Ginkakuji, the paler sister of the Golden Pavilion - and with far superior gardens

These are the things which draw the visitors to Kyoto. I’ll take a break from the descriptive stuff and just set out some photos based on sets of similar sights – with brief explanations.  Enjoy.

Shrines – radiant vermilion offset with white, animal statues and distinctive torii (gates). Kyoto’s Shinto shrines stand out from the Buddhist temples as the sacred worship sites of Japan’s ancient and indigenous spiritual belief. Note that jinja is Japanese for shrine.

Main gate of the Yasaka-jinja, one of Kyoto's most important shrines

Mesmering corridors of torii trail through the silent forests around Fushimi-Inari-Taisha

Viewed from the opposite direction, the torii are etched with words in Chinese script

Drop a coin, ring the bell, clap; for kimono girls it's as good as three hail Marys.

Temples – adorned with wonderful statues, carvings, ponds, art and amazing gardens, Kyoto’s Buddhist temples have long histories tangled up in political power struggles between the various schools of Buddhism and their powerful, secular patrons.

Under the enormous eaves of Chion-in, one of the biggest Buddhist temples in town

Eiko and Ikue demonstrate the correct way to purify oneself before entering a temple

The mammoth Kiyomizu-dera

Kinkakuji - the famed Golden Pavilion

Gardens – no space on this page, see next entry.