- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Japanese Phrases
Near Ginkaku-ji on the Philosopher's Path this bamboo forest is a great place to escape from Kyoto's hustle and bustle. Flanking a flagstone pathway inside the temple's thatched gateway, two long regular mounds of sand are raked daily into shapes symbolizing the changing seasons. As you explore the surrounding green forest (if you arrive early in the morning, you can see the priests raking it clean) and stroll through the verdant garden, you may see the tombs of several notables, including novelist Junichiro Tanizaki, economist Hajime Kawakami, and artist Heihachiro Fukuda. The temple, built in 1680, is on a site chosen in the 13th century by Honen, founder of the populist Jodo sect of Buddhism. Year-round, monks place 25 flowers before the Amida Buddha statue in the main hall, representing the 25 bodhisattvas who accompany the Buddha to receive the souls of the newly deceased.
Across the street from Honen-in, at the foot of the temple, is Honen-in's Mori no sentaa, devoted to the study and preservation of nature. With reservations two weeks in advance, the center offers guided nature hikes up Mt. Daimonji (1,529 feet). Shishigatani-Goshonodan-cho, 606-8422. 075/752-4583. ¥1,000.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $3599 -- Japan: 8-Night, 3-City Tour w/Air, Save $400 Friendly Planet Travel
We are back, and I am jotting down a few things quickly while my mind is still fresh.
First off: thanks to the many Japanophiles here on Fodors who infected us with their enthusiasm: hawaiiantraveller, Read more
Hokkaido, northern island is an amazing destination. Read more
This October, my husband and I are stopping off Narita for 11 days on our way back to USA from Taipei. Read more
· News & Features
Japan is not only a land for all seasons, it's a destination for all travelers.... Read more
There are infinite reasons to hit both Tokyo and Kyoto while visiting Japan (mochi donuts, anyone?). So,... Read more
This pass offers unlimited travel on Japan Railways (JR) trains...... Read more