Japan 2

Day 3-4 Kyoto

Special Ryokan - Arashiyama Onsen Shiki no Yado  near  Togetsukyo Bridge (cormorant fishing in the Fall)

Private Special Japanese Kaiseki Dinner and Breakfast served by Ladies in Traditional Kimono/Sleeping on Tatami

Gion Festival - Kyoto - Department Store selling Silk Kimono

Heian Jingu Shrine

Kiyomizudera Temple

Bamboo Grove

Nonomiya Temple


A ryokan (旅館) is a type of traditional Japanese inn that has existed since the eighth century A.D. during the Keiun period, in which the oldest hotel in the world, Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, was created in 705 A.D. Such inns also served travelers along Japan's highways. They typically feature tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear yukata and talk with the owner. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryokan_(inn)

Onsen room - Typical Japanese onsen ryokan (hot spring inns) rooms. In general, ryokan have approximately 15-square-meter Japanese-style tatami rooms with a bathtub, shower, washbasin, toilet, and so on. There are no beds, and you will sleep in the futon on the tatami mats.

Arashiyama is a district on the western outskirts of Kyoto, Japan. It also refers to the mountain across the Ōi River, which forms a backdrop to the district. Arashiyama is a nationally designated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty. Wikipedia

The Togetsu-kyo Bridge has been a landmark in Western Kyoto's Arashiyama District for over four hundred years. The wooden bridge spans the Katsura River in front of Arashiyama Mountain, offering incredible views. The bridge has often been used in historical films. It is also a popular place for feeding koi (carp) which live in the river, or watching cormorant fishing in the late summer.  https://kyoto.travel/en/thingstodo/entertainment/112


The Gion Festival (祇園祭 Gion Matsuri) takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. It lasts for the entire month of July and culminates in a parade, the Yamaboko Junkō (山鉾巡行) on July 17 and July 24. It takes its name from the Gion district of the city.

This festival originated as part of a purification ritual (goryo-e) to appease the gods thought to cause fire, floods and earthquakes. In 869, when people were suffering from a plague attributed to the rampaging deity Gozu Tennō (牛頭天王), Emperor Seiwa ordered prayers to the god of the Yasaka Shrine, Susanoo-no-Mikoto. Sixty-six stylized and decorated halberds, one for each of the traditional provinces of Japan, were prepared and erected at Shinsen-en, a garden, along with portable shrines (mikoshi) from Yasaka Shrine. This practice was repeated wherever an outbreak of plague occurred. In 970, the festival became an annual event and it has since seldom failed to take place. In 1533, the Ashikaga shogunate halted all religious events associated with the festival. Over time the increasingly powerful and influential merchant class made the festival more elaborate and, by the Edo period (1603–1868), it was using the parade to brandish its wealth.

Smaller floats lost or damaged over the centuries have been restored, and the weavers of the Nishijin area offer new tapestries to replace destroyed ones. When they are not in use, the floats and regalia are kept in special storehouses throughout the central merchant district of Kyoto.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gion_Matsuri




Heian-jingu Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Sakyo-ku Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture.

This Shrine was built to commemorate 1,100th anniversary of the transfer of national capital to “Heian-kyo(Ancient Kyoto)” in 1895.

Therefore, this Shinto shrine are relatively new Shinto shrines.

The highlight of this Shinto shrine is “the building which reproduced the times of Heian-kyo” and “the Japanese garden of Heian-jingu Shrine“. http://jpmanual.com/en/heianjingu





Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺), officially Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺), is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site.

The main hall has a large veranda, supported by tall pillars, that juts out over the hillside and offers impressive views of the city. Large verandas and main halls were constructed at many popular sites during the Edo period to accommodate large numbers of pilgrims.[8]

The popular expression "to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu" is the Japanese equivalent of the English expression "to take the plunge".[5] This refers to an Edo-period tradition that held that if one were to survive a 13-meter (43-foot) jump from the stage, one's wish would be granted. During the Edo period, 234 jumps were recorded, and of those, 85.4% survived.[5] The practice is now prohibited.[5]

Beneath the main hall is the Otowa waterfall, where three channels of water fall into a pond. Visitors can catch and drink the water, which is believed to have wish-granting powers.

The temple complex includes several other shrines, among them the Jishu Shrine, dedicated to Ōkuninushi, a god of love and "good matches".[4] Jishu Shrine possesses a pair of "love stones" placed 18 meters (60 feet) apart, which lonely visitors can try to walk between with their eyes closed. Success in reaching the other stone with their eyes closed implies that the pilgrim will find love, or true love.[9] One can be assisted in the crossing, but this is taken to mean that a go-between will be needed. The person's romantic interest can assist them as well.


The Bamboo Forest, or Arashiyama Bamboo Grove or Sagano Bamboo Forest,
is a natural forest of bamboo in Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan. The forest consists of several pathways for tourists and visitors.



Nonomiya Shrine is a small shrine in Arashiyama right next to the Bamboo Grove. The main deity enshrined in this shrine is Nonomiya, also known as Amaterasu or the Goddess of the Sun, and it is said that she answers to prayers for health and wisdom. There are also other gods enshrined in the shrine, and they are all said to answer prayers for different things like performing arts, road safety, and other things. However the shrine is most famous as a place where you can pray for marriage luck, pregnancy and smooth delivery, which is why the shrine is especially popular with women. The Saio (an unmarried female relative of the emperor of Japan) used to come to Nonomiya Shrine before her journey to Ise Grand Shrine in order to purify herself.

One of the most famous features of Nonomiya Shrine is torii gate made of black tree trunks. Usually torii gates are vermilion in color, but this gate is made of unbarked black tree trunks and there are not many like it. This type of torii gate is the oldest type in Japan and they serve as a reminder of the days gone past.

At the inner part of the shrine there is a beautiful moss garden known as a specialty of the shrine. The garden looks almost like it’s covered by a green carped, and together with its luster and the bamboos surrounding it makes one feel relaxed.

This big stone in the shrine is called a turtle stone because it, not surprisingly, looks like a turtle. After praying at the altar, while keeping in mind what you prayed for pet this turtle stone and the thing you prayed for will come true within a year, or so it is said.  http://sharing-kyoto.com/see_Nonomiya-Shrine