Besides a strong economy, advanced technology as well as a modern lifestyle, Japan is well-known for its own beauty with a unique culinary culture or spectacular natural landscapes. However, it would be remiss not to mention ancient temples which is an indispensable part of Japanese spiritual life. In the midst of the ancient capital – Kyoto, or any other cities in Japan, it is not difficult to find a quiet place to immerse in the smoke of incense and the compassionate tolerance of the Buddha because the number of Buddhist followers is very large. With characterised architectures, Japanese temples has attracted a lot of tourists as destinations not to be missed when setting foot in this beautiful country.
Kiyomizu is a famous temple located in Kyoto. It is a wooden structure leaning against the mountain Otowa. In Spring, the temple seems to be deep in sweet pink color of cherry blossoms. The temple’s rooftops glow brilliantly among the trees green in Summer. While in Autumn, it becomes vivid with the color of yellow sunset and red maple leaves. reflection. And in Winter, the temple has a majestic appearance covered with white snow.
Kiyomizu temple was built in 778 AD, before Kyoto became the capital of Japan. It was repeatedly burnt down and built again. The Main Hall was ranked as a national treasure of Japan. From many sides to look at, it seems to be floating among immense mountains.
Three times a year when the seasons change, the temple will be lit up at night creating a mystique scenery. In the two roadsides uphill, there are stores selling traditional commodities such as paper fans, kimonos, dolls, porcelain and wooden clogs…
Horyuji is known as the oldest wooden temple in Japan. Right from entering the premises of this temple, visitors will be overwhelmed by the majestic, ancient appearance of the constructions built entirely of wood. Although it was built 13 centuries ago and experienced horrific earthquakes, the temple remained intact religious, cultural as well as aesthetic values. In the temple, there are valuable statues and many crafts, wooden and metal sculptures. In Spring, all the temple is wrapped in a booming cherry forest.
Todai-ji is one of the famous ancient temples in Japan. It is also a very important spiritual scenic spot in Nara. The temple was built in 743 and completed in 751. This is the thriving and climax stage of Buddhism which played the role as the state religion in Japan. It was built with the hope that it would bring peace to Japan.
The centre of Todai-ji is the Great Buddha Hall which is known as one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. It houses an immense bronze statue of Buddha which is 15m tall. Todai-ji presents a fine overview of the history of Buddhist sculpture in Japan.
Hidden among the bushy mountains of Fukui Prefecture stands Eiheiji, a Zen temple with a history of over 750 years. It is one of the two largest temples of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism. Eiheiji was founded by the 13th-century monk Dogen. This mountainous spot was chosen because it was quiet and free of distractions and thus was the best place for meditation. The temple is a harmonious combination of nature and architecture. Around 200 practising Zen monks undergo strict spiritual excercises day and night. Visitors can attend meditation training program here.
Kenchoji is the oldest Zen training temple in Japan. It has the main gates, Buddhist temples and other important buildings which were arranged in a single row, matching the Zen tradition. This architecture reminds visitors of Buddhist architecture in China during the Song dynasty. Within the precincts there are many important historical sites are preserved, among them, there are some monuments are recognized as national heritage, such as the temple’s bell from the thirteenth century.
Chion-in Temple is a huge architectural complex situated at the foot of a mountain south of Kyoto. The original temple was built in 1234 but due to earthquakes and fire up the current architecture of the temple was in the 17th century which characterized the style of palace architecture. In the temple are two small guest houses was built in 1641, which probably was the oldest guest houses in Japan. The temple’s gate is the largest wooden gate of Japan that remains.
In glisten light of the spring afternoon emerge every detail of exquisitely decorated stairs leading to the main building and the white flowering apricot beside the giant bell. In addition to the architectural style of the noble court, Chion-in also has a bronze umbrella to shield the censer in front of the famous main architecture.