Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion) - The Golden Pavilion is not just a poetic name for this three-storied temple. The Kinkaku-ji really is covered in gold foil. The spectacular effect of the pavilion is heightened by the reflection in the pond, surrounded by scenic pines.
Ryoan-ji Temple - A visit to this Zen garden is a must do. Fifteen rocks are perfectly placed in a sea of raked sand-gravel. A friend writes, "We were one of the last people to leave the Ryoan-ji. We sat quietly with just a few others. Since we were there just before closing, we really got to savor the tranquility of the temple, garden and pond."
Toei Kyoto Studio Park (Uzumasa, Ukyo-ku) - Want to see movie sets where samurai movies are made? Wander through streets of medieval Japan, watch samurai sword-play and ninjas on the roof, check out the three headed monster rearing above the trees. Girls can dress up in traditional casual kimono and have your picture taken. Don't miss the Japanese animation corner.
Yuzen Cultural Hall (Yuzen Bunka Kaikan) (Nishikyogoku, Ukyo-ku ) - See demonstrations of this 300 year-old dyeing techniques (both hand drawing and stenciling) as well as a gorgeous collection of Yuzen kimono.
Kitano Shrine (Kamigyo-ku) - This shrine is dedicated to Tenjin, the god of academic studies. On the 25th of each month, there is a temple fair, with booths and stalls selling handicrafts, used kimono, and food. Also, on Feb. 25th, the Plum Blossom Festival is celebrated at the shrine - the grounds are a riot with blossoming trees (in February!).
Nishijin Textile Center (Horikawadori, Kamigyo-ku) - Silk weavers have woven exquisite silk fabric in Kyoto since the 8th century. A guild was formed to produce the rare and beautiful silk for the Imperial court, and later, the elaborate costumes for Noh plays. Today, you can watch silk weavers at their looms, using traditional techniques.
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