(1) Sanjusangen-do temple
Officially called "Rengeo-in", meaning "Temple of the Lotus King Kannon-bosatsu", and designated as the National Treasure...
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At your hotel
Kiyomizu-dera temple stage
Ryozen Kannon statue
At your hotel
(1) Sanjusangen-do temple
Officially called "Rengeo-in", meaning "Temple of the Lotus King Kannon-bosatsu", and designated as the National Treasure, it was originally established by the order of the cloistered emperor in 1164. After the original temple building was burnt down in 1249, the building was reconstructed in 1266 and it has remained unchanged to this day for some 700 years with four major renovations in that period. There is a 335-centimeter-high seated statue of Buddhist deity, Senju-Kannon Sahasra-bhuja, the principal image, and 1,000 life-size standing statues of Senju-Kannon in the 118-meter-long main hall of the temple.
There are also two powerful and dynamic statues of "Fujin" Wind God and "Raijin" Thunder God at either end of the hall and 28 images of guardian deities protecting the 1,001 "Kannon" deities and pious Buddhists. The statues are made of Japanese cypress using the assembled-wood construction method called "yosegi-zukuri" and coated with gold foil. As there are thirty-three 2.5-meter-long spaces between the columns, the temple came to be called "Sanjusangen-do" (a hall with 33 spaces between columns).
They tend to be ignored, but you cannot miss the two structures in the temple precincts: South Gate and roofed earthen fence, both of which are said to be made based on the idea of one time ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and reflect the aesthetics of the 16th century.
(2) Kiyomizu-dera temple
According to the Chronicle of Kiyomizu-dera temple, it originated in 778 when the noted monk, Enchin, enshrined an image of "Kannon" Goddess of Mercy on the mountain overlooking the Otowa-no-taki waterfall; later in 798, the distinguished general, Sakanoue-no-Tamuramaro, built a Buddha hall there, following which the temple came under the official patronage of Emperor Kammu. Repeatedly destroyed by fire over the centuries, it was rebuilt on each occasion.
Today, the principal temple buildings are the "Saimon" West Gate, the three-storied pagoda, the "Kyodo" Sutra Hall, the "Tamurado" Founder`s Hall, the "Todorokimon" Middle Gate, the "Asakurado" Hall, the "Hondo" Main Hall and the "Amidado" Amida Buddha Hall, all aligned on an east-west axis.
The "Hondo" Main Hall, built in 1633, is the central building of the temple compound and is an example of "Kake-zukuri", or "overhang" architecture. It is famous for its so-called "Kiyomozu-dera stage", an imposing veranda, supported by a forest of tall wooden columns with wooden braces running through them crosswise and lengthwise. The temple itself is a magnificent building utilizing every sophisticated construction technique available in the olden times of Japan.
Not only can you be in the solemn atmosphere accompanied by the delicate aroma of burning incense, but also get the breathtaking view below from the 12-meter-high platform, which is popularly known for the proverb "Jumping off the stage of Kiyomizu-dera temple", meaning making a bold attempt at doing something dangerous or impossible. The Buddhist temple is attractive throughout the year in the beautiful natural surroundings: cherry-blossoms in early April, fresh green leaves in early summer and trees with beautiful red and yellow leaves late in autumn. Meanwhile, you can drink cold, clean water from a waterfall below the platform. You can also find various kinds of souvenir shops on both sides of the approach to the temple and spend a happy time there wondering what to buy.
(3) Ryozen-Kannon Goddess & Kodaiji temple
This imposing, 24-meter-high "Kannon" statue built in 1955 to wish for the construction of peace-loving Japan and to console the souls of Japanese killed in World War Ⅱ stands with the rich greenery in the background. Her serene, mild, gentle face gives us relief from our daily worries and concerns.
Kodaiji temple near the Kannon image was built by the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one-time ruler of Japan, to console his soul in 1606. Later, with the huge financial assistance made by Tokugawa Ieyasu, his successor, the temple enjoyed prosperity. After 1789, however, it lost many of its buildings due to repeated fires except the main hall, the mausoleum of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his wife Nene called "Mitamaya", where the statues of the couple is seated, the two tea houses and a few other structures.
There is a small museum in the temple precincts called Kodaiji Sho (palm-of-the-hand) Museum, where many pieces of "makie" lacquerware and other artifacts are on display. The lacquerware was made by sprinkling gold powder on the lacquered products such as spice containers, pitchers and chests of drawers. They are associated with the life of the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
guide fee, hotel pick-up in Kyoto area.
transportation fee (you and guide), lunch, dinner, entrance fee, hotel pick-up outside Kyoto area
I (guide) can wait for up to 30 minutes free of charge, but if you are late any further, I will ask you 1,000 yen per 30 minutes.
We are going to use the Kyoto city bus services. The fare is the uniform 230 yen per one ride; the total fare for this tour will be 920 yen.
Sanjusangen-do temple: 600 yen; Kiyomizu-dera temple: 400 yen; Ryozen Kannon statue: 300 yen; Kodaiji temple: 600 yen.
I had a wonderful day with Tatsuhiro-san and so did my two friends! I would highly recommend Tatsuhiro-san for his interesting stories, kind nature and local insight. He organised a full day for us in Shiga prefecture, to see a local temple, the Hikone castle, lunch, and to see Lake Biwa. He was very flexible with our interests and needs throughout the day, and was great fun to talk to. On the rare occasion that we couldn't understand each other, we simply wrote it down and quickly worked it out. I enjoyed spending time with him and his tour was very informative and well tailored to our interests. He is the perfect thoughtful host!
Hi Shannon-san, Michael-san & Cameron-san, Thank you so much for your favorable comment on my work. I am really encouraged. I was happy to see your smiling faces at the end of day which was the greatest reward to me. I still regret, however, that I was unable to understand your remarks on a number of occasions on our tour. I will try even harder to improve my listening abilities. I wish you all a good luck and a fruitful new year. And many thanks for your souvenir. I find it very delicious. See you again. Regards, Tatsuhiro
He is the nicest person! We enjoyed him very much as someone who was able to navigate our total lack of Japanese.
Hi Ligia-san, Thank you very much for your favorable comment. I enjoyed your company and I am glad you have come to know some of the most popular sights in Kyoto. I hope you will enjoy your golden years more and more in greater health. Good luck. Regards, Tatsuhiro
A very friendly guide. He helped navigate us through Kyoto. Other people commented on his English, I think it was ok. No better than one could expect from a native citizen and local. I’d prefer this kind of person anyways since they know the “tricks”. He was kind to ensure he understood and verified your question’s answer.
Hi Sean-san & Kim-san, I am encouraged to have received a favorable comment like this. In fact, I felt sorry for asking you to repeat your questions on many occasions, but now I realize that`s the way you native speakers of English speak the language. Anyway, I am glad you completed the tour and saw for yourself some of the traditional beauties and cultures of our country. I hope to see you again. My love to all the people in the state of Connecticut. Regards, Tatushiro
We had a good time and a great tour with dear Tatsuhiro, he is a very good guide and we really enjoyed all the sights, thank your very much again Tatsuhiro
Hi Peter-san, Thank you very much for your favorable comment. I am really encouraged. I am glad that we completed the tour safely and that you kept smiling all the way. Also, it is a great relief for me that your were well in time for the ship`s departure. I wish you all a greater health. Many thanks. Regards, Tatsuhiro