Spared from bombing during World War II, Kyoto is shaped by two significantly different cultures: the Heian Period (794 to 1185) and the Ashikaga Period (1336 to 1573). The Heian period is associated with the aristocrats and it was during this period that Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height. It was the peak of the Japanese court and was of significant importance for its art, poetry and literature. It is often refered to as Japan's Golden Age.
We will start our tour at the most important site associated with Kyoto's aristocratic culture: a marvelous piece of architecture from the thirteenth century, surrounded by several astonishing gardens while our guide will tell you all about Heian culture.
It was here Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa patronized so many of the things we now think of as traditional Japanese culture, beginning with the tea ceremony and flower arrangement, but also poetry, garden design and architecture, among others. It is for this reason that it is said Japanese culture begins here.
It is easy to forget about time while wandering in this mesmeric scenery and a simple walk through one of Kyoto's most beautiful Zen-gardens will make you understand the concept of Zen.
Our tour will then continue along a famous and most relaxing walk to another temple, this time dating from the eleventh century and an example of the Pure Land architecture, one of Japan's largest Zen monastic complexes dating from the mid-thirteenth century, renowned for the beauty of its many Zen gardens.
We will finish up with a walk through Tofukuji Temple Complex, through a bamboo forest, and up to Fushimi Inari Shrine and Trail to the viewpoint over all Kyoto up top, the most visited attraction in Kyoto, and the place you see most in Postcards.
END OF TOUR
After today you will have seen enough temples to fill your whole trip to Japan, and the best it has to offer.Tour includes:
- A background and expert knowledge and orientation you will not get from anyone else.