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Temples in Cairns

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Innisfail Chinese Temple
The Chinese Temple was built in 1940 by the shire's Chinese population who were drawn to the agricultural industry and the gold rushes of the region. Far North Queensland is a very special part of Australia. It is lush and Tropical with green intrusive mountains complementing the adjoining blue-water Great Barrier Reef. Innisfail is situated in the heart of Far North Queensland, and it is to this area that peoples from across the globe migrated, to share in Nature's bounty. The Chinese were one such small group and contributed to the community with their industrious ways and a subtle spiritual and cultural centre, referred to as the "Joss House", but now more appropriately named as the "Innisfail Temple".
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Nan Tien Temple
Visit or stay at Nan Tien Temple, the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. Nan Tien is very different from most tourist attractions because there is so much on offer. The visual delights of grandeur architecture, art and culture including unique exhibitions and festivals, Buddhist festivals, vegetarian culinary delights, educational and healthy lifestyle classes and retreats, accommodation, top class conference and auditorium facilities. There is also the spiritual and religious experience that is unforgettable, and even life changing for some. Pilgrim Lodge, Wollongong's most unique accommodation setting is a 100 room facility, which is open all year round and located in the grounds of the Temple. The lodge overlooks the lotus pond, the peaceful Temple, splendid gardens, the beautiful rolling hills, and famous escarpment of the Illawarra.
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Tana Toraja
Tana Toraja is safely protected beyond the lofty mountains and rugged granite cliffs of the central highlands of the island of Sulawesi and the home of the Toraja people. 'Discovered' and opened to the world from their long isolation only since the beginning of the last century, the Toraja today still adhere to their age-old beliefs, rituals and traditions. The nobility of Toraja are believed to be descendants of heavenly beings who came down by a heavenly stairway to live here on earth in this beautiful landscape. To keep up the energy of the land and its people, the Toraja people believe that these must be sustained through rituals that celebrate both life and death, which are attached to the agricultural seasons. Tourists to Toraja, therefore, are either attracted by its unique culture and rituals, most of which are mostly centered around graves and death ceremonies. While others prefer to avoid the morbid images and go trekking through the spectacular, almost untouched Toraja countryside visiting remote villages, or exhilarate in rafting the Sa'dan river rapids.
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Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple
Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple is the famous Hindu temple situated in Nadi, Fiji. It is also a largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere and the main deity is Lord Subramanya Swamy. He is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi and his brother is Lord Ganesan. The main statue is specially curved and brought from South India. There are three parts in Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple: Lord Muruga, is the main temple; Lord Ganesh is the second part of the complex; Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi Amman is the third section of the temple. The original Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple of Nadi was founded by Ramaswami Pillai in 1913 on the land leased from the native Fijians.
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Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot is one of Bali’s directional temples, and is situated on a rock in the ocean, just offshore. From all the beautiful temples on Bali, Tanah Lot is quite special and for many one of the "must-things-to-do". It is said that Pura Tanah Lot has been built on the recommendation of an important Hindu priest Danghyang Nirartha in the 16th century, who has shaped Bali's Hinduism and religious architecture for the centuries to come. Tanah Lot is a very important site for pilgrimages and plays an important role in Balinese spiritualism and mythology. The rock that the temple sits on has been eroded by the ocean over the centuries, and is now undergoing a process of restoration.
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Singosari Temple
Not much remains of the once powerful 13th century East Java kingdom of Singosari. An unfinished temple and two giant statues that once stood guard in front of the palace are the only traces left of this great kingdom.
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Ratu Boko Temple
Settled on a hillside plateau, overlooking Prambanan temple complex and with a view to Mount Merapi behind Prambanan Temple complex, lie the remains of a once grand palace. The palace (kraton) is named Ratu Boko after a King Boko of local folklore, but the real owner of the palace is more likely to have been a king of a local dynasty.
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Borobudur Temple
The Sailendra dynasty built this Largest Buddhist monument in the world between AD 780 and 840. It was built as a place for glorifying Buddha and a pilgrimage spot to guide mankind from worldly desires into enlightenment and wisdom according to Buddha.
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Thian Hock Keng Temple
Beautifully restored, Thian Hock Keng Temple, which is dedicated to Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, is the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore. Built-in 1839 with the support of prominent members of the Hokkien community, such as philanthropist Tan Tock Seng, Thian Hock Keng Temple is Singapore's oldest Chinese temple. Dedicated to Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, early Chinese immigrants came here to give thanks for their safe passage across the vast waves of the South China Sea. At the temple, take in the remarkable architecture in the traditional southern Chinese style. Keep an eye out for the detailed carvings and sculptures of dragons, phoenixes, and deities, as well as the colorful broken porcelain on the roof ridges, a Fujian decorating technique. Amazingly, not a single nail was used in the original construction of the temple, which is now a gazetted national monument and managed by the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan.
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Sri Mariamman Temple
Located in Chinatown, the Sri Mariamman Temple dates back to 1827 and is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore.
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Mariamman Hindu Temple
Mariamman Hindu Temple is a sacred Hindu Temple dedicated to the goddess of the Rain ‘Mariamman’. This temple was built in the late 19th century by traders coming from India and has been well preserved. This complex is the only Hindu temple in Saigon and is believed to have miraculous powers giving luck and wealth to its visitors. The outer wall of the Temple has a collection of interesting statues of different gods and goddesses like Mariamman, Vishnu, Brahma and Ganesha. The main hall of the complex (The Rajagopuram) stands twelve metres tall and inside you find a well-maintained statue of Mariamman flanked by her protectors ‘Maduraiveeran’ and ‘Pechiamman’. If you would like to enter the Mariamman Hindu Temple than do not forget to take of your shoes and dress appropriately. To favour the goddess of the rain you can also take some offerings such as joss sticks, jasmine, lilies and gladioli. These can be bought in front of the entrance. In the near vicinity of this temple, you can also find Ben Thanh Market. Entrance to the temple is free of charge and can be visited from 07:00 – 19:00.
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Cao Dai Temple
The Cao Dai Temple was finished in 1955 when the Cao Dai Army was formed following the Japanese occupation of Indochina. Caodaists believe that all religions are ultimately the same and seek to promote tolerance throughout the world. The Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad and Confucius, in addition to Joan of Arc and Julius Cesar are all honoured at this temple. There are nine hierarchies of worship including a pope, cardinals and archbishop with festivals, rituals and prayer all practised regularly. The temple is similar in design to a Christian Cathedral featuring side aisles and an altar, as well as a long central nave, all positioned as they would be in a Christian Church, there is even a high dome decorated with clouds and saints. The main focal point is a Divine Eye symbolising God which has the Ying and Yang icon in its pupil. Ceremonies take place daily with two services accompanied by musicians and a choir singing in English to traditional Vietnamese music.
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Jade Emperor Pagoda
Emperor Jade Pagoda, also known as Tortoise Pagoda, is one of the five most important shrines in Ho Chi Minh City. Built at the turn of the 20th Century by a community of Cantonese who migrated from Guangzhou province in Southwest China, this pagoda is a fine representation of Mahayanist branch of Buddhism that is practised widely in Vietnam. In the main hall, the Emperor Jade Chua Ngoc Hoang or the 'God of the Heavens' reigns supreme. Aided by two assistants, the Emperor decides who can enter this higher realm. Those who don't pass this gate will meet with the formidable 'God of Hell', on the left, who will send sinners to one of the 10 levels of hell. Life in purgatory is magnificent if somewhat gruesomely represented by the intricate carvings on the temple wall, depicting different kinds of punishments that await transgressors. In a different hall, the goddess of fertility Kim Hua, surrounded by figures of women and small children, blesses childless couples who pray for an offspring here. The goddess of mercy Kuan Yin, who forms a very important part of any Taoist temple, has an altar in a room on the top floor. Emperor Jade Pagoda is a living and working shrine very much in use by the locals who come here to prayer or make votive offerings of flowers and light candles and joss sticks. With worshippers coming and going, the temple can get busy and feel a little cramped. Its dimly lit, the narrow passageways filled with smoke lend an atmospheric feel to the place, adding to its charm.
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Dadaocheng Cisheng Temple
Dadaocheng Cisheng Temple, commonly known as the Dadaocheng Mazu (meaning "Mother-Ancestor") Temple, dedicated to the Tianshang Shengmu (meaning "Heavenly Holy Mother"), the guardian of sailors and also known as Mazu or Tianhou (meaning "Empress of Heaven"), is one of the three main temples in Daodaocheng, along with the Fazhu Temple and the Xia Hai City God Temple. "The first door opens to display the beauty of Guanyin Mountain; thousands of ships have navigated over the running waters" is written on the front gate, pointing out the change of its location over the years. Cisheng Temple was originally located at the intersection of Xining North Road and Minsheng West Road back in 1866, across the trading port, with the Bali Guanyin Mountain to its front right, looking onto the bay of the Tamshui River flowing north. In 1910, the Japanese government tore the temple down to re-plot the urban streets. The locals funded the temple relocation to its current address on Yanping North Road, using the original pillars and stones and preserving its appearance since the reconstruction finished in 1914, until today.
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Hsinchu City God Temple
Hsinchu City god Temple (Chenghuang Temple) is regarded as the highest-ranking of all City God temples in Taiwan, due to the superior spiritual power of its City God in protecting the town. In front of the temple is a market with a lot of small stalls selling delicious Taiwanese snacks, including rice noodles, meat balls, thick cuttlefish broth, and Zhuqian Biscuit (Zhuqian is the original name of Hsinchu). Hsinchu is famous for a number of specialty foods, especially Hsinchu rice noodles, which are produced in Nanshr Village, Hsinchu City. Another famous product of Hsinchu is shiangfen, a traditional cosmetic powder which was used by women throughout Taiwan before the arrival of foreign-style cosmetic products. The powder is also used in offerings to Qiniangma, the guardian spirit of children. Only one store, run by the Tsai Family in Julian Street, still produces this powder. Although there are many stalls from which Hsinchu meatballs can be purchased, many are concentrated around the Chenghuang Temple.
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Marble Mountains
The Marble Mountains are a cluster of five hills made from limestone and marble in Da Nang. It's also a well-known pilgrimage site with peaks, caves, tunnels and temples all just waiting to be discovered. Named after the elements metal, wood, water, fire and earth, Marble Mountains exist in a coastal area that is renowned for stone-cutting and sculpture about 9km south of Da Nang. The caves within the mountains hold many secrets including bullet holes from when troops used to spy on the US soldiers relaxing on My Khe Beach below and buildings standing within the caves and grottoes. There are also Buddhist sanctuaries and places of worship dotted across the mountains which are a much-visited spiritual site. You can even see a special circular cave here. It leads to the summit, where you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views.
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Phap Lam Pagoda
Phap Lam Pagoda is a two-storey temple in Da Nang City Centre, featuring towering trees, manicured gardens, and intricate Buddhist sculptures. Formerly known as Tinh Hoi Pagoda (until renamed as Phap Lam Pagoda), it was built in 1934 along Ong Ich Khiem Street, where Con Market is just a five-minute stroll away. Despite its location within the bustling Da Nang city centre, the atmosphere here is very serene and peaceful. You can see locals praying in the morning or getting their fortunes told while the resident monks go about their daily lives. As with any Buddhist temple in Vietnam, Phap Lam Pagoda gets packed with devotees during annual festivities such as Tet and Lunar New Year. The top floor of the pagoda is a presbytery that features intricately carved pillars, handwritten Buddhist Pali incantation, and a golden statue of Buddha while the ground floor hosts an amphitheatre that can accommodate up to 1,000 people. The courtyard of the pagoda houses a 1.1-metre-high seated Buddha statue as well as brass statues of the Goddess of Mercy (Avalokitecvara) and Dai The Chi Bodhisattva. Entrance to Phap Lam Pagoda is free of charge, but donations are welcomed.
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Temple Street Night Market
When the sun goes down, the traders have already laid out their wares and the opera singers and fortune tellers begin to emerge. Welcome to the Temple Street Night Market, a popular street bazaar, named after a Tin Hau temple located in the centre of its main drag, and a place so steeped in local atmosphere that it has served as the backdrop to many a memorable movie.
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Wong Tai Sin Temple
As one of Hong Kong’s most famous and popular temples, Wong Tai Sin Temple is not only famous among locals, but also very well-known among Chinese from all around the world. This has mainly to do with the history and myths behind this unique temple.
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Bright Filial Piety Temple
Bright Filial Piety Temple has a long history of more than 1700 years. It is a temple with the longest history and largest scale in Lingnan area. It was originally built as the residence of Zhao Jiande, an offspring of Zhao Tuo, the Nanyue King in the Western Han Dynasty. In the period of the Three Kingdoms, Yu Fan, a lord in the Wu State, when he was relegated to the Southern Sea, he gave lectures here and hence the Guangxiao Temple was called "Yu Yuan" at that time. The temple was also called "He Lin" because of a great many myrobalan trees there. After Yu Fan's death, his family denoted the residence as a temple and made a slab saying "Zhizhi", and that was the very beginning of the Guangxiao Temple. Bright Filial Piety Temple has a long history and therefore there are a lot of antiques. The Grief Bell which was first set up in the 2nd year of Baoli in the Tang Dynasty (826 A. D.) is in the shape of mushroom and is made of stone with Hercules' embossments around. Those embossments are vivid in facial expressions and well shaped and elegant in postures so that they completely represent the soul of Buddhism.
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Ta Prohm Temple
Shrouded in dense jungle the temple of Ta Prohm is ethereal in aspect and conjures up a romantic aura. Fig, banyan and kapok trees spread their gigantic roots over stones, probing walls and terraces apart, as their branches and leaves intertwine to form a roof over the structures. Trunks of trees twist amongst stone pillars. The strange, haunted charm of the place entwines itself about you as you go, as inescapably as the roots have wound themselves about the walls and towers', wrote a visitor 40 years ago. Ta Prohm is among the largest of the monuments in the Angkor complex, the inscription gives an idea of the size of the temple. The complex included 260 statues of gods, 39 towers with pinnacles and 566 groups of residences. Ta Prohm comprises a series of long low buildings standing on one level, which are enclosed by rectangular laterite wall (600 by 1,000 meters, 1,959 by 3,281 feet). Only traces of the wall are still visible. The center of the monument is reached by a series of towers connected with passages. This arrangement forms a ' sort of sacred way into the heart of the monument’; three-square galleries enclose the area.
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Angkor Wat
There are few places anywhere on earth to match the splendour of Angkor Wat. The temple is one of the largest monuments to religion ever built and is truly one the wonders of the world. Believed to have been constructed as a temple and mausoleum for King Suryavarman II at the peak of the Khmer empire in the first half of the 12th century, Angkor Wat is probably the best-preserved of the Angkorean temples. As with other Angkorean temples and walled cities such as Angkor Thom, the central theme of Khmer architecture revolved around the idea of the temple-mountain.
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Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom is undeniably an expression of the highest genius. It is, in three dimensions and on a scale worthy of an entire nation, the materialization of Buddhist cosmology, representing ideas that only great painters would dare to portray. Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire, was a fortified cit enclosing residences of priest, officials of the palace and military, as well as buildings for administering the kingdom. These structures were built of wood and have perished but the remaining stone monuments testify that Angkor Thom was indeed a "Great City" as its name implies. Temples inside the walls of the city described are Bayon, Phimeanakas, Baphuon, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, Prah Palilay, Tep Pranam and Prasat Suor Prat. Symbolically, Angkor Thom is a microcosm of the universe, divided into four parts by the main axes. The temple of the Bayon is situated at the exact center of the axes and stands as the symbolical link between heaven and earth. The wall enclosing the city of Angkor Thom represents the stonewall around the universe and the mountain ranges around Meru. The surrounding moat (now dry) symbolizes the cosmic ocean.
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Phnom Bakheng Hill
It is a testimony to the love of symmetry and balance which evolved its style....in pure simplicity of rectangles its beauty is achieved. It is a pyramid mounting in terraces, five of them ...Below Bak-Keng lays all the world of mystery, the world of the Khmer, more mysterious ever under its cover of impenetrable verdure. Phnom Bakheng is located 1,30 meters (4,265 feet) north of Angkor Wat and 400 meters (1,312 feet) south of Angkor Thom. Enter and leave Phnom Bakheng by climbing a long steep path with some steps on the east side of the monument (height 67 meters, 220 feet) In the 1960 this summit was approached by elephant and, according to a French visitor, the ascent was "a promenade classic and very agreeable. Arrive at the summit just before sunset for a panoramic view of Angkor and its environs. The golden hues of the setting sun on this vista are a memorable sight.
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Banteay Srei
The tenth century temple of Banteay Srei is renowned for its intricate decoration carved in pinkish sandstone that covers the walls like tapestry. Banteay Srei is an exquisite miniature; a fairy palace in the heart of an immense and mysterious forest; the very thing that Grimm delighted to imagine, and that every child's heart has yearned after, but which mature years has sadly proved too lovely to be true. And here it is, in the Cambodian forest at Banteay Srei, carved not out of the stuff that dreams are made of, but of solid sandstone.
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Rakan-ji Temple
Rakanji Temple (羅漢寺) is one of the 3 largest Gohyakurakan (五百羅漢) in Japan. It is said that Rakanji Temple began with the religious training of the Hodo mountain hermits in year 645.
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Sumiyoshi Shrine
In Osaka, the shrine is known affectionately as "Sumiyossan." Every year, from January 1st to 3rd, the shrine welcomes more than 2 million people for Hatsumode, the traditional first shrine visit of the year. The head shrine for Japan's approximately 2,300 Sumiyoshi shrines, Sumiyoshi Taisha is the most important shrine in the Osaka area. Praying to the gods here is believed to ensure maritime safety, as well as good luck in farming, waka poetry, martial arts, and sumo wrestling, and to ward off disasters of all kinds. Built more than 1,800 years ago, the buildings are arranged to resemble a fleet of ships headed out to sea. The shrine was built in an architectural style known as Sumiyoshi-zukuri, the oldest style used in shrine construction, and is registered as a national treasure. Sumiyoshi Taisha has more than 30 auxiliary shrines, as well as a number of festivals and rituals, including Sumiyoshi Matsuri. The grounds of the shrine are carefully preserved as a national treasure and important cultural property for their architectural and cultural value.
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Shitennoji Temple
Shitennoji (四天王寺, Shitennōji) is one of Japan's oldest temples and the first-ever to be built by the state. It was founded in 593 by Prince Shotoku, who supported the introduction of Buddhism into Japan. Although the temple's buildings burned down several times throughout the centuries, they were always carefully reconstructed to reflect the original 6th-century design. The outer temple grounds are free to enter, but admission to the inner precinct, the Gokuraku-Jodo Garden and the treasure house is paid. In the pebble covered courtyard of the inner precinct stand a five-storied pagoda that can be entered and ascended and the Main Hall (Kondo) in which Prince Shotoku is enshrined as a statue of Kannon.
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Kosanji Temple
Kosan Wajo of Kosanji Temple became a Buddhist priest after the death of his mother, and the temple belonging to the Honganji sect of the Jodo Shinshu sect was built as a memorial to her. Various pagodas that had been built over more than 30 years since 1936 were reproduced with representative styles and methods of Buddhist architecture from the Asuka to Edo Periods. The Koyo no Mon gate that took 10 years to build and is a reproduction of the Yomei Gate in Nikko, excellent art works exhibited in the new treasure hall, and the approximately 50,000 square meter location with its seasonal beauty reminds you of heaven. The temple is also famous for cherry blossoms and autumn leaves.
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Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fushimi Inari Taisha) is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds. Fushimi Inari is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Foxes are thought to be Inari's messengers, resulting in many fox statues across the shrine grounds. Fushimi Inari Shrine has ancient origins, predating the capital's move to Kyoto in 794. While the primary reason most foreign visitors come to Fushimi Inari Shrine is to explore the mountain trails, the shrine buildings themselves are also attractive. At the shrine's entrance stands the Romon Gate, which was donated in 1589 by the famous leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Behind stands the shrine's main hall (honden) where visitors should pay respect to the resident deity by making a small offering.
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Kiyomizudera Temple
Kiyomizudera ("Pure Water Temple") is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan. It was founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the wooded hills east of Kyoto, and derives its name from the fall's pure waters. The temple was originally associated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest schools within Japanese Buddhism, but formed its own Kita Hosso sect in 1965. In 1994, the temple was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. Part of the fun of visiting Kiyomizudera is the approach to the temple along the steep and busy lanes of the atmospheric Higashiyama District. The many shops and restaurants in the area have been catering to tourists and pilgrims for centuries, and products on sale range from local specialties such as Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets and pickles to the standard set of souvenirs. The Higashiyama district together with Kiyomizudera, Yasaka Shrine and other temples in the area, have special evening illuminations during the annual Hanatoro event held in mid March. Kiyomizudera also has special illuminations during the autumn leaf season in the second half of November.
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Saidaiji Kannon-in Temple
The ancient temple of Saidaiji Kannon-in was built around 1,200 years ago. Walking along the approach, visitors will pass by rows of traditional shops before entering the shrine’s gate and arriving at the main hall.
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Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of Kyoto’s top sights and for good reason: standing amid these soaring stalks of bamboo is like being in another world. If you’ve been planning a trip to Kyoto, you’ve probably seen pictures of the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove – along with the torii tunnels of Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine and Kinkaku-ji Temple, it’s one of the most photographed sights in the city. But no picture can capture the feeling of standing in the midst of this sprawling bamboo grove – the whole thing has a palpable sense of otherness that is quite unlike that of any normal forest we know of. The best way to explore the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is by following our Arashiyama Bamboo Grove Walking Tour, which outlines the best route to follow.
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Tenryuji Temple
Tenryuji (天龍寺, Tenryūji) is the most important temple in Kyoto's Arashiyama district. It was ranked first among the city's five great Zen temples, and is now registered as a world heritage site. Tenryuji is the head temple of its own school within the Rinzai Zen sect of Japanese Buddhism. Tenryuji was built in 1339 by the ruling shogun Ashikaga Takauji. Takauji dedicated the temple to Emperor Go-Daigo, who had just passed away. The two important historical figures used to be allies until Takauji turned against the emperor in a struggle for supremacy over Japan. By building the temple, Takauji intended to appease the former emperor's spirits.