Wonderful Japan – Kyoto and Nara

By | Jul 17, 2017 | Views: 624

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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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  • Sofi
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 07:49 PM
    Colombia undertaker launches ghostly census

    The enterprising Betancur Funeral Home owner said he began the list a few weeks ago, sending “a team of four funeral parlour workers — properly attired in uniforms — to buildings” around Medellin, 245 kilometers (152 miles) northwest of the capital Bogota.

    “They’ve reported back with 215 ghosts…. Our video and still cameras have captured 23,” he said with pride.

    Find out more of this interesting find: http://bit.ly/ColombiaGhostCensus
  • Sofi
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 07:40 PM
    A Haunting – Echoes from the Past

    Do you have an interest in stuff other worldly? Share in Tsem Rinpoche’s love for the paranormal and these series of “A Haunting”. Find out how beings of other realms affects us.

    http://bit.ly/AHaunting
  • Sofi
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 07:33 PM
    I pray to what I want to

    There are times where others will influence your religious choice and you are at loss as to what you should do. Read here of what Tsem Rinpoche’s personal views and experiences were. Gain insight into the proper way to approach your predicament.

    http://bit.ly/ReligiousChoice
  • S.Prathap
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 05:00 PM
    Bentong is a town located in the western part of the Pahang.It is one of the towns which for the gains from tin mining had attracted the prominent Bentong entrepreneurs to Bentong in the Pre -WW11 era.
    Loke Yew has contributed greatly to the development of Bentong during tin mining era.We must not forget the contribution of these people even though they existed a century ago.Thank you for the interesting sharing of the early history and origin of Bentong town.
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 02:34 PM
    In 2006, a sculpture of coloured papercutting art – Jiangwa la ma Meixiang qi (Jiangwa leads the horse while Meixiang rides) stood at the newly built Xunyi County Central Cultural Square. This sculpture showcased the great artistic charm of the regional Xunyi style of papercutting. The handcrafted piece originated from a native rural woman, Ku Shulan, who was born and raised in Xunyi County.

    Check out about Ku Shulan stories and her artwork at http://bit.ly/31ybJth
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 02:28 PM
    Video games are electronic games played across a variety of different platforms like computers and smart phones. Some research questions I will consider are, ‘What makes video games violent?’, ‘If VVGs are harmful, to what extent are they harmful?’ and ‘Should VVGs face more or less rigorous regulations?’ One of my assumptions is that it is difficult to control variables in order to, with validity, link VVGs effects with harm to society. Another assumption is that the studies into VVGs will primarily focus on any negative influences rather than any positives.

    I will argue that because of how widespread and deep rooted in pop culture VVGs have become, society will inevitably be affected in some way, and therefore some regulation should be strongly considered. Furthermore, we should cautiously approach regulating VVGs as this topic is known to be sensitive to conflicting parties such as parents and children. However, there is a large range of uncontrolled factors in many of the published research studies on VVGs, and it is difficult to generalise many of their conclusions, as harmful to society. Therefore I will argue for the importance of understanding context when we examine VVGs and their effects. My aim in this essay is to highlight some complexities of the arguments surrounding VVGs and attempt to give a broader picture, and educate against the polarising views of hostility and dismissal often shown towards these games.

    This article will be looking at the issue of whether or not violent video games (VVGs) are harmful to society. Read more at http://bit.ly/2JdmUBk
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 02:19 PM
    Now in the European Union (EU), all cosmetic products that are tested on animals are banned! It hasn’t taken full effect, but it has been implemented. The previous ban that was implemented in 2009 to stop animal testing, was also re-enforced so that no animals are allowed to be used even if it is to test on complex health effects such as cancer.

    I am very glad to hear this news… every year, millions of animals die and suffer for being used to test cosmetic products. It is terrible that for beauty, we support products that are tested on animals. There are newer technology that can test these cosmetics without the need of animals. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) did a great job in pressuring the whole European Union to ban animal testing for cosmetics even at the risk of jeopardizing the cosmetic industry.

    I hope that the ban on animal testing will be fully implemented to all countries and for the ban to not only cover cosmetics, but for many other products such as in the medical field.

    Countries which are part of the EU are:

    Austria
    Belgium
    Bulgaria
    Cyprus
    Czech Republic
    Denmark
    Estonia
    Finland
    France
    Germany
    Greece
    Hungary
    Ireland
    Italy
    Latvia
    Lithuania
    Luxembourg
    Malta
    Netherlands
    Poland
    Portugal
    Romania
    Slovakia
    Slovenia
    Spain
    Sweden
    United Kingdom

    Congratulations to the EU for setting a good example to the world.

    http://bit.ly/2lWM5PY
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 02:00 PM
    Freedom and Jeff Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer. She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn’t open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places. She’s my baby.

    When Freedom came in she could not stand and both wings were broken. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vet’s office. From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in. I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks.

    This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn’t stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn’t stand in a week. You know you don’t want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning. She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn’t want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn’t bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then. That was a very good day.

    Read more about how freedom help Jeff and people that is sick at http://bit.ly/2konlj5
  • Sofi
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 01:52 PM
    Wonderful Thailand

    We should go on pilgrimage to places where holy beings are known to reside or where great practitioners have engaged in profound practices. These places are vortexes of energy – an area where concentrated energy naturally converges on the planet’s surface.

    Read of the places to visit in Thailand: http://bit.ly/WonderfulThailand
  • Sofi
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 01:44 PM
    Wonderful Thailand

    We should go on pilgrimage to places where holy beings are known to reside or where great practitioners have engaged in profound practices. These places are vortexes of energy – an area where concentrated energy naturally converges on the planet’s surface.

    Find out what are the places to visit in Thailand: http://bit.ly/WonderfulThailand
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 01:27 PM
    Say NO to Elephant-RIDING, say NO to using elephants for human entertainment in Circuises or Tourisms . . .

    Elephants that ”work” in Thailand and other tourist destinations have to go through a ritual called phajaan, or “crush”. It begins with the baby elephants (usually three to four years old) being taken from their mothers and placed in a small, wooden pen. To get them securely in the pen, these babies are beaten with bamboo, sticks with nails attached to the tip and bull hooks. Once in place, the crush lasts for roughly a week. During this time, they are beaten, bludgeoned, have hooks attached to their sensitive ears, and are deprived of food and water as well as sleep, all in the name of breaking ties with their mothers and becoming domesticated. While in the crush, through the infliction of pain, they learn how to accept riders, do circus tricks and paint. This is designed to break the animal’s spirit which it certainly achieves, often taking its sanity too.

    Used for centuries to domesticate wild elephants, this torture training method is still accepted as the only viable training method for elephant handlers and is used in almost every elephant attraction in Thailand.And, once they have their souls stomped out, they are simply vessels entertaining people. They are chained. They don’t eat enough.

    Like humans, elephants have the capability to form relationships and have emotions. But, not the elephants working for the tourists.

    People who visit Thailand — and other countries with elephant tourism — don’t realize the damage they cause these elephants when they support trekking camps, go to circuses or buy the paintings done by these creatures. Without knowing, they send a clear message to the elephant tourism industry that shows they support the torture these animals go through early in their life, as well as the horrific conditions they live in as cogs in the tourism wheel. Please never support this horrible practice, never ride an elephant. (Andres Grijalva)

    http://bit.ly/2koZNdX
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 01:24 PM
    A female humpback whale had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.



    This is her story of giving gratitude.

    A fisherman spotted her just east of the Faralon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so badly off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her… a very dangerous proposition.

    One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

    They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.

    When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, nudged them, and pushed gently, thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

    The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

    May you be so fortunate …

    To be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.

    And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.

    SHARE to let everyone know about this story at http://bit.ly/32yOfG1

  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Oct 22. 2019 09:35 AM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us this documentary of the oracle. I know of people taking trance of local deities or gods in Taoist tradition but I didn’t know Tibetan Buddhism has specially trained people taking trance of Buddhas.

    Since we cannot see or communicate with Buddhas directly, oracle becomes the best medium to connect us with Buddhas. The advice given by oracle who is taking trance of an enlightened being is definitely for our benefit as this is the motivation of a Buddha.

    We are lucky to have Rinpoche who introduced to us the Dorje Shugden oracle. We can go to Kechara Forest Retreat to pay homage to Dorje Shugden oracle statue if we don’t have the merits to have an audience with the oracle in person.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/videos/fantastic-oracle-film.html
  • nicholas
    Monday, Oct 21. 2019 10:41 PM
    After years of sweeping the issue under the rug and hoping no one would notice, the FDA has now finally admitted that chicken meat sold in the USA contains arsenic, a cancer-causing toxic chemical that’s fatal in high doses. But the real story is where this arsenic comes from:It’s added to the chicken feed on purpose!

    Even worse, the FDA says its own research shows that the arsenic added to the chicken feed ends up in the chicken meat where it is consumed by humans. So for the last sixty years, American consumers who eat conventional chicken have been swallowing arsenic, a known cancer-causing chemical. (http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/burlington_county_times_news/fda-some-chicken-may-have-small-amount-of-arsenic/article_0ecc5758-91f7-11e0-a572-001a4bcf6878.html)

    Until this new study, both the poultry industry and the FDA denied that arsenic fed to chickens ended up in their meat. The fairy-tale excuse story we’ve all been fed for sixty years is that “the arsenic is excreted in the chicken feces.” There’s no scientific basis for making such a claim… it’s just what the poultry industry wanted everybody to believe.

    But now the evidence is so undeniable that the manufacturer of the chicken feed product known as Roxarsone has decided to pull the product off the shelves (http://www.grist.org/food-safety/2011-06-08-fda-admits-supermarket-chickens-test-positive-for-arsenic). And what’s the name of this manufacturer that has been putting arsenic in the chicken feed for all these years? Pfizer, of course — the very same company that makes vaccines containing chemical adjuvants that are injected into children.

    Read more on how FDA Finally Admits Chicken Meat Contains Cancer-Causing Arsenic at http://bit.ly/2P5xSwA
  • nicholas
    Monday, Oct 21. 2019 10:36 PM
    Animals in the wild have to continually contend with the expansion of human civilization. Certain wild animals have learned to coexist and even thrive in urban settings, pigeons and raccoons being obvious examples.

    Well, subway goers in Moscow are becoming familiar with stray dogs. These dogs have become accustomed to using the subway system as a means to travel across Moscow, even managing to catch a nap along the way. The dogs hop on in the morning and travel to the city center where they spend the day begging for scraps. At the end of the day they get back on the subway and travel to the suburbs where they sleep in relative safety.

    The dogs have become experts at judging the length of time they need to stay on the train, and seem to work together to ensure that they exit the subway at the right stop.

    Scientists believe this phenomenon began after the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, and Russia’s new capitalists moved industrial complexes from the city center to the suburbs.

    Dr Andrei Poiarkov, of the Moscow Ecology and Evolution Institute, said: “These complexes were used by homeless dogs as shelters, so the dogs had to move together with their houses. Because the best scavenging for food is in the city center, the dogs had to learn how to travel on the subway – to get to the center in the morning, then back home in the evening, just like people.”

    http://bit.ly/2W0oJa0

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Messages from Rinpoche

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Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
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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  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

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

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
3 months 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)
3 months 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)
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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!
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
5 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
5 months 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.
5 months 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.
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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!!!
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
5 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
6 months ago
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
6 months ago
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
6 months ago
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
6 months ago
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
6 months ago
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden\'s grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
6 months ago
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden's grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
6 months ago
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche 

www.tsemrinpoche.com
6 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    3 months ago
    Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    Whales and dolphins playing with each other in the Pacific sea. Nature is truly incredible!
  • Bodha stupa July 2019-
    3 months ago
    Bodha stupa July 2019-
    Rainy period
  • Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
    4 months ago
    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
  • Your Next Meal!
    5 months ago
    Your Next Meal!
    Yummy? Tasty? Behind the scenes of the meat on your plates. Meat is a killing industry.
  • This is Daw
    5 months ago
    This is Daw
    This is what they do to get meat on tables, and to produce belts and jackets. Think twice before your next purchase.
  • Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    5 months ago
    Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    Look at the poor baby chasing after the mother. Why do we do that to them? It's time to seriously think about our choices in life and how they affect others. Be kind. Don't break up families.
  • They do this every day!
    5 months ago
    They do this every day!
    This is how they are being treated every day of their lives. Please do something to stop the brutality. Listen to their cries for help!
  • What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    5 months ago
    What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    The largest undercover dairy investigation of all time. See what they found out at Fair Oaks Farm.
  • She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
    5 months ago
    She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 months ago
    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
    6 months ago
    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    6 months ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 months ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    6 months ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 months ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 months ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    7 months ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    7 months ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    7 months ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    7 months ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 months ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    8 months ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    9 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    10 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    10 months ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    10 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    10 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    10 months ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    10 months ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    10 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    2 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    2 yearss ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    2 yearss ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    2 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    2 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    2 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    2 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    2 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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CHAT PICTURES

Thank you very much to Rasa Sayang AEON Club team for assisting us with surplus food collection and also distribution last Saturday. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
14 hours ago
Thank you very much to Rasa Sayang AEON Club team for assisting us with surplus food collection and also distribution last Saturday. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to James and Jien Howe for conducting the safety briefing to the new volunteers last night. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Thankful to James and Jien Howe for conducting the safety briefing to the new volunteers last night. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Special thanks to Calvin who came as early as 12.30 p.m. He helped us to spring-clean the chapel before today's events; Bird Liberation and Dorje Shugden puja @ KPSG, Jacinta
3 days ago
Special thanks to Calvin who came as early as 12.30 p.m. He helped us to spring-clean the chapel before today's events; Bird Liberation and Dorje Shugden puja @ KPSG, Jacinta
Fulfill your wishes, overcome your problems and protect yourself from negativities and harm with a Dorje Shugden Puja. All are welcome @ Kechara Penang Study Group, Jacinta
3 days ago
Fulfill your wishes, overcome your problems and protect yourself from negativities and harm with a Dorje Shugden Puja. All are welcome @ Kechara Penang Study Group, Jacinta
Photo from Jacinta Goh
3 days ago
Photo from Jacinta Goh
Photo from Jacinta Goh
3 days ago
Photo from Jacinta Goh
Photo from Jacinta Goh
3 days ago
Photo from Jacinta Goh
Photo from Jacinta Goh
4 days ago
Photo from Jacinta Goh
Photo from Jacinta Goh
4 days ago
Photo from Jacinta Goh
It’s a good opportunity to know so many social heroes in different fields. Everyone is playing their important part in making this world a better place. From environment to animal extinction to hunger problems. We would like to applaud all the Kechara heroes for playing their part exceptionally well. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 days ago
It’s a good opportunity to know so many social heroes in different fields. Everyone is playing their important part in making this world a better place. From environment to animal extinction to hunger problems. We would like to applaud all the Kechara heroes for playing their part exceptionally well. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Kechara Earth Project October 2019
1 week ago
Kechara Earth Project October 2019
Animal Liberation- Pastor Han Nee blessed the birds before releasing them. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Animal Liberation- Pastor Han Nee blessed the birds before releasing them. Lin Mun KSDS
I’m ready to do the rehearsal :) Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
I’m ready to do the rehearsal :) Lin Mun KSDS
Asyley and team busy adjusting the sound system in the technical room. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Asyley and team busy adjusting the sound system in the technical room. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback on Graduation - Hubert strong stance. Practicing his wushu performance. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Throwback on Graduation - Hubert strong stance. Practicing his wushu performance. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback for graduation - Robey practicing her ballet in rehearsal. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Throwback for graduation - Robey practicing her ballet in rehearsal. Lin Mun KSDS
Teaching children to be kind to animals through the virtuous deed of animal liberation held in Kechara House. Alice, KSDS
2 weeks ago
Teaching children to be kind to animals through the virtuous deed of animal liberation held in Kechara House. Alice, KSDS
The youngest group of KSDS learned and experienced the self-defence session. Alice, KSDS.
2 weeks ago
The youngest group of KSDS learned and experienced the self-defence session. Alice, KSDS.
Vegetarian meals with sufficient nutrients are provided to the children ~ KSDS Woah Camp. Alice, KSDS
2 weeks ago
Vegetarian meals with sufficient nutrients are provided to the children ~ KSDS Woah Camp. Alice, KSDS
Children had fun with the teachers and parents during the game time. Alice, KSDS
2 weeks ago
Children had fun with the teachers and parents during the game time. Alice, KSDS
First Pilgrimage cum Camp held in Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice, KSDS.
2 weeks ago
First Pilgrimage cum Camp held in Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice, KSDS.
So happy for them to have opportunity to engage in dharma at a very young age. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
So happy for them to have opportunity to engage in dharma at a very young age. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Grace and teacher Callista guided the teenage class on a blog article. They enjoyed it. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Teacher Grace and teacher Callista guided the teenage class on a blog article. They enjoyed it. Lin Mun KSDS
Children took a picture with Guru. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Children took a picture with Guru. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Asyley and teacher Melinda showed pictures and biography of Rinpoche to students. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Teacher Asyley and teacher Melinda showed pictures and biography of Rinpoche to students. Lin Mun KSDS
The Promise
  These books will change your life
  Tsem Rinpoche's Long Life Prayer by H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche
  Support Blog Team
Lamps For Life
  Robe Offerings
  Vajrayogini Stupa Fund
  White Tara Mantra Bank Project
  Rinpoche's Medical Fund
  Dana Offerings
  Soup Kitchen Project
 
Zong Rinpoche

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