Friday, July 15, 2005

Kyoto Afternoon Tour

Our morning tour ended at the Kyoto Handicraft Center where we got a buffet lunch and an hour or two for some souvenir shopping. We then got on our bus for the Kyoto Afternoon Tour.

The first stop in the afternoon was Heian Shrine. This huge Shinto shrine was painted red and green and was built when Chinese style was very popular. The shrine itself was very beautiful, but I especially liked the garden in back, which I had missed on my previous trip to Kyoto in 2000.

The second stop was Sanjuusangendo Hall (or the Hall of 33 Spaces). This long building houses about 1000 life-size statues of Kannon, the buddha of mercy. Kannon supposedly has 1000 arms (but each statue really has about 33 sets of arms) and each hand holds different items such as a lotus blossom or feather. We weren't allowed to take pictures of the statues, so you'll just have to use your imagination as to what 1000 gold-leaf covered life-size statues look like. They're on platforms almost like bleachers so that you can clearly see the faces of each row and there were about six or eight rows of them. There were also several other statues of buddhas of war and buddhas of healing.

The third, and final stop of the day was Kiyumizudera, or Clear Water Temple. This buddhist temple is famous for a gigantic wooden deck that hangs out over the trees and for three springs of clear running water. Since the temple is fairly high up the side of the hill, it also has a very nice view of Kyoto.


At 12:04 AM, Blogger Willowsss said...

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