Friday, March 18, 2011

Kyo, Miyako, Saikyo

Once the capital of the nation, Kyoto is one of the best preserved cities in Japan, and there are some 2,000 religious places there, both Buddhist and Shinto.

There are many places in and around Kyoto that are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Saihō-ji, a Zen Buddhist temple with a famous moss garden, seen here

The Ryōan-ji, another Zen Buddhist temple, which has within its compound this rock garden

one of the most accomplished and influential of rock gardens in all of Japan.

And there is Ginkaku-ji, which contains the often photographed "Silver Pavillion", seen here

Kyoto is also the home of Japan's television and film industries, and most any Japanese film involving samurai was probably shot in and around Kyoto's castles and shrines. In addition, Kyoto houses the headquarters of the video game company Nintendo, which began in Kyoto as a greeting card company in 1889.

Kyoto is renowned for its food, and there is a specific style of sushi preparation associated with the area. There are also several local vegetables, native to Kyoto, that one does not find growing in other parts of Japan.

Many travellers from all over Japan head to Kyoto each year especially for its famed cherry trees and the blossoms they marvelously show for only a short time.

A city of 1.5 million people, Kyoto hosted the conference on green house gas emissions in 1997. The series of agreements between world leaders that resulted is today known as the Kyoto Accord.

But what is most significant and important to me about Kyoto is that it is over 500 miles away from a faltering nuclear power reactor.

My wife arrived in Kyoto yesterday, after travelling from Tokyo. I feel much better now.

1 comment:

Joel said...

That last shot with the fall momiji sure looks a lot like the walkup entry to Shodenji, which is sort of our little secret in NW Kyoto. Not far from my studio actually. Lovely, quiet space.