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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Eikando (Zenrinji Temple) 永観堂(禅林寺)

Experience the most beautiful foliage in Kyoto

Eikando is especially famous for brilliant foliage in the fall, made more magical by evening illumations. This period draws huge crowds, but visit at any other time of year and you'll have the place to yourself, free to explore the grounds.

The temple is found just south of the Philosopher's Walk in central Higashiyama. Its grounds are expansive, with many buildings connected by covered walkways.

How to Get There

Eikando is easily accessed from JR Kyoto Station by train and a short walk.

From JR Kyoto Station, take the Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line to Karasuma Oike Station. Transfer there to the Tozai Subway Line going towards Rokujizo to Keage Station. It's a 15 minute walk from there.

Quick Facts

Eikando was a gift from a court noble in the Heian Period (794-1185) to a Buddhist priest

The work to restore the Amida-do paintings at Eikando took more than 4 years to complete

Eikando is also known by three other names, Zenrin-ji, Shoju-raigo-san, and Muryosu-in

A former villa

Eikando feels a bit like an old villa and was once exactly that, having belonged to a nobleman who gave it to a Buddhist priest in 853. The worldly pursuits of leisure and natural beauty would take on a spiritual dimension as the villa was adapted to its new purpose.

The Amida Buddha

Eikando is filled with various works of art, the most notable of which is a statue of the Amida Buddha with his head turned to one side rather than facing forward, as he is usually portrayed. Legend has it that a head monk was performing a ritual for the statue when it turned its head to face him and spoke to him. Since then, the statue has been turned in this way.

Climb to a pagoda with a view

The adventurous may wish to trade their shoes for slippers and walk up the steep flight of stairs to Taho-to Pagoda, which sits above the templex complex and offers a great view of the city below.

One highlight of Eikando is Hojo Pond, surrounded by a scenic garden. In the middle of the pond is a small island on which sits a quaint shrine.

For a leisurely visit to Eikando, plan to spend an hour or two there. You can easily spend longer, though, especially if you enjoy the aesthetic elements of Buddhism.

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