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Thread: Temples in Kyoto

  1. #1

    Temples in Kyoto

    Hi All,

    I'm traveling to Kyoto in a week and a half. Does anyone know of any Soto temples or any worth visiting while I'm there? Thanks in advance.

    Gassho,

    Matt

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Temples in Kyoto

    Quote Originally Posted by MJU
    I'm traveling to Kyoto in a week and a half. Does anyone know of any Soto temples or any worth visiting while I'm there? Thanks in advance.
    I don't know about temples (I'm sure Jundo does), but for other things this may help:

    [youtube] [/youtube]

    Not terribly comprehensive, but couldn't help thinking of it when I read your post.

    Have a good trip and wave to Big Bird and Barkley if you happen to see them.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  3. #3

    Re: Temples in Kyoto

    Hi,

    Well, actually, that's the general neighborhood where Taigu lives in western Japan, so he may have some more specific information.

    For various historical reasons, most of the temples in the old capital cities like Kyoto (and Kamakura, near me next to Tokyo up in eastern Japan) are the great Rinzai Zen temples and monasteries. Let's just say that they were more "politically connected" with the elite samurai in the capitals, while Soto was said to be big in the countryside with the rural samurai and such. So, in Kyoto one will see sites like the famous rock and sand garden of Ryoanji ...



    (though beware the constant stream of bus tour guides and loud speakers constantly reminding everyone how serene it all is) and the "simple" tea ceremony houses built by great Shoguns known as the "Golden and Silver Pavilions" ...



    (rather showy and not so "simple" if ya ask me, especially the gold one), both at Rinzai temples. However, Kyoto also contains hundreds of Pure Land, Shingon and Tendai temples and others. Soto is represented too, and there are even some Zazenkai you can attend if you happen to be there on the right day (the government tourist office there may have more specific and "up to date" information there, including any Rinzai Zazenkai) ... The ones listed here are a bit outside the main part of the city ...

    http://teishoin.net/zazen/san2.html#kyoto

    Have wonderful travels.

    Gassho, J

  4. #4
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Temples in Kyoto

    Hi,

    Jundo's recommandations are great, not to be missed. The three are very popular tourists spots, but anyway...Go early in the morning and everything will be quiet.

    You should definitely visit the most exquisite small temple, an almost well kept secret, KOTO IN, it is located on the temple ground of DAITOKUJI, one of the five mountains of the rinzai tradition. It used to be an old private house and it doesn't have this very stiff temple air about it, very casual, very intimate.

    The second I would not miss for anything is the great SANJUSANGENDO, the larger wooden hall with its Kannon statues. Go there, it is beyond anything you have seen in your life, very eery and each of these is an absolute gem.

    For the third you take the JR line from JR station and head to UJI, a lovely old city in a valley near Kyoto. There you visit BYODO IN, the garden, the Buddha Amida Hall and the fantastic musem. Pure land garanted. Not far, along the river, you will KOSHOJI, the first temple Dogen created in Japan . The valley is charming and if youlike green tea, don't miss the green tea ice cream.

    The last one I would recommand for its atmosphere, its view and the surroundings is KYOMIZUDERA, very popular too, with lots of little streets with pottery and shops around. Delightful.

    Don't forget GION, to get a feel of old Kyoto. Here is a page of my blog from 2006 where you may find some interesting pictures:

    http://pierretesuten.blogspot.com/2006_ ... chive.html

    Go to the KAMOGAWA, Kyoto river, walk along, enjoy the distant mountains, just be.

    One more thing, don't miss Kyoto JR Station, an architectural modern wonder. Go to the top, the view is worth the ride.

    Get a train pass (trains are really expensive and it is worth the deal) and give me a shout, my Mondays are free, we might sit and have a chat.

    gassho


    Taigu

  5. #5
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Temples in Kyoto

    One more thing, Soto temples are rare here, Kyoto is a Rinzai city, and Jodoshinshu is also very very popular.
    Fukui is the place to go, half a day journey from Kyoto, but you know that already...

    gassho


    Taigu

  6. #6
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: Temples in Kyoto

    Wow I'll have to bookmark this thread. The World Shakuhachi Festival is in Kyoto next spring and me, my wife, daughter and Japanese mom-in-law are planning on visiting.

    They may head up to Hachinohe to visit family while I'm at the festival so I can maybe check these gems out!

    Thanks Taigu.

    Gassho

    Shawn

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Temples in Kyoto

    Taigu wrote:
    You should definitely visit the most exquisite small temple, an almost well kept secret, KOTO IN, it is located on the temple ground of DAITOKUJI, one of the five mountains of the rinzai tradition. It used to be an old private house and it doesn't have this very stiff temple air about it, very casual, very intimate.
    Very wonderful recommendation! I have been through much of the grounds of Daitokuji. The headquarters of our school of tea is located in Kyoto and has close ties with Daitokuji. Definitely worth a visit if in the area!

    Gassho,
    John

  8. #8

    Re: Temples in Kyoto

    Gassho! I think my wife and I may be heading back to Japan in order to avoid Tokyo (where we spent two weeks in 2010) and head south.

    I had to laugh at Jundo's apt joke,

    (though beware the constant stream of bus tour guides and loud speakers constantly reminding everyone how serene it all is)
    Ah, but speaking of Xin Xin Ming, what an opportunity!

  9. #9

    Re: Temples in Kyoto

    Thanks for the recommendations. I will be sure to get over there!

    In Gassho,

    Matt

  10. #10
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: Temples in Kyoto

    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho
    [youtube] [/youtube]
    Hah! I needed a little laugh. Sesame Street is so... friendly. I was watching that and wondering... what kind of puppet is that dog? Is it a marionette? Is it small people in a suit? I shouldn't let my mind get caught on it, but I want to know how that dog puppet works...

    Have a nice trip, Matt!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    ...(though beware... loud speakers constantly reminding everyone how serene it all is)...
    :roll:

    Taigu, you've stuck fresh cold green tea ice cream on my mind... :twisted: *Whiny kid voice:* I wanna go!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Temples in Kyoto

    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho
    [youtube] [/youtube]

    Have a good trip and wave to Big Bird and Barkley if you happen to see them.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    :lol:

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