• Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (The World Cultural Heritage) Vol1

    Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto was registered as The World Cultural Heritage in 1994. It was 5th Japanese World Cultural Heritage which including cultural temples, shrines, and a castle.
    There are 17 sites. How many sites do you know and have you been? Some sites are really famous and some are not. How about visiting unfamiliar sites this time?

  • Asia  >  Japan  >  Shiga  >  Otsu

    In Dec. 1994, the registration of HieizanEnryakuji as a Worl Cultural Heritage Site was approved by UNESCO's Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

    Since Dengyo Daishi Saicho established a simple hut on this mountain, many great priest have been trained and educated in this establishment. This magnificent green mountain is now starting to glow with a new brilliance as a great cultural asset generated by mankind upon a foundation of 1200 years of history.

  • Asia  >  Japan  >  Kyoto  >  Kyoto

    Located on the southern banks of the Kamo river, Kamomioya-jinja both reflects and inspires Kyoto City. Even its common name is a product of the city. “Shimo-,” meaning lower, and “-gamo,” after the city’s central river, yields the familiar Shimogamo. The creator and guardian of the city, Kamotaketsunomi-no-mikoto, is enshrined in the main sanctuary of the shrine, along his daughter Tamayorihime-no-mikoto, a mythical figure with her own repute. Together these deities welcome and protect all who visit the shrine, from Kyoto and beyond.

    The history of the Shimogamo shrine extends at least two thousand years. A recent excavation of the Tadasu-no-mori, the shrine’s forest, unearthed artifacts from as long ago as the Yayoi period (4 B.C. – 3 A.D.). Fragments of plates and arrowheads from the Yayoi were found in good condition throughout the forest excavation site. Artifacts dating from later periods document the evolution of society around the shrine. Heian period artifacts include the head of a ceramic horse figurine and elaborate roof tiles, while Edo period artifacts range from simple bowls and nails to mirrors and money.

    The shrine grew in stature as the powerful Hata family adopted Shimogamo and its sister shrine, Kamigamo, as two of their favored shrines. Since then, the shrine has enjoyed considerable attention from important and indeed, imperial, families. It was during the reign of Emperor Temmu (675-686) that the first shrine buildings were constructed. Surrounding the shrine was an ever-growing amount of land. Records from the Tempyo Shoho period (749-757) indicate one cho of land (about one hectare) was given to the shrine to cultivate food for religious offerings; three hundred years later, Shimogamo owned 689 cho of land, extending all over the country. The growth in this influence came as Emperor Kwammu moved his capital into a neighboring province of Kyoto and finally to the site of modern day Kyoto. At the founding of the imperial capital (then called Heian), priests gathered at Shimogamo shrine to worship for its success.

    Imperial culture flourished in Kyoto during the Heian period (794-1185) and the Shimogamo shrine alongside. The shrine was its most prosperous during the reign of Emperor Saga (809-823). Many of the shrine’s elaborate architectural designs and traditions come from this time. Emperor Saga was the first to dedicate one of his daughters as a Sai-in, or maiden of the shrine, following a similar custom as established at the Ise shrine. The Sai-in would only come once a year, in a grand procession with an imperial messenger. The shrine priests would decorate the buildings and their own costumes with branches of aoi (hollyhock), and so started the Aoi Matsuri. This event became so famous than it was known as “the matsuri” or the festival, throughout Japan. It is mentioned under this name several times in the classic Heian-period Japanese epic Tale of Genji. Tempestuous love rivals rammed their ox carts in battle during one matsuri and contented couples strolled through another. Contemporary to the Tale of Genji, the Makura-shoshi, a compilation of the likes and dislikes of a noblewoman, lists the matsuri as one of her favorite events in Kyoto. Noble by noble, Shimogamo shrine cultivated the good favor of the imperial court and aristocracy for several hundred years.

    The court began having financial difficulties in the 13th century. The emperor suspended the tradition of the Sai-in, and gifts grew fewer in number. The country fell into strife and was eventually engulfed in civil war in the 15th century. When the new shogunal government emerged, the Shimogamo shrines were still intact, but as vestiges of the imperial era, their power was considerably reduced. Emperors would still visit the shrine, but with less pomp than in previous eras.

    Perhaps the most famous imperial visit during this time was that of Emperor Komei in 1863. Legend has it that he prayed for the return of the antagonistic foreigners to the land from which they hailed. This wish went unfulfilled, and as the shogunal government collapsed as the threat of Western invasion advanced, imperial culture was, at least nominally, brought to the fore once again. During this Meiji era, the government glorified the role of the emperor and provided generous stipends to the Shimogamo shrine, listing the Kamo shrines second only to the Ise shrine. However, the process of modernization stripped away the hierarchical social structure that the shrine relied upon and redistributed the shrine’s land holdings.

    During the 20th century, the country faced a more hostile exchange with Western powers. As World War II consumed the national psyche, festivals were cancelled and supplies rationed. After the war, the emperor was left defeated and humanized, and the imperially favored shrines lost visibility. Though festivities resumed in 1953, the shrine needed to recast itself for the post-war era.

    Today, the Shimogamo shrine is integrated into the Kyoto community. It hosts community wide markets, an old book fair, a lecture series on religious and historical topics, always bringing people together for social and spiritual purposes. People from the community volunteer in the forest on Earth Day, and flock to the many festivals throughout the year.

    You can check Shimogamo-Shrine ( https://en.akaridiscovery.com/spot/4147985.html) and Aoi Festival (https://en.akaridiscovery.com/spot/5678108.html)

  • Asia  >  Japan  >  Kyoto

    Kamo-wake-ikazuchi-Jinja in the Kita Ward of Kyoto is the oldest Shinto shrine in the ancient city. Since prehistoric times Kamigamo-jinja has preserved and transmitted the legends relating to the birth of the shrine deity, Wakeikazuchi.
    Ancient rituals which transmit faith in the divine mountan, Kamo Sai also known as Aoi Matsuri which started during the reign of Emperor Kinmei in 544, and the shrine buildings retaining the style of the early Heian Period, all convey the history of the province of Yamashiro (southern Kyoto Prefecture).
    Most of the shrine complex (totaling 690,000m2) has been designated as Preservation Area of Historic Landscape by the municipal government and as a Historic Site by the national government. The area contains many large trees such as ichii oaks, suda chinquappins and weeping cherry trees.
    Here, nature and cultural properties coexist in harmony. On December 17, 1994, Kamigamo-jinja was officially registered as a World Cultural Heritages Site in recognition of its importance as a monument of ancient Kyoto.
    Kyoto, The capital of Japan, called Heiankyo, was established in 794. Kamo-wake-ikazuchi-Jinja, Kamo Mioyajinja, Toji Temple, Kiyomizu Temple and Enryakuji Temple first appeared in the new capital during this time.
    Kyoto is known worldwide as a treasure house of cultural properties, including National Treasures, Special Historical Sites and Special Places of Scenic Beauty which represent each period of the city's 1200-year history from its establishment at the beginning of the Heian Period. In fact, Kyoto possesses the largest concentration of cultural properties in Japan.

  • Asia  >  Japan  >  Kyoto  >  Kyoto

    It is one of the World Cultural Heritage of Kyoto.
    Official name is Kyoogokokuji, which means the temple for the defense of the nation by means of the King of Doctrines.
    The temple was founded in 796, which is two years later the caital moved to Kyoto (Heian Kyo). Most building was gone in 1468 due to fire and it was rebuilt around 16-17 century. In spring, you can enjoy beautiful Sakura (cherry blossoms).

  • Asia  >  Japan  >  Kyoto  >  Kyoto

    Located halfway up Otowa Mountain in the eastern part of Kyoto City, Kiyomizu-dera is a historic temple that was established in 778, even before Kyoto became the capital of Japan. The Main Hall (Hondo) of the temple is designated as a national treasure. The temple has many other important cultural properties including the Deva gate, west gate, three-storied pagoda and bell tower. In 1994, it was registered on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List as one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.
    Illumination in Spring, summer and Autumn.
    2015 Schedule..Usually schedule is almost same every year.