World Cultural Heritage sites and the villas of Heian-period aristocrats
The Kinugasa and Omuro districts in northwestern Kyoto are known for their rich historical and cultural significance. These areas were once home to the villas of aristocrats and the Imperial family during the Heian period, which dates back to the 8th century. Today, they are renowned as World Cultural Heritage sites, attracting visitors from around the world. In this article, we will explore the highlights of these districts and delve into the history and beauty they offer.
Heading 2: Don’t Miss
The first notable attraction in the Kinugasa and Omuro districts is the “weeping sakura” cherry tree blooming above the Ryoanji temple garden in spring. This iconic cherry tree is a must-see for nature lovers and photographers alike. Its delicate pink blossoms create a stunning contrast against the serene backdrop of the temple garden.
Another hidden gem in these districts is the mini 88-temple pilgrimage behind Ninnaji Temple. This pilgrimage is a scaled-down version of the famous Shikoku 88-temple pilgrimage and offers visitors a unique and spiritual experience. The pilgrimage route takes you through picturesque landscapes and ancient temples, providing a glimpse into the rich religious history of the region.
Heading 2: Quick Facts
Here are some quick facts about the Kinugasa and Omuro districts:
1. The cherry trees at Ninnaji Temple bloom later than other varieties, making it a popular spot for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in late spring.
2. Ninnaji Temple priests are known for their expertise in garden construction and have spread their knowledge and techniques throughout japan. The temple’s gardens are meticulously designed and maintained, reflecting the principles of Japanese aesthetics.
Heading 2: How to Get There
The best way to reach the Kinugasa and Omuro districts is by bus or taxi. The easiest starting point is Kinkakuji Temple, which can be reached by taking a 205 bus from Kyoto Station. Alternatively, you can take a 204 or 205 bus from Kita-Oji subway station, on the Karasuma Line. Both options provide convenient access to the districts and their attractions.
Heading 2: The highlights of temple row
The Kinugasa and Omuro districts are home to numerous temples and shrines, collectively known as “temple row.” One of the most famous temples in this area is Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion. This three-story wooden structure covered in gold leaf is an iconic symbol of Kyoto and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. The temple’s stunning architecture and serene surroundings make it a must-visit attraction.
Another noteworthy temple in the area is Ryoanji Temple. It is famous for its stone garden, which is considered a masterpiece of Zen philosophy. The garden features fifteen stones of different sizes laid in white sand, creating a tranquil and contemplative atmosphere. Visitors can spend hours deciphering the meaning behind the arrangement of the stones and immersing themselves in the peaceful ambiance.
Heading 3: Ninnaji Temple
Ninnaji Temple is another significant temple in the Kinugasa and Omuro districts. It was originally built by Emperor Uda in the ninth century and is known for its graceful architecture and beautiful gardens. In spring, the temple is adorned with the vibrant blossoms of the Omuro-zakura cherry trees, which stand at an impressive two meters tall. The sight of these cherry trees in full bloom is truly breathtaking and adds to the temple’s charm.
Heading 3: The Kyoto Prefectural Insho Domoto Museum of Fine Arts
Apart from its temples, the Kinugasa and Omuro districts are also home to the Kyoto Prefectural Insho Domoto Museum of Fine Arts. This museum showcases the works of Insho Domoto, a renowned Japanese painter known for his vibrant colors and modern style. The museum provides a unique opportunity to appreciate traditional Japanese art with a contemporary twist.
The Kinugasa and Omuro districts in Kyoto offer a fascinating glimpse into the rich history and culture of the Heian period. From the iconic Kinkakuji Temple to the serene Ryoanji Temple and the graceful Ninnaji Temple, these districts are a treasure trove of architectural wonders and natural beauty. Whether you are interested in history, spirituality, or art, the Kinugasa and Omuro districts have something to offer every visitor. So, make sure to include these attractions in your itinerary when exploring Kyoto, and immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of this ancient city.
Address And Maps Location:
Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu