What to Expect
Kyoto was the ancient capital of Japan from 794 over one thousand years.
I would like to introduce you Arashiyama, Ninnaji Temple , Hirano Shrine and Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.
Arashiyama Peak is one of the the best spots in Kyoto for viewing both cherry blossoms and changing colors of autumn leaves. A great number of Temples and shrines are scattered widely around this area. I give you the guide of Tenryuji Temple, Nonomiya Shrine and bamboo forest.
Spanning 230 meter across Katsura River, photos of the Togetsukyo Bridge often appear in tourist pamphlets. When cossing the bridge, you see Tenryuji Temple.
Tenryuji Temple is the headquarters of the Zen Buddhist Rinzai Tenryuji school. The temple was founded in 1339 by Ashikaga Takauji to pray for peace. You can appreciate the "Dragon glaring in eight directions." No matter where you are, this dragon is staring at you. Furthermore you can enjoy walking around the first stroll-type garden in Japan. The whole of Arashiyama used to be within the grounds of this temple.
Nonomiya Shrine is konown for it's marriage, children and academics. Speaking of shrine, it usually conjures up the image of a red torii, but at Nonomiya shrine the tree is used without removing the bark, known as Kurokitorii (black torii), the oldest type of torii in Japan.
When you exit Tenryuji Temple, bamboo forest called "chikurin" are spread out on each sides of paths.
Next I take you to Ninnaji Temple, Hirano Shrine and Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.
Pass under the Niomon-gate of Ninnaji Temple, and the approach leading to the Chuomon-gate is so broad that it seems more like an open plaza than approach. The feeling of openness is one of the signature features of Ninnaji. On the left of the ground is Omuro cherry tree, known for its late-blooming cherry blossoms. To the right side stands the 36 meter-tall five-storied pagoda.
Hirano shrine has been famous for its cherry blossoms, too. There are about 400 cherry tees of 50 varieties inside the precincts. You can enjoy cherry blossom festival in April.
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is constructed to comfort the soul of Sugawara-no-Michizane, who was falsely accused of crime. He is now famous for a god of learning. There are untold number of the plum trees that Michizane loved so much on the grounds. You can feel the arrival of spring at the plum blosson festival on February 25th.
I can assure you that you can enjoy cherry blossom viewing or the changing colors of autumn leaves in Arashiyama Peak. Why don't you visit Arashiyama tour ?