Archive for February, 2013

by / on February 26, 2013 at 12:38 PM / in Baikasai!, Kamigyō-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Temples-Shrines

Tea Ceremony at Kitano Tenman-gū In Kyoto!

Tea Ceremony: Today, February the 25th, was the annual “Baika-sai” Plum Blossom Viewing Festival at Kitano Tenman-gū Shrine (北野天満宮) in Kyoto. The high-lite is a Tea Ceremony performed by the geiko and maiko from the nearby Kamishichiken district. Very beautiful kimonos, so gracious too, a privilege to see. Although, to have the whipped green matcha tea and a sweet (wagashi), […]

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by / on February 22, 2013 at 1:27 PM / in Nara Ken, North Nara

Tenman jinja (天満神社) in Rural Okugaharachō, Nara-ken!

Yesterday, while driving around along route 4 in the vicinity of Okugaharachō in Nara-ken, I came across this small rural shinto shrine. In front of the shrine is a small river and there are some sakura trees at the entrance. There is something different about the Komainu (狛犬) that are guarding the shrine. The left one has its claw on […]

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by / on February 19, 2013 at 12:24 PM / in Kamigyō-ku, Temples-Shrines

Wake no Kiyomaro story!

Along Karasuma dori, in Kyoto, across from the Imperial Palace grounds is a small shrine that is very famous. On the outer wall is a pictorial displayed of the Wake no Kiyomaro story.  The main characters are Wake no Kiyomaro (和気清麻呂), Wake no Hiromushi hime and Yuge no Dōkyō (道鏡). The first two are the ones who defended the imperial […]

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by / on February 18, 2013 at 10:06 AM / in Kamigyō-ku, Temples-Shrines

The Goō Shrine (護王神社) and Wake no Kiyomaro!

Recently I visited the Goō Shrine (護王神社) in Kyoto. It’s easy to find, right across from the Imperial Palace grounds on Karasuma dori. Goō shrine is a very colorful shrine and is quite different from other Shinto shrines. The reason for this can be found in the history of the shrine. Wake no Kiyomaro and his elder sister Hiromushi hime […]

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by / on February 12, 2013 at 6:35 PM / in Featured, Sakyō-ku, Temples-Shrines

Hachidai-jinja and Miyamoto Musashi: Japan’s greatest Swords-man!

While walking in Ichijoji, Kyoto, I came across this famous statue of a swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵)! Miyamoto Musashi is one of Japan’s most iconic and legendary swordsmen, not to mention one of the best. Musashi fought with two swords in the way of the Ni-ten Ichi Ryu, and he was also famous for throwing his swords and sometimes […]

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by / on February 7, 2013 at 6:08 PM / in Matsuri-Festival, Sakyō-ku, Setsubun, Temples-Shrines

Setsubun at Yoshida Shrine (吉田神社) in Kyoto!

Last week-end it was Setsubun here in Japan, and in Kyoto, there are many shrines and temples that celebrate this festivals. One such shrine is the Yoshida Shrine (吉田神社) on Mount Yoshida here in Kyoto. Setsubun at Yoshida Shrine (吉田神社) in Kyoto is a yearly event held in the beginning of February! The Setsubun festival is held from the 2nd, […]

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by / on February 1, 2013 at 9:06 PM / in Autumn-Momiji, Matsuri-Festival, Nara Ken, Uda County

Ōno-ji Temple and the Carved Rock Maitreya!

Last year in autumn I wanted to see different shrines and temples in the province of Nara. On this particular day , the aim was to visit Ōno-ji Temple, Murō-ji temple and Tanzan jinja, all in Uda County. It was a fine day and the autumn colours where at its peak. There are not so many tourists visiting these shrines […]

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