Wonderful Japan – Kyoto and Nara

By | Jul 17, 2017 | Views: 782

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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:
https://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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9 Responses to Wonderful Japan – Kyoto and Nara

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  1. S.Prathap on Oct 3, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    There is so many interesting place to visit Kyoto and Nara can offer to tourist.Both the cities are rich in history with many beautiful ancient temples and shrines. Their strong identification with culture and its preservation is also evident from the effort in educating people with their customs and etiquette.
    Recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, the Kyoto and Nara regions are inevitably considered unmissable destinations to experience Japan’s traditional culture.Thank you for sharing this article.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 🙂 _/\_

  9. 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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  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Nov 28. 2021 01:43 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and team for working tireless coming up with these fantastic videos, where we could learn, practice from there. All these videos are Dharma teachings, so that people from all around the world can learn and practice. Very beneficial practice simple and quite details. More people get to understand about Dorje Shugden, other Dharma teachings and all misconceptions about Dorje Shugden true nature. A good platform for people to learn Dharma teachings. It has brought tremendous benefit to many people around the world. I am one of them ,listening to all Rinpoche ‘s videos, reading to have more knowledge and learning and practicing from scratch.
    Thank you Rinpoche again with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-teaching-videos.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Nov 28. 2021 01:26 PM
    Having a good quality correct images of the various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is hard to find those days. But now Kechara had produced beautiful high-resolution images for us to print out for our home. It’s a blessing have a print out images of Buddha in our home. Looking through these images is amazing, simply beautiful having us get connected to them
    Thank you Rinpoche and team for the effort…..with much appreciation.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Nov 28. 2021 01:23 PM
    Mr.Shenpenn Khymsar a diehard activist known for speaking the truth without the shroud of diplomacy . Shenpenn Khymsar has travelled around the globe in search of his fellow Tibetan refugees and has documented their emotional and political struggles. He is a self taught musician, a filmmaker and a creative, modern Tibetan man who spoke so eloquently and openly. His words embodying the pride, courage and integrity as much as the wisdom and compassion . All about the on-going troubles his fellow Tibetan refugees were facing. He even has documented their emotional and political struggles. He is speaking up being a Tibetan and for the Tibetan cause hoping that more Tibetans understand more things and see into more things. That’s wonderful and a good choice he has made. As a responsible Tibetan citizen he just has to tell the truth. Interesting read .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/mr-shenpenn-khymsar-speaks-with-so-much-wisdom.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Nov 26. 2021 01:59 PM
    In Mahayana Buddhism, Manjusri is the bodhisattva of wisdom and is one of the most important iconic figures in Mahayana art and literature. Manjushri the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, is depicted as a male bodhisattva wielding a flaming sword in his right hand. In Tibetan tradition, this mantra is believed to enhance wisdom and improve one’s skills in debating, memory, writing, and other literary abilities. Manjushri practice can be used to help us with our memory—it can be used to help us gain and remember information. It can also be used to helps us develop our wisdom. All the buddhas have the same realization. It’s not that Manjushri has more wisdom than all the other Buddhas and less compassion ,they all have the same realizations. It’s just that Manjushri’s specialty is wisdom, and he’s the manifestation of the wisdom of all the Buddhas.
    Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-praise-to-manjusri-glorious-wisdom%e2%80%99s-excellent-qualities.html

  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Nov 26. 2021 01:53 PM
    Generosity and kindness are never wasted. No act of kindness and giving no matter how small, is ever wasted we do or give out happily. A random act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a tremendous impact on someone else’s life. Always find opportunities to make someone smile, and to offer random acts of kindness in everyday life. Our actions will lightens the burdens of another. There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed .Practicing generosity is an antidote not only to basic selfishness. It tests our trust in abundance. It tests our ability to empathize with others. It takes time to practice generosity, but being generous is the best use of our time. Nor what ever happened it is between us and the recipient . As long as we have a good motivation and accept nothing in return.
    Thank you Rinpoche .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/its-not-between-you-and-the-recipient.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Nov 26. 2021 01:48 PM
    Rich people tend to be stable, flexible, able to make independent decisions, and more focused on themselves than others. They tend to understand the difference between value and price. They’re often selectively frugal. They spend money on things that bring value to their lives. Doing what they like with the money they have but not the poor whom they work hard to save what they want. The rich are likely to both have greater motivation and opportunities to engage in bribery and fraud. When they are rich, corruption comes in for some as such to lobby government for favourable policies in some cases. They could then translate their financial power into political power . While the richest continue to enjoy booming fortunes I do hope they could do more in helping the poor and do more charity work. Rich people when see an opportunity in every situation and work to explore it while the poor people focus on problems in their daily lives. Interesting survey .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/rich-people.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Nov 26. 2021 01:47 PM
    People who suffer from depression often report feelings of loneliness and isolation. No matter what we are going through, we still have to face it. Everyone of us has a secret sorrows which the world knows not. Learning is the only thing for us, focus on what lies ahead of us than holding on. Learning in our daily lives never stop. Accept ourselves, love ourselves and keep moving forward. Have the courage to lift up failure and pursue with hard work and determinations. Keep an open mind and perspective with friends who cares. Great teachings from this profound post.
    Thank you Rinpoche.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/the-harsh-truth-with-love.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Nov 24. 2021 02:25 PM
    The frilled shark is a strange, prehistoric-looking shark that lives in the open ocean and spends much of its time in deep, dark waters. They are an uncommon primitive shark species typically found near the sea floor. Well those frilled sharks look a bit like underwater snakes. Looking terrifying, jagged faced appearance,especially their mouth and having long, smooth bodies that can coil and contort in a serpentine way. They live in the darkest depths of the ocean and is rarely seen by humans. They’ve existed for millions of years, but they’re so rare . The frilled shark is one of the only surviving species in its particular shark family. It can still be found throughout the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These mysterious creatures were discovered in the 18th centuries by a German scientist in Japan. What more is beneath the ocean yet to be discovered. Interesting .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this amazing sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/the-red-dragon.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Nov 24. 2021 02:23 PM
    Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR) a place of refuge and healing located at Bentong, Pahang. The land with healing and positive energies suits those wanted to get away from the busy city. The naturally-positive energies of a green environment. With the land been consecrated by high lamas, monks and Dorje Shugden while in trance of the Panglung Oracle with powerful pujas. Having a Medicine Buddha Healing Fountain built at KFR is wonderful , which benefited many locals and tourist visiting KFR. The Medicine Buddha Healing Fountain in KFR where the water itself has already been blessed by the energies of Medicine Buddha. Hence simply drinking this water has a tremendous healing effect. HE Gangchen Rinpoche, an emanation of Medicine Buddha had blessed the semi-precious stones, placed at the fountain. It was then consecrated by Dorje Shugden, H H Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche a living emanation of Vajrayogini, and our Lama Tsem Rinpoche as well.
    Than you Rinpoche with folded hands

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/medicine-buddha-healing-fountain-at-kechara-forest-retreat.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Nov 24. 2021 02:20 PM
    The House of Shambhala is a Tibetan-style hotel located in a quiet alley of the famous Barkhor in the centre of Lhasa, Tibet. This hotel is a restored home of a high ranking Tibetan Lama has its doors open to locals and tourists visiting Lhasa. This typical Tibetan courtyard hotel provide guests with the utmost comfort while surrounded by Tibetan history and tradition. That’s wonderful for anyone as the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple are within easy reach. Looking at those beautiful pictures tells all as one could see there are traditional style of natural wood rooms. With the specifications like high quality furnishings, neatly decorations, and so forth in it features. It has to offer a personal touch to everyone staying there as it hold historical or cultural significance of the place, the unique experience for them. Perfect atmospheric oasis in Lhasa.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing and explaining about mythical Kingdom of Shambala.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/house-of-shambhala.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Nov 22. 2021 02:11 PM
    Great message …. Rinpoche thanks for this sharing. May more people going on vegetarian to stop the sufferings of animals who has no voice of their voice, and cannot speak for themselves. Not to mention millions of animals are been slaughtered every day, ended on dinner’s tables. There’s no doubt that vegetarian diets are good for our health. Research shows that people on balanced plant-based diet are consistently slimmer and healthier than meat eaters. They also have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancers and diabetes. Vegetarians happen have a healthier BMI, controlled blood pressure and low cholesterol levels as well.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this great message. It has opened up our eyes and we have to go on vegetarian for a healthy life . For most not to ignore the sufferings of animals .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/whats-on-your-altar.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Nov 22. 2021 02:10 PM
    Wow…the 52-hertz whale is an individual whale of unidentified species which calls at the unusual frequency of 52 Hz. It is a tale of a solitary whale that vocalizes at a unique frequency of 52 hertz, which no other whale did. This pitch is a higher frequency than that of the other whale species. For years scientists have been tracking him on and off. Its truly a unique call ,the only one of its kind detected anywhere. This whale had been swimming and calling into the void , hoping there is a reply that never comes. Because of this, the animal has been called the loneliest whale in the world. Interesting discovery in 1989 and has been intermittently tracked by scientists ever since.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/52hz.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Nov 22. 2021 02:08 PM
    Reading this profound teachings has us ponder deeply . There are often practical as well as moral reasons for being honest. The aspect that builds trustworthy and reliable relationships has everything to do with honesty. If we are honest with our friends and certain relationships, we are proving to them that we can be trusted. Honesty is the foundation for trust in a relationship, and trust is necessary for a relationship to function and thrive. When we are always honest with someone, it tells them that they can trust us and the things we say. It helps them know they can believe our promises and commitments. All things are difficult before they are easy. Never give up , do our very best nor matter how difficult the tasks is. If a task is once begun, never leave it till it’s done. There are some things we learn best in calm, and some in storm.
    Love what Rinpoche had said…. We can change them with EFFORT. The key word is effort. Make others and yourself worth the EFFORT. MAKE OTHERS WORTH THE EFFORT. Don’t burden others by not winning.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/a-thought.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Nov 21. 2021 03:32 PM
    Many people consider animals as primitive creatures. In fact like human and they have feelings, do feel pain , need love , attention and have exclusive qualities that even human are hardly acquainted with. Watching this video again show us how this lion been rescued showing gratitude to the one who saved him. The lion remembered his rescuer even though after a few years apart. That’s amazing. Hugging like an old friend who had not seen for along time.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/amazing-lion-shows-gratitude.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Nov 21. 2021 03:31 PM
    Interesting….there is so many undiscovered species live in the deeps of the ocean that never surface. Still thousands of undiscovered species of life form. Scientist have been looking beyond what is beneath the ocean. To me looking at the picture I thought it was a alien but no it’s a deep sea creatures. First time coming across this creatures and the name of it. Its deep sea hatchetfish. Very weird and looks scary as named because of unique shape of the body that looks like a hatchet. This scary species can only be found in deep water and freshwater and in warm and temperate regions throughout the world. Their appearances help them thrive in extreme environments deep in the ocean. Researcher do believe that there are still more unknown creatures lurking below the ocean. Interesting there is life do exists which hidden beneath our planet’s ocean floors.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article which gave us some fascinating information about the hatchet-fish.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/the-hatchetfish.html

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Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
Admin: Pastor Loh Seng Piow, Beng Kooi

I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

Tsem Rinpoche

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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

Photos On The Go

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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
2 years ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
2 years ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
2 years ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
2 years ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
2 years ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
2 years ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
2 years ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
2 years ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
2 years ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
2 years ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
2 years ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
2 years ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
2 years ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
2 years ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
2 years ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
2 years ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
2 years ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
2 years ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
2 years ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
2 years ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
2 years ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
2 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
2 years ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
2 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
2 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
3 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
3 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
3 years ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
3 years ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
3 years ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
3 years ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
3 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
3 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
3 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
3 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
3 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
3 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
3 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
3 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
3 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
3 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
3 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
3 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
3 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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CHAT PICTURES

Jun, our new Ipoh member, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden & The Three Jewels. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 days ago
Jun, our new Ipoh member, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden & The Three Jewels. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Mr. Cheah has offered 3 sets of Serkym prior to Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 days ago
Mr. Cheah has offered 3 sets of Serkym prior to Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has completed a Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 20th Nov '21. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 days ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has completed a Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 20th Nov '21. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Mr. Philip, our new visitor to Ipoh centre, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa and the Three Jewels prior to DS puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 weeks ago
Mr. Philip, our new visitor to Ipoh centre, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa and the Three Jewels prior to DS puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has resumed our Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 6th Nov 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 weeks ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has resumed our Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 6th Nov 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 weeks ago
Mark your calendars - we are about to embark on an epic ride! Kechara Food Bank will be travelling across the Peninsular in our giant truck to send dry food to over 2300 families. Thank you Volvo Trucks Malaysia for your generous donation of this custom-designed truck. What’s more – PPB Group Bhd is generously donating the food provision for this one-of-a-kind journey. Thank you on behalf of our grateful beneficiaries! Want to see all of this in action? Join us live or watch the videos and photos on our social media. Stay tuned!
2 months ago
Mark your calendars - we are about to embark on an epic ride! Kechara Food Bank will be travelling across the Peninsular in our giant truck to send dry food to over 2300 families. Thank you Volvo Trucks Malaysia for your generous donation of this custom-designed truck. What’s more – PPB Group Bhd is generously donating the food provision for this one-of-a-kind journey. Thank you on behalf of our grateful beneficiaries! Want to see all of this in action? Join us live or watch the videos and photos on our social media. Stay tuned!
Underprivileged residents of two PPRs in Kuala Lumpur recently received a total of 427kg from our longterm surplus produce sponsor, Lotuss Stores (formerly Tesco Stores). The 65 families are our regular beneficiaries, and are grateful to receive fresh vegetables on a consistent basis right at their doorstep. One of our recipients, Rajeswari, 52, single mother of 2 children, shared that she stopped receiving welfare aid due to unforeseen circumstances. Her words: "Saya cakap untuk Kechara [Soup Kitchen] banyak terima kasih sebab kasi makanan. Dan lebih mau tolong orang lain yang susah seperti saya". Our heartfelt thank-you goes to Lotuss Stores for being a dependable source of food aid and for #helpingthepoor with us. #kecharafoodbank #makingadifference #kitajagakita #charity #foodbank #bantuan #ngomalaysia #givingback #strongertogether - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
Underprivileged residents of two PPRs in Kuala Lumpur recently received a total of 427kg from our longterm surplus produce sponsor, Lotuss Stores (formerly Tesco Stores). The 65 families are our regular beneficiaries, and are grateful to receive fresh vegetables on a consistent basis right at their doorstep. One of our recipients, Rajeswari, 52, single mother of 2 children, shared that she stopped receiving welfare aid due to unforeseen circumstances. Her words: "Saya cakap untuk Kechara [Soup Kitchen] banyak terima kasih sebab kasi makanan. Dan lebih mau tolong orang lain yang susah seperti saya". Our heartfelt thank-you goes to Lotuss Stores for being a dependable source of food aid and for #helpingthepoor with us. #kecharafoodbank #makingadifference #kitajagakita #charity #foodbank #bantuan #ngomalaysia #givingback #strongertogether - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Pastor Shin winning some mystery gifts for being the 1st person to answer a BONUS question during last Sunday's Blog chat quiz. Blog chat is a fun way to learn the Dharma. To find out more, check out > tsemrinpoche.com/chat. Joy - Moderator
6 months ago
Pastor Shin winning some mystery gifts for being the 1st person to answer a BONUS question during last Sunday's Blog chat quiz. Blog chat is a fun way to learn the Dharma. To find out more, check out > tsemrinpoche.com/chat. Joy - Moderator
Here is Pastor Antoinette who won some mystery gifts for being the 2nd person to answer a BONUS question during last Sunday's Blog Chat quiz/discussion. To find out more check out our blog chat section for our weekly topic! Joy - Moderator
6 months ago
Here is Pastor Antoinette who won some mystery gifts for being the 2nd person to answer a BONUS question during last Sunday's Blog Chat quiz/discussion. To find out more check out our blog chat section for our weekly topic! Joy - Moderator
#KFBBentong: Ready for some exciting news? We are now at RM154,523.94 - surpassing the funds required for our Pahang food bank operations! Thank you to all who kindly donated, we are deeply moved by your care and generosity towards the less fortunate struggling in our midst. To make our shared goal to continue #helpingthepoor a reality, we are now eagerly looking for suitable premises in Bentong. We will update soon on our progress, so stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #foodaid #bantuan #kitajagakita #hungerknowsnobarriers #endhunger #charity #ngomalaysia #Pahang - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
7 months ago
#KFBBentong: Ready for some exciting news? We are now at RM154,523.94 - surpassing the funds required for our Pahang food bank operations! Thank you to all who kindly donated, we are deeply moved by your care and generosity towards the less fortunate struggling in our midst. To make our shared goal to continue #helpingthepoor a reality, we are now eagerly looking for suitable premises in Bentong. We will update soon on our progress, so stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #foodaid #bantuan #kitajagakita #hungerknowsnobarriers #endhunger #charity #ngomalaysia #Pahang - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
#kecharafoodbank: In collaboration with Good Shepherd Services (GSS) based in Ipoh, we travelled to Buntong with food rations for 33 families. Some of the food items given include rice, noodles, cooking oil and biscuits; in total, we gave 726kg of food to these beneficiaries from the underprivileged class. We are glad to have been able to contribute, especially to families with children and in poor living conditions. We wish to thank GSS for alerting us about those in need, and we look forward to extending more support in the future together with this not-for-profit organization doing good work. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
9 months ago
#kecharafoodbank: In collaboration with Good Shepherd Services (GSS) based in Ipoh, we travelled to Buntong with food rations for 33 families. Some of the food items given include rice, noodles, cooking oil and biscuits; in total, we gave 726kg of food to these beneficiaries from the underprivileged class. We are glad to have been able to contribute, especially to families with children and in poor living conditions. We wish to thank GSS for alerting us about those in need, and we look forward to extending more support in the future together with this not-for-profit organization doing good work. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In an urgent effort to provide food and necessities to the poverty-stricken in Bentong and rural areas of Pahang, we are launching Food Bank Bentong. With your support, Food Bank Bentong would be able to feed 500 families totaling 2,300 people on a regular basis, giving them a chance to enjoy a basic sense of security we consider a human right. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
9 months ago
In an urgent effort to provide food and necessities to the poverty-stricken in Bentong and rural areas of Pahang, we are launching Food Bank Bentong. With your support, Food Bank Bentong would be able to feed 500 families totaling 2,300 people on a regular basis, giving them a chance to enjoy a basic sense of security we consider a human right. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class - KSDS Jayce Goh
10 months ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class - KSDS Jayce Goh
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class, students attend Pastor Shin Class happily - KSDS Jayce Goh
10 months ago
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class, students attend Pastor Shin Class happily - KSDS Jayce Goh
Update on Empowerment cookies, special holiday packaging. The bakers are most grateful for the overwhelming support of 834 tubs ordered, with a big order of 314 tubs from a group of friends. Thank you to those cookie lovers who couldn’t get enough of it. Watch out for the next update. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
11 months ago
Update on Empowerment cookies, special holiday packaging. The bakers are most grateful for the overwhelming support of 834 tubs ordered, with a big order of 314 tubs from a group of friends. Thank you to those cookie lovers who couldn’t get enough of it. Watch out for the next update. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
11 months ago
Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
11 months ago
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 years ago
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 years ago
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 years ago
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
1 years ago
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 years ago
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
1 years ago
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
1 years ago
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families  ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
1 years ago
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
1 years ago
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 years ago
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 years ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 years ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
1 years ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 yearss ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 yearss ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
2 yearss ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 yearss ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
2 yearss ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
2 yearss ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
2 yearss ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 yearss ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 yearss ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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Dorje Shugden
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