Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Nov: Kyoto: Heian Shrine + Sanjūsangen-dō

The Heian Shrine (平安神宮 Heian-jingū?) is a Shinto shrine located in Sakyō-ku, Kyoto, Japan. The Shrine is ranked as a Beppyou Jinja (The top rank for Shrines) by the Association of Shinto Shrines. It is listed as an important cultural property of Japan. []

Noted by our guide that to recognize a Shinto Shrine (compared to Buddhist shrines), there should be a tori gate standing across the street.

Unlike the Catholics that go to mass every week, people who practice Shinto belief mostly don’t to go to the shrines to pray as they have their own altars in their houses.  Another form of praying is that believers buy those pieces of wood to hang in their prayers, wishes and dreams.  They also pay elders to forecast on their future, if the wish is positive that keep on their altars, but if the forecasts are negative, they hang it in an old tree and left it in the shrine grounds.

Of course, we can’t miss the fourth Japanese lake for the day, with huge rocks and surrounded by varieties of trees.

Taihei-kaku (Hashidono) Cypress bark-shingled, wooden structure formerly located on grounds of Kyoto Imperial Palace. Built in 1912, as seen in 2005 movie: Memories of Geisha. []


Next we headed to Sanjūsangen-dō. Take note of the floral design on the roof to recognize that it is a Buddhist temple.  

Sanjūsangen-dō (三十三間堂) is a Buddhist temple in Higashiyama District of Kyoto, Japan. Officially known as "Rengeō-in" (蓮華王院), or Hall of the Lotus King, Sanjūsangen-dō belongs to and is run by the Myoho-in temple, a part of the Tendai school of Buddhism. The temple name literally means Hall with thirty three spaces between columns, describing the architecture of the long main hall of the temple. From the Edo period, archery exhibition contests called Tōshiya are held on the west veranda of this temple. []

Photography is not allowed inside, so here is an excerpt on what you will see in the temple: