Omuro・Ninnaji Temple/Kyoto

When most of sakura in Kyoto city finishes, Omuro zakura are in bloom.

「わたしゃお多福、 御室の桜、花(鼻)が低くても人が好く」
I am Omuro zakura.
Hana (sakura tree & my nose) is low, though people love sakura and my personality.

You can say to yourself, but never say to others.

People can take photos very close to sakura.

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Omuro literally meant honorable temple, and is area name today. The temple called Ninnaji founded by a retired emperor had been always succeeded by sons of Imperial family. Many of the buildings were transfered from the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Five lines on earthen wall indicates close relations with Imperial family.

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Yoshino (2)/Nara

Nice one day or 2-day excursion from Kyoto

Save energy to climb 100m by taking ropeway in 3 minutes with 350yen.
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Stay overnight at Ryokan (Japanese Inn). Approximately 13000~18000yen with 2 meals and nice public bath.
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You may fully enjoy walking or staying in the sacred mountain either a day or 2 days. You may be also intoxicated not only with typical Yama-zakura (mountain cherry), but different kinds of sakura. yoshino1-8.jpg

The legend tells that En-no-Gyoja(founder) attained a magical power and could become one with various Buddha, Budhisattva and deities. He carved the image of Zao Gongen out of a piece of cherry wood and enshrined it in Zao-Do (main hall) in Kinpusenji Temple.
Zao Gongen is a fierce looking savoir of the three world-past, present, and future.

Devotees planted sakura to commemorate the first Zao-Gongen made in sakura tree. All sakura in the mountains are worshipped as living manifestation of Zao Gongen.

Yoshino located approximately 2 hours from Kyoto by Kintetsu Line, costing 2400yen return fare, plus 2560yen for limited express.

1. You may walk all, taking 4~5 hours up to the peak and down. Station is 225m above sea level, and peak is 800m.
2. Take a bus to Naka-Senbon to reach at 400m. If you wish you may take another bus to the entrance to Oku-Senbon at 600m. You may walk the rest.

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Yoshino (1)/Nara

The mountain in Japan is Mt. Fuji, the sakura in Japan is Yoshino, in Nara.yoshino1.jpg
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Yoshino is divided into 4 areas, Shimo(lower)-Senbon(1000 sakura trees), Naka-Senbon (middle), Kami-Senbon (upper), and Oku-Senbon. In fact there are 30,000 trees. (inner).

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Along the way, you can’t miss World Heritage sites like Guardian’s Gate and Zao-do of Kimpusenji Temple, Yoshimizu Shrine, all designated as World Heritage Site.

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Nature of Yoshino itself has been the dojo (training hall) for Shugendo (mountain asceticism). Shugendo is uniquely Japanese, which embraced Shintoism, Taoism and Buddhism over the centuries and became Shugendo of today.

My 90 years old aunt and 81 mother was happy to reach as high as 700m. I would tell the secret of it next time.

tag : Yoshinosakuracherryblossom

Biwako Canal (3)~ Kamo River/Kyoto

In the back street of Biwako Canal (Philosopher's walk)

You may meet interesting creatures like mouse, monkey in Otoyo Shrine.

They are the important attendants of the deities.

ura12.jpg Besides, highlights are not only sakura, but other flowers in spring as well.


ura9.jpg Honenin Temple used to be a dojo, training center for monks.

Camellia particularly are dedicated to the Amida Buddha in the temple.


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Cross Kamo river on the stepping stones in the shape of turtle.

Biwako Canal (2)/Kyoto

Biwako Canal,
a modern building 120 years ago blends with the traditional atmosphere in Nanzenji-Temple

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Villas or guest houses owned by successful companies are concentrated in the vicinity. The water of Biwako Canal is led to their private gardens

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Biwako Sosui(canal) is the only river running from the South to the North in Kyoto. Kyoto is a big basin as well as a big slope. Rivers naturally run from the North to the South. In order to supply water to the city, it was necessary to build the canal using the slope of the Eastern mountain toward the higher ground in the North. sosui15.jpg

The distance between Nyakuoji-Shrine and Ginkakuji-Temple is particularly called “Philosopher’s walk”. It was named after the philosopher studying at Kyoto University nearby. The walk sided with nearly 450 sakura trees, and stretched for 1.7 km, is congested in this season. There are no philosophers walking during this time of the year. There are only people intoxicated with sakura.


Tour guide living in Kyoto

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