At the southern part of the Philosopher's Path, you can find one of the great zen temples in Kyoto, the Nanzen-ji or Southern Zen Temple. Established in 1291 by Emperor Kameyama as a villa and later converted into a temple. As one of the most important Rinzai temple in Japan, it attracts a lot of people for its scenic beauty and calm atmosphere.
The San-mon (Triple Gate), a massive gateless gate which symbolizes the entrance, is the most sacred part of the temple. Visitors may climb up to its top balcony and have a great view of the temple and city of Kyoto for Y300.
|Hatto or Dharma Hall|
One of the famous spots here in Nanzen-ji is the large brick aqueduct built in 1890 which is a part of a canal system that was constructed to bring water and goods between Kyoto and Lawa Biwa, the largest lake in Japan located at Shiga Prefecture. It supplies 2 million tons of water everyday to the city.
On its side, there is a staircase that will lead up to its long path surrounded by the forest and in the end part, you will find the Keage Incline with an old track railway called Canal Lift. It has a vast area where people can stroll, picnic and enjoy the cherry blossoms.
Kyoto is a popular tourist destination for hanami or cherry blossoms viewing in Japan since the Heian Period. Hanami only takes one week up to 10 days depending on the weather condition. With its more than 300 species of cherry blossoms, many people thought that it is the national flower of Japan but it is not.
Cherry blossoms symbolizes the transient of life because of its short blooming and very fragile. It is also an emblem of love and affection.
I don't have much time to wander around, so I wasn't able to visit the other parts of the temple including the zen gardens. Maybe next time. :)