This tour includes 4 celebrated sites in Kyoto such as a palace, a castle and temples. The two temples on this tour are less crowded but most venerated ones with rich histories. Both of them have beautiful gardens that invite us to pause and to refresh ourselves.
At the first temple, you can step into the same room where retired emperors and princes used to stay. At the other temple, you will know how the first lady spent her last days after her husband, a samurai leader, passed away.
Comparing the Imperial Palace with Nijo Castle helps you to understand the difference between the emperor and the shogun.
In this tour, you will learn about the culture of nobles and warriors and touch the lives of emperors and shoguns.
Kyoto Imperial Palace is situated in an extensive area in the center of Kyoto. Until the capital was moved to Tokyo in 1868, the emperor 's family used to live here. Even today, when the emperor and/or the crown prince come to visit Kyoto, they stay at one of the residences on this site. The luxurious buildings and beautifully arranged gardens here tell a tale of the refined taste of the times.
In 1603, the shogun relocated his shogunate to Edo, present-day Tokyo. Nijo Castle was built as the castle where the shogun stayed when he visited Kyoto. Inside the castle, there are more than 1,000 gorgeous pictures painted on sliding doors giving you an understanding of the powerful authority of the shogun. It was in this very castle that the last shogun declared to return the power to the Emperor in 1867, after 260 years of his family’s governance.
Shoren-in Temple is deeply associated with powerful people such as the imperial family, nobles and shoguns as their sons became head monks of this temple. Even today imperial family members visit the temple to pay their respects to their ancestors, as successive emperors are enshrined here.
Looking at the peaceful garden from the veranda gives us a respite from hectic everyday life. When you strike the bell in the belfry, the sound will reverberate deeply in your heart.
In the 16th century, there was a warrior who, despite having been born into a poor farmer’s family, was able to fight his way up to eventually become the shogun. After his death, his wife spent the rest of her days mourning her husband and consoling his spirit in Kodai-ji Temple. In the precincts, there are two stunningly arranged gardens, a dry garden and one featuring a pond, man-made hills and decorative rocks. In addition, you can command a beautiful view of Kyoto from the hill.
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