo Palace or Nara Imperial Palace)

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Heijo-kyu was the central part of Nara when it was Japan’s capital. The original building was unfortunately destroyed and its reconstructed building now operates as a historical information centre for visitors to catch a glimpse of what the area was like over 1,000 years ago as the centre of politics, culture and religion. Its architecture was inspired by Chang-an, the ancient capital of the Chinese Tang dynasty.

Heijo-kyu is also a World Heritage Site that still displays Nara’s glory to a certain degree. It thrived as the first large-scale international city of Japan. Heijo-kyu is considered a part of national cultural heritage, and is also designated as one of Japan’s Special Historic Sites. The Agency for Cultural Affairs implemented the “Basic Scheme for the Preservation and Development of the Heijo Palace Site as a Special Historic Site” in 1978 making Heijo-kyu the place where the ancient culture of Japan is passed onto future generations.

Address: Saki-cho, Nara-shi
Opening Hours: 9am-4:30pm
Closing Days: Mondays (or following day if Monday is a national holiday), December 29 to January 3
Admission: Free
Phone: +81-742-30-6753

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Nara Royal Hotel (1.2 km from Heijokyu Ruins)
    Address: 254-1 Hokkejicho, Nara 630-8001, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-34-1131
    Website: http://www.nara-royal.co.jp/lang/index.html
  2. Toyoko Inn Nara Shin Omiya Ekimae (1.7 km from Heijokyu Ruins)
    Address: 4-3-2 Shibatsujicho, Nara 630-8114, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-36-1045
    Website: http://www.toyoko-inn.com/e_hotel/00183/
  3. Hotel Nikko Nara (2.6 km from Heijokyu Ruins)
    Address: 8-1 Sanjo Hommachi, Nara 630-8122, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-35-8831
    Website: https://www.okura-nikko.com/japan/nara/hotel-nikko-nara/

 

7. Yoshino-yama (吉野山, Mount Yoshino)

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Yoshino-yama is a magnificent mountain best known for its sakura blossom. It has 30,000 sakura trees planted around the slopes that gives a spectacular view during mid-April every year. Visitors can easily see 1,000 sakura blossom trees at once that gives rise to the expression hitome senbon, which means “a thousand trees at a glance”.

Besides the spring sakura blossoms, stunning views can also be enjoyed throughout the year here, especially the autumn leaves. Yoshino-yama offers spectacular scenery throughout the year: new green leaves in summer, hydrangeas in June during the rainy season, autumn leaves at the end of October, and white landscapes in winter.

The whole of Mt. Yoshino is registered as World Heritage Site, and includes World Heritage Buildings such as the Yoshino Mikumari Shrine, the Kinpu Shrine, the Kinpusenji Temple and the Yoshimizu Shrine.

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Ebisukan (0.2 km from Mt. Yoshinoyama)
    Address: Yoshino-gun, Yoshino-cho 639-3115, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-746-32-3031
    Website: http://www.ebisukan.yoshino.jp
  2. Yumoto Hounoya (0.2 km from Mt. Yoshinoyama)
    Address: Nakasenbonkoen, Yoshinoyama, Yoshino-gun, Yoshino-cho 639-3115, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-746-325-121
    Website: https://www.kayak.com/Yoshino-Hotels-Yumoto-Hounoya.799316.ksp
  3. Ikkyuan (0.4 km from Mt. Yoshinoyama)
    Address: 240-1 Sakai-machi Muromachi-dori Gojo Sagaru 2 chome, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8162
    Phone: +81-75-342-2123
    Website: https://www.nagomi-kyoto.com/ikkyuan/eng/

 

8. Yakushi-ji (薬師寺, Healing Buddha Temple)

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Yakushi-ji (薬師寺) was constructed by the 40th emperor of Japan, Emperor Tenmu (r. 673-686 CE), in the late 7th century dedicated to the recovery of the sick Empress. Yakushi-ji is a World Heritage Site that has eight buildings within its grounds that form a strictly symmetric layout: on a central axis are the main and lecture halls flanked by two pagodas. Its unique architectural style is another one that was inspired by Chang-an, the ancient capital of China during the Tang dynasty.

Yakushi-ji is one of Nara’s seven great temples and the mother temple of the Hosso school of Buddhism – the oldest Buddhist sect in Japan. Its main hall was rebuilt in the 1970s after being destroyed by fire and houses a Yakushi (Medicine Buddha) trinity which is a masterpiece of Japanese Buddhist art, as well as among many other art objects.

The temple’s East Pagoda dates from 730 and is the only structure to have survived many fires that have beset the temple over the years. Just like the West Pagoda, it is three-storeys high though it appears to have six stories. The Yakushi Nyorai (Medicine Buddha) statue housed here is a national treasure from the Hakuho Period (645-710). It is 255cm high and cast in bronze. It was commissioned by Emperor Temmu in 680. The complex is huge with many other attractions worth visiting, so it is recommended to allocate extra time to for this location during your visit.

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Construction Notice:

The Yakushi-ji’s East Pagoda is undergoing major renovation works over a time period of almost ten years (until June 2020), during which the pagoda is covered by scaffolding. The other buildings are unaffected and still make a worthwhile visit.

Address: 457 Nishinokyo-cho
Opening Hours: 8:30am-5pm, last entry at 4:30pm
Admission: 1100 yen (800 yen when Genjo-sanzoin Garan is closed)
Closing days: Genjo-sanzoin Garan is closed from mid-January through February, from July to mid-September (except Obon in mid-August) and in December
Phone: +81-742-33-6001

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Accommodation Nearby

  1. Sun Hotel Nara (3.4 km from Yakushiji Temple)
    Address: 4-21 Sanjohonmachi, Nara 630-8122, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-25-2111
    Website: http://www.sunhotelnara.jp
  2. Comfort Hotel NARA (3.5 km from Yakushiji Temple)
    Address: 321 3 Sanjo cho, Nara 630-8244, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-25-3211
    Website: https://travel.rakuten.com/hotel/Japan-Nara_Prefecture-Nara-Comfort_Hotel_Nara/70284/
  3. Super Hotel JR Nara Ekimae (3.7 km from Yakushiji Temple)
    Address: 500-1 Sanjocho, Nara 630-8244, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-27-9000
    Website: http://www.superhoteljapan.com/en/s-hotels/nara-lohas/

 

9. Chugu-ji (中宮寺, Chugu-ji Temple)

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Chugu-ji is located next to the Horyu-ji Temple and is a historic nunnery located in the Ikaruga district, south west of Nara. It is a small temple but famous for housing Japan’s two national treasures in the Main Hall, which are a superb Miroku Bosatsu (Bodhisattva Maitreya) statue, and a replica of the Tenjukoku Shucho Mandala that was embroidered after the death of Prince Shotoku by imperial courtiers. Chugu-ji belongs to the Shotoku school temple of Japanese Buddhism.

Chugu-ji was originally the palace of Prince Shotoku’s mother during the Asuka Period (538-710) and converted into a nunnery by Prince Shotoku after his mother’s death. Chugu-ji’s chief priestesses were traditionally imperial princesses. The temple is considered one of the three Yamato monzeki nunneries, that is to say that the temple has a special connection with the imperial family since the chief monk or nun would often be a member of the imperial family.

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One of the main attractions of Chugu-ji is the black camphor wood statue of Miroku that sits in the Main Hall. It is regarded as a classic of Asuka Period art that was described as: “one of the three smiling masterpieces of the world along with the Sphinx of Egypt and the Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo da Vinci.” in a temple pamphlet. The Miroku sits with its right hand raised to its face in thought and was believed to have been originally painted but had a lacquer finishing that gives the image its unique resinous black colour.

Address: 1-1-2 Horyuji-kita Ikaruga-cho, Ikaruga-gun
Opening Hours: 9am-4:30pm March 21-September 30; 9am-4pm October 1-March 20
Admission: 500 yen or 400 yen if you have bought a ticket to Horyuji
Phone: +81-745-75-2106

Accommodation Nearby

  1. Sun Hotel Yamatokoriyama (3.7 km from Chuguji Temple)
    Address: 635-1 Tsutsuicho, Yamatokoriyama 639-1123, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-743-23-0111
    Website: http://www.sunhotel-yamatokoriyama.com
  2. Super Hotel Nara Yamatokoriyama (4.7 km from Chuguji Temple)
    Address: 205-1 Sugimachi, Yamatokoriyama 639-1121, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-743-57-9800
    Website: http://www.superhoteljapan.com/en/s-hotels/nara/
  3. Shiroyama (9.0 km from Chuguji Temple)
    Address: 15-12 Monzencho, Ikoma 630-0266, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-743-73-4717
    Website: https://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/shiroyama-ryokan.html

 

10. Nara-machi (奈良町, “Nara Town”)

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Registered as a Unesco World Heritage Site, Nara-machi was developed into a merchant district around the 15th century. Prior to that, the whole area used to be occupied almost fully by Gango-ji’s once-spacious grounds. The temple was one of the most important temples in Japan during the Nara Period.

In the Edo and earlier periods, many buildings of Nara-machi were machiya – a long and narrow townhouse-like building that served as the local shops for merchants and living quarters similar to those in Kyoto. The machiya store fronts were often kept narrow for tax savings, as taxes were calculated based on a machiya’s street access rather than its total size. Though once a sprawling compound, a handful of machiya and temple buildings have been preserved today as museums, cafes and shops.

Nara-machi is particularly atmospheric when most of the visitors have dispersed and the lanterns in restaurants are being lit. The Edo period is really brought back to life as you stroll down these traditional Japanese streets.

Here is a list of Nara-machi’s main attractions:

  1. Gango-ji (元興寺, Gango-ji Temple)
    Opening Hours: Daily 9am-5pm, last admission at 4:30pm
    Admission: 500 yen
    KN48-1
    Gango-ji Temple was one of Nara’s seven great temples, and originates as Asukadera (Japan’s oldest temple) in Asuka that was moved to Nara in 718. Gango-ji today is only a small fraction of what it used to be.
  2. Koshi-no-Ie (ならまち格子の家, Nara-machi Lattice House)
    Opening Hours: 9am-5pm
    Closing Days: Mondays and the day following a national holiday (except weekends), December 26 to January 5
    Admission: Free
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    Koshi-no-Ie Residence was a former merchant home that is preserved and opened to the public.
  3. Nara Kogei-kan (なら工藝館, Nara Craft Museum)
    Opening Hours: 10am-6pm, last admission at 5:30pm
    Closing Days: Mondays and the day following a national holiday (except weekends), December 26 to January 5, and between exhibitions
    Admission: Free
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    This museum serves as an introduction house to famous Nara’s arts and crafts such as kogakumen masks, high-quality writing brushes and inks, etc.
  4. Nara-machi Shiryo-kan (奈良町資料館, Nara-machi History Museum)
    Opening Hours: Daily 10am-4pm
    Admission: Free
    KN48-4
    This museum in the centre of Nara-machi exhibits many artefacts related to the district’s history with explanations in Japanese only.
  5. Imanishi-ke Sho-in (今西家書院, Imanishike Shoin Traditional House)
    Opening Hours: 10am-4pm, last admission at 3:30pm
    Closing Days: Mondays, summer holidays and winter holidays
    Admission: 350 yen
    KN48-5
    This residence is located in the eastern part of Nara-machi and was a former residence of the Kofuku-ji temple official. It has a large interior, a pleasant garden, and a space for enjoying green tea and Japanese desserts.

KN49

Accommodation Nearby

  1. People’s Inn Hanakomichi (0.9 km from Nara-machi)
    Address: 23 Konishicho, Nara 630-8226, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-26-2646
    Website: http://hanakomichi.co.jp/en/index28.html
  2. Toyoko Inn Nara Kintetsu Eki-mae (1.0 km from Nara-machi)
    Address: 16-1 Nishimikadocho, Nara 630-8225, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-85-1045
    Website: https://www.toyoko-inn.com/e_hotel/00249/index.html
  3. Tenpyo Ryokan (2.8 km from Nara-machi)
    Address: 9 Higashimukinakamachi, Nara 630-8215, Nara Prefecture
    Phone: +81-742-22-0551
    Website: https://www.agoda.com/tenpyo-ryokan/hotel/nara-jp.html?cid=-218

 

Travel Books

Before you go to Japan we highly recommend you read A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony for a better understanding of modern Japanese culture and lifestyle.

Authors: Hector Garcia

KN50

Comprehensive and well informed, it covers a wide array of topics in short articles accompanied by sidebars and numerous photographs, providing a lively digest of the society and culture of Japan. Designed to appeal to the generations of Westerners who grew up on Pokemon, manga and video games, A Geek in Japan reinvents the culture guide for readers in the Internet age.

Spotlighting the originality and creativity of the Japanese, debunking myths about them, and answering nagging questions like why they’re so fond of robots, author Hector Garcia has created the perfect book for the growing ranks of Japanophiles in this inspired, insightful and highly informative guide.

 

How to move around Japan

The best way to get around Japan is by using a Japan Rail Pass, a very convenient and budget-friendly way to travel throughout the country. For train route ideas and city guides, check out the Japan by Rail book.

Authors: Ramsey Zarifeh

KN51

Practical information – planning your trip; what to take; getting to Japan from Europe, North America and Australasia

City guides and maps – where to stay (all budgets), where to eat, what to see in 30 towns and cities; historical and cultural background

Kilometer-by-kilometer route guides – covering train journeys from the coast into the mountains, from temple retreat to sprawling metropolis and from sulphurous volcano to windswept desert; 34 route maps

Railway timetables – Bullet trains and all routes in this guidebook

Plus – Customs, etiquette, Japanese phrases and 40 color photos

 
Sources:

  • https://www.jnto.go.jp
  • https://matcha-jp.com/en/2548
  • https://www.tsunagujapan.com/8-must-see-sights-in-nara-the-first-capital-of-japan/
  • http://www.cyclekyoto.com/kyoto-to-nara
  • https://japancheapo.com/travel/touring-kyoto-nara-kobe-osaka-cheap-thru-pass/
  • https://www.travelocafe.com/2013/02/kyoto-japan-top-places-attractions-to-visit-see.html
  • https://theculturetrip.com/asia/japan/articles/the-top-10-things-to-do-and-see-in-kyoto/
  • https://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/japan/kyoto-nara/
  • https://www.lonelyplanet.com/japan/kansai/kyoto
  • http://www.city.yokohama.lg.jp/ex/stat/jinko/city/new-e.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefectures_of_Japan
  • http://www.japan-guide.com
  • http://www.mofa.go.jp/index.html
  • https://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/basic-info/experience-japanese-culture/the-dos-and-donts-of-manners.html
  • http://www.insidekyoto.com
  • http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-kyoto/
  • http://www.kasugataisha.or.jp/about/index_en.html
  • http://heijo-kyo.com/en/
  • http://www.yoshinoyama-sakura.jp/english/

 
For more interesting information:

 

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About Pastor Adeline Woon

Adeline Woon is a Buddhist Pastor and a Sangha-to-be in Kechara who enjoys learning and sharing the Dharma with others. Due to her deep interest in Buddhism from a young age, Adeline enrolled herself into the Dharma Drum University in Taiwan, where she graduated with a Master in Religious Studies in 2012.
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8 Responses to Wonderful Japan – Kyoto and Nara

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  1. JP on Aug 3, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    Kyoto and Nara are 2 very beautiful cities. It’s really incredible how many temples and shrines there are in Kyoto. The Japanese have an eye for the aesthetics and keeping things clean and well maintained. It is truly magical to be there.

    Of all the places mentioned in the article, my favourite would be Todai-ji at Nara and Kyomizu-Dera Temple in Kyoto. The big buddha statue in the temple of Taodai-ji is magnificent and grand. I can sit there all day and do my prayers. The altar area of Kyomizu-Dera is surreal. It is one of the best Buddhist altar I’ve ever seen. The old wooden structure of the temple combined with tarnished bronze fixtures, bronze offering items and a gold thousand arm Kuan Yin statue were a perfect combination of understated elegance. The Japanese’s eye for detail and their taste are simply amazing.

    On a spiritual note, it would be beneficial to visit these holy temples as they are blessed by hundreds of years of prayers and good wishes. Kyoto and Nara are a must see if you ever travel to Japan.

  2. Wan Wai Meng on Jul 29, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    The pictures of the Temples so beautiful. The culture and beauty of the environment enhances the architectural structures of Japan. It almost seems like in every building the Japanese try to bring nature into the entire aesthetics of it.

  3. Fong on Jul 20, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Religion is central to the Japanese and together with tradition, it is what keeps them rooted in a dense and fast pace life. The sheer number of temples itself tells a story of faith. Though there has been much violence in their past, there is also beauty. And, it is to this beauty of spirit and tradition that they move with towards the future.

  4. Jace Chong on Jul 19, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche and the blog team for sharing with us such a beautiful place on earth!

    The article is so comprehensive that with this itself, I feel like I have gone to Kyoto and Nara. It’s a well preserved place and everything is so well kept through centuries. The Buddhist temples there are beautiful, and they are rested in such beautiful scenery around it.

    I have never been to Japan, but I like their culture through the comics, books and movies that I have been reading and watching since young. I like their common discipline of keeping places in well order, and the people are very well mannered in general.

    May more tourists and visitors go to these beautiful places and get blessings from Buddha, planted seeds to practice Dharma.

    Thank you.

  5. Stella Cheang on Jul 19, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    It is impressive and inspiring at the same time to read about the way Japanese preserve their culture and tradition. They take great effort to look into details in their preservation work, for example moving the utilities underground, training modern people in the traditional of Geishe, as well as planting of 30,000 sakura trees in Yoshino-yama mountain range. These tasks are enormous but once accomplished, will achieve priceless results. Thank you, Pastor Adeline, for this comprehensive sharing.

  6. Samfoonheei on Jul 19, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Wow….there is so many place of interest Kyoto and Nara can offer to tourist.Both the cities are rich in history with many beautiful ancient temples and shrines. Nara has some of the most impressive first-rate sights in all of Japan,including the famous Daibutsu at Todai-ji Temple, Kasuga-Taisha Shrine and Nara-koen Park, with its famous semi-wild deer. Kasuga Taisha Shrine, the most significant in Nara, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site just to mention afew.
    Kyoto is the most beautiful city with more than a thousand temples, about 1,600 Buddhist temples, plus 400 Shinto shrines, a trio of palaces, and dozens of beautiful gardens and museums. Kyoto has more World Heritage Sites than any other city.That is iteresting.
    Thank you Pastor Adeline Woon for sharing such a detail informatives post , making it easier for anyone travelling there for the first time.I have not been to Japan at all ,love to one day.

  7. Anne Ong on Jul 18, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    I love to read and see pictures of beautiful places and countries. It helps to broaden my knowledge and expose me to places where i can’t go.
    I also love to know about different cultures and etiquette,the do’s and dont’s are very important to know when we visit different countries.
    Love some of the beautiful pictures such as,3. Nara Koen, Nara Park),8. Yakushi-ji, Healing Buddha Temple),7. Yoshino-yama, Mount Yoshino),6. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove,9. Chugu-ji, Chugu-ji Temple) .
    Pastor Adeline, I have commented on your beautiful article as i promised earlier. Hope to read more on beautiful countries like these. Thank you very much 🙂 _/\_

  8. CindyH on Jul 18, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Thank you for such an informative write up about Kyoto and Naro. Both are really appealing in their own way and the best part is that both have evolved and embraced modernisation without losing the historical and cultural essence. Both actually are actually big towns but apparently retain the “small town feel” due to such successful retainment of their traditions, and especially with the traditional architectures. It is also very interesting to observe the blending and compromises between old and new. Take for example, “Gion Matsuri” an annual festival of purification which takes place in July (and lasts for the entire month). It is said to be one of the oldest and largest festivals in Kyoto. Whilst this tradition started back to the ancient years as a divine solution to counter any plagues or contagious outbreak, to this day, the preservation of such tradition is still strong even when the people embrace different faiths. In fact, in addition to the annual festival, whenever an outbreak occurred, this practice would be carried out as a traditional precautionary action plan. It is also quite common to spot Geishas amongst the office workers and tourists around the towns. Their strong identification with culture and its preservation is also evident from the effort in educating people with their customs and etiquette. Be that as it may, the towns are so picturesque that one can pleasantly discover something scenic and some even breathtakingly so, at almost every corner.

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  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Dec 12. 2017 07:48 PM
    Wow, this is really a list of animals that are rare and uncommon. Some of them has the most weird looking outlook but actually they are gentle and harmless. While some of them looks soft and cute but actually can be lethal. Just like people, we must not judge a book by its cover.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/strange-looking-animals.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Dec 12. 2017 07:32 PM
    It is a blessing for Buddhist to venerate holy sites where there is relic of Buddha Shakyamuni are important for us to make the connection with Buddha and be inspired to attain the qualities of the Buddha. It is my aspiration to visit these holy sites at least once in this lifetime. Thank you, Rinpoche, for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/8-holy-buddhist-pilgrimage-sites-part-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 10:37 PM
    It is relaxing to read interesting facts. Also interesting to see photos from yesterday-year of friends . Nice post! Thank you for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/funnies/21-interesting-facts.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 09:32 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche. We are so blessed to have the statues of Buddha Nageshvaraja and Loma Gyonma here in Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia. When we prostrate to Buddha Nageshvaraja, it will help us purify heavy negative actions. And Loma Gyonma’s mantra is known for good health, to cure diseases, and to be free from all forms of negativity.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/nageshvaraja-and-loma-gyoma-arrives-to-kfr.html
  • P David Lai
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 08:04 PM
    Dear everyone,

    Here are 10 interesting links for this week to Rinpoche’s blog posts and Vajrasecrets for your reading pleasure and social media sharing.
    P David Lai

    ����������������������

    Rinpoche’s Blog :

    1. Dorje Shugden Wangze for Power and Influence
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-wangze-for-power-and-influence.html

    Dear students and friends, I have previously blogged the complete commentary and prayers for two of Dorje Shugden’s emanations, which are Trakze, the wrathful form and Gyenze, the increase form. Ever since then, I have been receiving many requests for teachings on the other forms of Dorje Shugden. So, it is with great pleasure that I would like to offer you this explanation and commentary to Wangze’s practice, along with a condensed prayer to this form of Dorje Shugden.

    2. Tagpu Pemavajra and Visions from Gaden Heaven
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/tagpu-pemavajra-and-visions-from-gaden-heaven.html

    Dear friends around the world, Yesterday I was inspired to speak on a topic related to the enlightened Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. I wanted to address one of the reasons why the Tibetan leadership says we cannot engage in this practice. According to the Tibetan leadership, Dorje Shugden is a spirit and when we rely on him, we are actually engaging in spirit practice. In doing so, we break our refuge and monk vows, and are no longer considered a Buddhist. That’s according to the Tibetan leadership.

    3. Kukai Kobo Daishi: The Esoteric Monk of Shingon Buddhism
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kukai-kobo-daishi-the-esoteric-monk-of-shingon-buddhism.html

    Kukai, also known posthumously as Kobo Daishi, was an influential and beloved figure in Japan. He played an instrumental role in establishing and spreading the Shingon Buddhist doctrine (also known as Shingon Mikkyo), one of the few esoteric forms of Buddhism outside Tibetan Buddhism, which he received from his root guru, Hui Kuo (746-805 CE). Hui Kuo was a close disciple of Amoghavajra (705-774 CE), a renowned 8th Century Indian monk. Kukai himself is considered to be one of the eight patriarchs of Shingon Buddhism.

    4. Helena Roerich: Writer, Philosopher and Peacemaker
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/helena-roerich-writer-philosopher-and-peacemaker.html

    The graceful and talented Russian writer, artist, theosophist, explorer, healer and philosopher, Helena Ivanovna Roerich was born on February 12, 1879. She was the beloved wife of the famous painter, Nicholas Roerich. They were both disciples of Master Morya, the teacher of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Madame Blavatsky), founder of the Theosophical Society. With the help and collaboration of various teachers from the East, Helena and Nicholas Roerich founded the Agni Yoga Society in New York in the early 20th Century. The Agni Yoga Society advocated the philosophical teachings known as Living Ethics.
  • P David Lai
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 08:04 PM
    The following 3 articles have lower viewership, do go on comment and share on social media :-

    5. Wonderful Okinawa
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/wonderful-okinawa.html

    When the word ‘Japan’ comes to mind, people will usually think about Hokkaido, Tokyo, or Osaka, as these prefectures are the most popular tourist destinations. Another prefecture that should not be left out on any trip to Japan, one that is distinct from mainland Japan with its similarly ancient culture, different languages, art and distinct cuisine, is Okinawa.

    6. Top Ten Events and Festivals to Visit in Malaysia
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/top-ten-events-and-festivals-to-visit-in-malaysia.html

    Malaysia’s rich cultural diversity is reflected in the country’s packed calendar of events and festivals. Most of these celebrations have religious or cultural origins and many are also designated as either state or national holidays. Celebrated by everyone in the country, the colourful festivities which observe the ethnic traditions and beliefs of the varied backgrounds of the population are what gives Malaysia the label of “Truly Asia” that it is so well known for. The national events and festivals of Malaysia are occasions for family reunions and for joyful community get-togethers. They are world-class examples of how diversity can be inclusive and celebrated. Many of these days of observation follow the lunar calendar, thus the dates they fall on vary from year to year.

    7. A Bentong Series
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/a-bentong-series.html

    Bentong is a district nestled amongst the mountains and greenery of Western Pahang, Malaysia. It is approximately 80 kilometres northeast of the capital city, Kuala Lumpur, just across the Titiwangsa Mountain range. Visitors can easily reach the town via an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. Therefore, Bentong is a perfect getaway from bustling city life. Administratively, the Bentong district covers an area of 1831 square kilometres and includes the towns of Bentong, Genting Highlands, Karak, Telemong, Manchis, Sungai Dua and Bukit Tinggi.


    Vajrasecrets:-

    8. TRAVEL MEDITATION CUSHION
    https://www.vajrasecrets.com/travel-meditation-cushion

    A compact meditation cushion that provides adjustable-height support for meditation and prayer sessions. Open flat to use as a floor cushion or fold in half to raise your hips when sitting in the lotus position for long durations. 

    9. BLESSED DZAMBALA TURQUOISE PENDANT (JUNIOR)
    https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dzambala-turquoise-pendant-junior

    The blessed Dzambala turquoise pendant marries the protective, uplifting properties of turquoise with the wealth-granting blessings of Buddha Dzambala. Made with pressed turquoise powder and set in solid 925 silver, this pendant has been blessed by the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden in trance.

    10. GOLD PLATED COPPER OFFERING BOWL SET, 2.6 INCHES
    https://www.vajrasecrets.com/gold-plated-copper-offering-bowl-set-2-6-inches

    Generate tremendous merits by making offerings with this traditional set of gold-plated hand beaten copper offering bowls, featuring a raised base and Tibetan-inspired motifs carved around the outer rim. Perfect for smaller shrines and altars at home or in the workplace.

    (The end)
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 01:11 PM
    Have heard of this group is called the WSPA, non-profit animal welfare organization before but did not much of it till I read this article. Amazing…what they did, its seem they have been helping animals by looking to their welfare as well., Their vision is a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty. They do amazing work around the world,…….and are creating awareness to everyone and every where in every countries. They helped to repair and installed equipment and launched campaign on disasters preparedness , providing aids to those in the disaster area, to stop bears hunting in South Korea and so forth. Love what they did to help those animals been suffered in the hands of entertainments exploitation .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the marvellous work of the WSPA. Thank you WSPA…….well done keep it up. May those animals free from sufferings.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/who-are-the-wspa.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 01:11 PM
    What a beautiful sight with 2 different species a piglet and a tiger cub, hugging, playing and enjoying each other together. No one would imagine that yet they did having a good time . Very unusual to see such a case and that behaviour is a learnt and habituated process.
    We can change our behaviour for the better. I do enjoyed watching the video…..so cute both of them.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing,

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/piglet-and-tiger-cub-best-friends-cute.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 01:10 PM
    All birds are fascinating creatures, hummingbird are special small, colourful birds with iridescent feathers. First time coming across these beautiful birds. They are among the smallest of birds, and most specialized nectar-eating birds. Little birds with big appeal. Most of them live in tropical rain forests. These sparkling jewels of summer are easy to love but with much care heavy responsibility of offering them fresh, healthy food and safe, clean feeders. Feeders must be kept clean and free from mold and fungus else these unique birds might develop serious fungus infection. This infection will causes the tiny birds’s tongue to swell and cause a slow suffering death. Proper care and clean is the basic , save them from extinction before its too late.
    Thank you pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing this informative article. Care and love for all sentient beings nor matter how small there are.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/loving-hummingbirds-to-death-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 08:52 PM
    Thank you for this interesting sharing. The people of Okinawa sounds like they really know how to have fun. The yearly Naha Tug-of-War Festival and the Pantu Festival are really fun! It will be a destination that i will love to visit.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/wonderful-okinawa.html#comments
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 08:34 PM
    Thank you, Pastor David, for this interesting sharing. Sir Edmund Yeti is a shining example of a true fearless explorer. A lifetime of determination and dedication towards causes that he believe deeply in without consideration for fame and wealth. May we too, can ignite that hidden passion in us and go all the way with what we believe in.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/yeti-bigfoot-sasquatch/sir-edmund-hillarys-yeti.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 11:44 AM
    Just over the years we’ve lost an incredible variety of species, like these amazing creatures
    animals that have recently become extinct. I have not seen all these animals before till I read this article. Some of them looks odd in features. Animal extinctions may be caused by natural occurrences such as climatic heating or cooling or changes in sea levels. In more modern times, however, human activity has been to blame. The main cause of modern extinctions could also be like clearing forest , expanding of farming land and so forth.
    The authority concerned must do some thing before the situation getting worse. In no time there will be any of these animals left and seen.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing and to create awareness of protecting life and the living environment of those extinct animals.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/10-most-amazing-extinct-animals.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 11:44 AM
    Wonderful and powerful quotes for us to ponder ,to choose to be a vegetarian.Wow….what a huge difference between those vegetarian childhood having IQ of 109.1, and meat eaters childhood having IQ of 100.9. It show that those people on vegetarian are smarter then.
    Being a vegetarian makes it easier for us to increase our loving kindness and compassion. Do it for the animals. Do it for the environment, and do it for our health.
    In every country in the world, killing human beings is condemned. The Buddhist precept of non-killing extends even further, to include all living beings…….~ Thich Nhat Hanh
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/excellent-quotes-on-vegetarianism.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 11:43 AM
    Wow …..there is such a city in India ,which was a eye opening for me. This Indian city Palitana becomes world’s first vegetarian city . This city a major pilgrimage centre for Jains religion and is known for being the largest cluster of Jain temples.They have take an approached to protect all sentient beings to go on vegetarian lifestyle. More or less a vegan as no eggs. The government has even made illegal of the buying and selling of meat, fish and eggs, and also related jobs or work, such as fishing. And has declared Palitana a meat-free zone prohibiting animal slaughter within the town’s limits.
    Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world and preaches a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.
    Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances of survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet…..quoted by Albert Einstein

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/palitana-sets-a-good-example.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 11:42 AM
    Choose to go on vegetarian ,it’s a healthy and worthy way to live.Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try . I have always been health conscious, I saw sick people with medical problems my whole life and naturally wanted to avoid going down the same path. I try my best to go meatless and have more vege since then. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet. By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. We can save many lives by going on vegetarian. Through reasearher has found that those on vegetarian had a better complexion, healthy, better digestive system and many more benefits to our body in long term.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing such a informative article , to create awareness so as more and more people will be on vegetarian or at least meatless.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/6-mind-blowing-benefits-to-your-body-as-a-vegetarian.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

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 This is so good. I need to remember this and not allow people to do this to me anymore. Being kind is one thing, but when they are doing it and it harms, it is not a matter of kindness anymore but taking advantage.
yesterday
This is so good. I need to remember this and not allow people to do this to me anymore. Being kind is one thing, but when they are doing it and it harms, it is not a matter of kindness anymore but taking advantage.
Incredible Lama Thubten Phurbu and His Activities - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=150927
2 weeks ago
Incredible Lama Thubten Phurbu and His Activities - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=150927
Huffington Post has just released their SECOND EXPOSÉ of the Dorje Shugden issue. You can read about it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=151328
2 weeks ago
Huffington Post has just released their SECOND EXPOSÉ of the Dorje Shugden issue. You can read about it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=151328
Please read what Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche says about people\'s religion.
2 weeks ago
Please read what Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche says about people's religion.
A gorgeous Dorje Shugden painted in traditional art style of China. Chinese art has flourished for over 5,000 years and highly sought after. This form of Dorje Shugden is sitting on a seat as you see painted in his chapel (Trode Khangsar) in Lhasa, Tibet. Dorje Shugden can be on a seat or Lion.  More downloads here.  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
2 weeks ago
A gorgeous Dorje Shugden painted in traditional art style of China. Chinese art has flourished for over 5,000 years and highly sought after. This form of Dorje Shugden is sitting on a seat as you see painted in his chapel (Trode Khangsar) in Lhasa, Tibet. Dorje Shugden can be on a seat or Lion. More downloads here. http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
4 weeks ago
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
4 weeks ago
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
4 weeks ago
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
4 weeks ago
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
4 weeks ago
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
1 month ago
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
1 month ago
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master-
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
1 month ago
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
1 month ago
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
2 months ago
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
2 months ago
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
2 months ago
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
2 months ago
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
 These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
2 months ago
These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
2 months ago
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
2 months ago
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
2 months ago
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France.  Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
2 months ago
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France. Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa\'s tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits.

Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. 

This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.

Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche 
Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
2 months ago
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa's tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits. Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li

Fantastic Reads!!
2 months ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li Fantastic Reads!!
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
2 months ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
This is so powerful. It is a must read and must share.
2 months ago
This is so powerful. It is a must read and must share.
Beng Kooi meeting with the scholar and teacher Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen has been very active and you can see his youtubes in Tibetan speaking about the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice. He is a direct student of Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche.
2 months ago
Beng Kooi meeting with the scholar and teacher Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen has been very active and you can see his youtubes in Tibetan speaking about the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice. He is a direct student of Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche.
Martin meeting with Gen Tashi. Gen Tashi is a very devoted and committed activist of Dorje Shugden\'s cause. He is tireless in speaking for the truth. They enjoyed sharing some time together.
2 months ago
Martin meeting with Gen Tashi. Gen Tashi is a very devoted and committed activist of Dorje Shugden's cause. He is tireless in speaking for the truth. They enjoyed sharing some time together.
Martin meeting with the well known strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist and scholar Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe lak was very happy to meet Martin and shared so much wonderful information. Beautiful meeting.
2 months ago
Martin meeting with the well known strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist and scholar Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe lak was very happy to meet Martin and shared so much wonderful information. Beautiful meeting.
Beng Kooi meeting with friend and strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist Gen Tashi
2 months ago
Beng Kooi meeting with friend and strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist Gen Tashi
Another stunning digital print art of Dorje Shugden from an artist in Peru. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Another stunning digital print art of Dorje Shugden from an artist in Peru. Tsem Rinpoche
This beautiful Dorje Shugden is from an artist in the Ukraine. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
This beautiful Dorje Shugden is from an artist in the Ukraine. Tsem Rinpoche
Please never get tired of speaking for those who do not have a voice. If we can alleviate their pain or try our best, why not? Thank you all so much. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Please never get tired of speaking for those who do not have a voice. If we can alleviate their pain or try our best, why not? Thank you all so much. Tsem Rinpoche
Pastor Antoinette of Kechara arranged a Malaysian artist to paint this special Dorje Shugden painting conceptualized by myself. She oversaw the process and completed it. Wonderful beautiful Dorje Shugden Malaysian style by Malaysian artist. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Pastor Antoinette of Kechara arranged a Malaysian artist to paint this special Dorje Shugden painting conceptualized by myself. She oversaw the process and completed it. Wonderful beautiful Dorje Shugden Malaysian style by Malaysian artist. Tsem Rinpoche
Sometimes after my prayers, reading on sasquatch is relaxing. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Sometimes after my prayers, reading on sasquatch is relaxing. Tsem Rinpoche
This gorgeous outdoor bronze Buddha is in Korea. Would be lovely to pay homage to Him there.
2 months ago
This gorgeous outdoor bronze Buddha is in Korea. Would be lovely to pay homage to Him there.
Beautiful old vintage photo of Kamakura Buddha in Japan. I had the good fortune to visit this holy Buddha a few years back. I do hope I can go again with some students. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Beautiful old vintage photo of Kamakura Buddha in Japan. I had the good fortune to visit this holy Buddha a few years back. I do hope I can go again with some students. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the Medicine Buddha festival.
2 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the Medicine Buddha festival.
This is a unique thangka of Pelden Hlamo with Dorje Shugden and Setrap and Nechung. Of course they all get along unlike what Tibetan leadership likes to say they don\'t get along. All enlightened beings get along with other enlightened beings and unenlightened beings. Enlightened beings have no karma to not get along with others. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
This is a unique thangka of Pelden Hlamo with Dorje Shugden and Setrap and Nechung. Of course they all get along unlike what Tibetan leadership likes to say they don't get along. All enlightened beings get along with other enlightened beings and unenlightened beings. Enlightened beings have no karma to not get along with others. Tsem Rinpoche
I love this picture. I wish it will all settle down soon.
2 months ago
I love this picture. I wish it will all settle down soon.
 I love this picture of Mumu peeking through the screen and window to see what is going on. He is always been very busy body and active. He has to know what is going on. I love you Mumu.
2 months ago
I love this picture of Mumu peeking through the screen and window to see what is going on. He is always been very busy body and active. He has to know what is going on. I love you Mumu.
How would you like to get one piece of this beautiful piece of art?
2 months ago
How would you like to get one piece of this beautiful piece of art?
First time PM Tenpa Yarphel speaks up against Nechung. It has created a huge stir. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144220
2 months ago
First time PM Tenpa Yarphel speaks up against Nechung. It has created a huge stir. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144220
I always like my rooms to smell clean, fresh, woodsy and a bit like the forest. my favorite types of essential oils to burn daily or as an offering to the Buddhas are Juniper, Cypress, Black Spruce, Peppermint and sometimes Rosemary. I like the smell of the forest, woods and wooded areas very much. I\'ve been using essential oils in my rooms for years. I don\'t necessarily purchase the brand you see in the picture as I buy any brand as long as it\'s made naturally. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I always like my rooms to smell clean, fresh, woodsy and a bit like the forest. my favorite types of essential oils to burn daily or as an offering to the Buddhas are Juniper, Cypress, Black Spruce, Peppermint and sometimes Rosemary. I like the smell of the forest, woods and wooded areas very much. I've been using essential oils in my rooms for years. I don't necessarily purchase the brand you see in the picture as I buy any brand as long as it's made naturally. Tsem Rinpoche
In the bitter coldness of Yachen Gar, Tibet, several nuns are practicing meditation. You can see many small single \'huts\' in the background. They do this yearly and throughout the year. It is very inspiring to see people practice even under extreme conditions because they realize how samsara is so full of deceptions. Praise to the Dharma that liberates us with truth and practice. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
In the bitter coldness of Yachen Gar, Tibet, several nuns are practicing meditation. You can see many small single 'huts' in the background. They do this yearly and throughout the year. It is very inspiring to see people practice even under extreme conditions because they realize how samsara is so full of deceptions. Praise to the Dharma that liberates us with truth and practice. Tsem Rinpoche
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • A Mother’s Love
    2 weeks ago
    A Mother’s Love
    A mother's love is made up of a deep sense of care, of sacrifice and pain as a mother's heart is always with her children. Watch this touching video.
  • Dorje Shugden & Ministers
    2 weeks ago
    Dorje Shugden & Ministers
    Dorje Shugden and his two ministers, Kache Marpo and Namka Barzin. Vajrasecrets.com
  • Cham Dance
    4 weeks ago
    Cham Dance
    Cham is sacred dance. A dance that enacts the life story of a holy being. By participating in Cham, one is blessed to see the sacred life story of a being celebrated. This is a cham on Dorje Shugden. It\\\'s a short clip but interesting none-the-less. Tsem Rinpoche
  • The great Gautama Siddhartha meditating intensely is protected by the King of Nagas during heavy rains
    4 weeks ago
    The great Gautama Siddhartha meditating intensely is protected by the King of Nagas during heavy rains
    The King of Nagas knows this great being Siddhartha will soon become the Buddha. By offering his own body as shelter to the Buddha to be, he honours the state of enlightenment which will be won and gains merit for himself for his future lives although he is a naga now. The pre-eminent Buddha is an object of perfect offering gaining great merits for all beings. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    2 months ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
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    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
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    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
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    2 months ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
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    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 months ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
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  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    2 months ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    2 months ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    2 months ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 months ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 months ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 months ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 months ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.
  • Beautiful Buddha being sculpted from clay.
    3 months ago
    Beautiful Buddha being sculpted from clay.
  • After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it. You don’t know what you are doing and you don’t see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 months ago
    After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it. You don’t know what you are doing and you don’t see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche
    Please share this as much as possible. Please care. Please help: http://www.patreon.com/weanimals
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    3 months ago
    OSER GIRL IS SO SMART AND CUTE AND EVERYONE LOVES HER
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    3 months ago
    It is a very painful process before the animals are finally dead.
  • If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
    3 months ago
    If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
  • Take a look at what singer Nicki Minaj did.
    3 months ago
    Take a look at what singer Nicki Minaj did.
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    3 months ago
    Animals are enslaved to do a human’s job, this must stop.
  • This is how the chickens are killed in the farm, they die a very horrible death.
    3 months ago
    This is how the chickens are killed in the farm, they die a very horrible death.
  • America likes to police the world but their own record of civil rights is not on track. Watch this video from people of color in the US.
    3 months ago
    America likes to police the world but their own record of civil rights is not on track. Watch this video from people of color in the US.
  • Important video to watch and learn.
    3 months ago
    Important video to watch and learn.
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    3 months ago
    Bigfoot’s voice captured on tape.
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    3 months ago
    Amazing video that you will not regret watching.
  • Norma Jean
    4 months ago
    Norma Jean
    These are the heartbreaking scenes we see over and over again, that we share in the hopes of telling the stories of those who otherwise would have suffered and vanished from this earth without a trace. This is Norma Jean. Free for a little over five months, she knew more happiness than millions of her sisters ever will. But she couldn’t escape the fate genetically programmed into her as an egg producing machine. She seemed more lethargic than usual this morning, so we brought her inside to administer fluids and antibiotics in the hopes of pulling her through until we could get her in to see our vet. She couldn’t hang on. She died this evening shortly after this video was taken, severely infected from the rotting egg yolk adhered to various organs throughout her abdominal cavity. Like virtually every single one of her sisters, caged or free range, rescued or not, she paid the ultimate price for eggs (from FB)
  • If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
    4 months ago
    If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
    If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart
  • Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits a Hindu mandir (temple)
    4 months ago
    Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits a Hindu mandir (temple)
    While on a visit to a Hindu mandir (temple), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks on diversity as Canada's strength.

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CHAT PICTURES

Teacher Kien guided the young participants of 2017 W.O.A.H. Camp offered candle lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Kien guided the young participants of 2017 W.O.A.H. Camp offered candle lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
Games:Trust and challenge. Trust the team members and work together  to achieve the goal. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Games:Trust and challenge. Trust the team members and work together to achieve the goal. Alice Tay, KSDS
Woah Camp young participants are given opportunity to present their point of view from the learning just after the sharing about “Love the Nature” by teacher and special guests, Teacher Kien (Be Compassion To Animals), Jace Chong (Aviary in KFR) and Dr Hank (How To Take Care Animals).
2 days ago
Woah Camp young participants are given opportunity to present their point of view from the learning just after the sharing about “Love the Nature” by teacher and special guests, Teacher Kien (Be Compassion To Animals), Jace Chong (Aviary in KFR) and Dr Hank (How To Take Care Animals).
Delicious tea break~Soya Cincau by Pastor Chia and Home Made Banana cake by KSDS parent. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Delicious tea break~Soya Cincau by Pastor Chia and Home Made Banana cake by KSDS parent. Alice Tay, KSDS
Jace is an animal lover and her topics sharing are about aviary and each of the bird’s story. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Jace is an animal lover and her topics sharing are about aviary and each of the bird’s story. Alice Tay, KSDS
We are pleased to welcome Dr Hank, a veterinary, shared his experience & reasons to take care and love the animals. This is the first time he joining as a volunteer of WOAH Camp organized by KSDS. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
We are pleased to welcome Dr Hank, a veterinary, shared his experience & reasons to take care and love the animals. This is the first time he joining as a volunteer of WOAH Camp organized by KSDS. Alice Tay, KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - Teacher Jace giving a briefing about KFR aviary , Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Teacher Jace giving a briefing about KFR aviary , Lin Mun KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - Bonding friendship in the camp, Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Bonding friendship in the camp, Lin Mun KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - giving sharing on loving and care for animals and plants, Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - giving sharing on loving and care for animals and plants, Lin Mun KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - Yay I like my camp T Shirt, can’t wait to wear it tomorrow, Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Yay I like my camp T Shirt, can’t wait to wear it tomorrow, Lin Mun KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - Benjamin the elder student in KSDS guiding the green team members to do presentation , Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Benjamin the elder student in KSDS guiding the green team members to do presentation , Lin Mun KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - Zoey sharing her point on character strength i.e Teamwork , Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Zoey sharing her point on character strength i.e Teamwork , Lin Mun KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - group work and presentation done by students. They really have great ideas & importantly good heart, Lin Mun Ksds
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - group work and presentation done by students. They really have great ideas & importantly good heart, Lin Mun Ksds
WOAH Camp 2017 - Wow delicious lunch served. Thank you Pastor Chia and KFR team, Lin Mun Ksds
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Wow delicious lunch served. Thank you Pastor Chia and KFR team, Lin Mun Ksds
WOAH Camp 2017 - Teacher Kien explaining the process of making colourful candle , Lin Mun Ksds
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Teacher Kien explaining the process of making colourful candle , Lin Mun Ksds
WOAH Camp 2017 - Handmade candle done by children, Lin Mun Ksds
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Handmade candle done by children, Lin Mun Ksds
Ice Breaking cum team work game~pass the hula hoop to others. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Ice Breaking cum team work game~pass the hula hoop to others. Alice Tay, KSDS
Wonderful team work from the kitchen, Pastor Chia, Kar Leng Cheng and Kenny for these nice foods preparation. Thank you for your hard work and efforts. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Wonderful team work from the kitchen, Pastor Chia, Kar Leng Cheng and Kenny for these nice foods preparation. Thank you for your hard work and efforts. Alice Tay, KSDS
Pastor Yek Yee gave the opening speech and welcome all the young participants for joining 2D1N 2017 Woah Camp~Fun , Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Pastor Yek Yee gave the opening speech and welcome all the young participants for joining 2D1N 2017 Woah Camp~Fun , Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
WOAH Camp young participants followed the instructions well & kept their belongings nicely. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp young participants followed the instructions well & kept their belongings nicely. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Kien, Teacher Lin Mun, Teacher Julie and Teacher Alice are checking the name list, name tag, room arrangement & T Shirt distribution. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Teacher Kien, Teacher Lin Mun, Teacher Julie and Teacher Alice are checking the name list, name tag, room arrangement & T Shirt distribution. Alice Tay, KSDS
Welcome the young participants of 2017 W.O.A.H. Camp at Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Welcome the young participants of 2017 W.O.A.H. Camp at Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS youngest group age 3-6 years old learn dharma together and share happiness with each other. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
KSDS youngest group age 3-6 years old learn dharma together and share happiness with each other. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS teachers reviewed and discussed the lessons,flow and games for this coming 2017 Woah Camp, held at Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
KSDS teachers reviewed and discussed the lessons,flow and games for this coming 2017 Woah Camp, held at Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
Pastor Tat Ming guided a group of KSDS teachers and volunteers doing meditation. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
Pastor Tat Ming guided a group of KSDS teachers and volunteers doing meditation. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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