Ginkakuji – Best Place To Visit In Kyoto


Ginkakuji (銀閣寺, Silver Pavilion) is a Zen temple along Kyoto’s eastern mountains (Higashiyama). In 1482, shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa built his retirement villa on the grounds of today’s temple, modeling it after Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), his grandfather’s retirement villa at the base of Kyoto’s northern mountains (Kitayama). The villa was converted into a Zen temple after Yoshimasa’s death in 1490.

As the retirement villa of an art obsessed shogun, Ginkakuji became a center of contemporary culture, known as the Higashiyama Culture in contrast to the Kitayama Culture of his grandfather’s times. Unlike the Kitayama Culture, which remained limited to the aristocratic circles of Kyoto, the Higashiyama Culture had a broad impact on the entire country. The arts developed and refined during the time include the tea ceremony, flower arrangement, noh theater, poetry, garden design and architecture.

Today, Ginkakuji consists of the Silver Pavilion, half a dozen other temple buildings, a beautiful moss garden and a unique dry sand garden. It is enjoyed by walking along a circular route around its grounds, from which the gardens and buildings can be viewed.

A first sight of the Silver Pavilion can be enjoyed shorty after entering the grounds. Formally named Kannonden (Kannon Hall), the pavilion’s two stories are constructed in two different architecture styles and contain a statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. However, the interior of the building is not open to the public.

Despite its name, the Silver Pavilion was never covered in silver. Instead, it is believed that the name arose as a nickname more than a century after the building’s construction to contrast it with the Golden Pavilion. Alternatively, it is explained that moon light reflecting on the building’s dark exterior (which used to be covered in black lacquer in the past) gave it a silvery appearance.

The pavilion is one of only two buildings on the grounds of Ginkakuji which have survived intact the many fires and earthquakes of the past centuries, although it has been undergoing periodical renovation works to keep it well preserved. Most recently the building’s roof was redone and its earthquake resistance was improved. The works were completed in spring 2010.

Next along the route is an expansive, meticulously maintained dry sand garden, known as the “Sea of Silver Sand”, with a massive sand cone named “Moon Viewing Platform”. Besides the garden stands the Hondo (main hall), which displays paintings on its sliding doors (fusuma) but cannot be entered.

Right next to the Hondo stands the Togudo, Ginkakuji’s only other temple building besides the Silver Pavilion which dates back to the temple’s foundation. The Togudo is celebrated for containing a study room of 4.5 tatami mats, which is considered to be the oldest extant example of Shoin architecture, the architecture style in which most contemporary tatami rooms are still designed today. The building and its study room are not usually open to the public.

After passing by the Togudo, the walking path then takes visitors through Ginkakuji’s moss garden, which features ponds with islands and bridges, little streams and various plants. The path climbs a hill behind the buildings from where there are nice views of the entire temple grounds and the city beyond. At last, visitors can enjoy once more some closer views of the Silver Pavilion before exiting the grounds.

Get There and Around

Ginkakuji can be accessed by direct bus number 5, 17 or 100 from Kyoto Station in about 35-40 minutes and for 230 yen one way. Alternatively, you can reach Ginkakuji by foot along the Philosopher’s Path from Nanzenji in about 30-45 minutes.

Kouri Ocean Tower – Best Place To Visit In Okinawa

Kouri Ocean Tower

Birth of a new landmark on the Kouri Island.
The Kouri Island, also known as the “Island of Love”, has a legend of the Okinawa version of Adam and Eve.
An observation tower that features a panoramic view of the islands and the sea that constantly changes its color depending on the time of the day such as emerald green and cobalt blue.The world of amazing landscapes.

The landscape viewed from the top floor of the tower has the great bridge of Kouri and the colors of an emerald green ocean. This is truly the world of photos. You can enjoy a landscape which makes you sigh.

Head to the observation tower by riding an automatic cart through the park featuring tropical plants and streaming waterfall. The utmost exhilarating feeling of enjoying the view of the Kouri Bridge and the emerald green sea under negative ions. Another extraordinary place is the Shell Museum. Here you can see more than 10000 shells from all over the world! Here are exhibited very rare shells, like shells which live 200m under the sea, dangerous shells with deadly poison, heart shaped shells and many other shells.

A souvenir photograph at the top of the tower, with the marvelous view of the Kouri Bridge and the emerald green sea in the back, will be an unforgettable memory of your trip.

Restaurant featuring the best view in Okinawa.
Neapolitan pizza with fluffy dough baked in 500℃ pizza oven. A very delicious curry with a combination of the mild flavor of coconut and gentle spice. Authentic Neapolitan pizza and Thai-style green curry to enjoy in the fascinating view is exceptional.

Tabanan Hot Water – Best Place To Visit In Bali

Tabanan Hot Water

Tabanan Hot Water is one of tourist destinations in Tabanan regency, west part of Bali. it is about 15 minutes from Tabanan town and close to Batukaru Temple. It is set on the hill bank and the river valley just in front of it. There is a main pool located in the lowest level and just beside of river meanwhile other small pools are set on the bank. This hot water is come from the Batukaru mount and flows to the hill bank at Penatahan village, the location of Tabanan Hot Water.

It is located in Penatahan Village, Penebel Sub district and Tabanan Regency. It is about 1,5 hour drive from Bali’s International Airport taking the simple direction to go to Tabanan Town and access to Batukaru Temple. It is strategically located beside of main road from Tabanan town to Batukaru Temple .

Chanthaburi Herb Garden – Best Place To Visit In Chanthaburi

Chanthaburi Herb Garden

Chanthaburi Herb Garden is run by an institute which belongs to the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Medical Sciences. The garden is located in Ang Khiri Sub-district, Makham District, Chanthaburi Province, approximately 25 kilometers from the city center. It was built in 1943. At present, the area covers 144 Rai, divided into 104 Rai for operation and 40 Rai for forest conservation. It marks the largest herb garden in Chanthaburi Province.

Chanthaburi Herb Garden is where over 500 types of herb are collected and conserved. It also manufactures herbal raw materials for the Department of Medical Sciences’ research and breeds herbs and seedlings to support the herb cultivation in all areas throughout the country—no less than 20,000 trees per year. Besides, Department of Medical Sciences is an important tourist attraction in Chanthaburi Province.

Inside this pleasant herb garden, there are a lot of interesting activities, such as a lecture on the properties, advantages, and disadvantages of each types of herb. It helps the tourists choose and use the herbs correctly. There is also a tour in the herb demonstration plot, which can make the tourists know what each types of herb look like. As for the purchase section, the tourists can buy the processed herbal products, including medicine, supplementary food, or cosmetics, in a reasonable price. And if the tourists look for some herbs to plant at home, there are a lot of herbs sold here.

Opening time and day: Monday- Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Admission fee: None. But for group tour, the tourists have to book the tour with the director of the Medicinal Plant Research Institute in advance.

Kiyomizudera Temple – Best Place To Visit In Kyoto

Kiyomizudera Temple

Kiyomizudera (清水寺, literally “Pure Water Temple”) is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan. It was founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the wooded hills east of Kyoto, and derives its name from the fall’s pure waters. The temple was originally associated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest schools within Japanese Buddhism, but formed its own Kita Hosso sect in 1965. In 1994, the temple was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

Kiyomizudera is best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. The main hall, which together with the stage was built without the use of nails, houses the temple’s primary object of worship, a small statue of the eleven faced, thousand armed Kannon.

Behind Kiyomizudera’s main hall stands Jishu Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deity of love and matchmaking. In front of the shrine are two stones, placed 18 meters apart. Successfully finding your way from one to the other with your eyes closed is said to bring luck in finding love. You can also have someone guide you from one stone to the other, but that is interpreted to mean that an intermediary will be needed in your love life as well.

The Otowa Waterfall is located at the base of Kiyomizudera’s main hall. Its waters are divided into three separate streams, and visitors use cups attached to long poles to drink from them. Each stream’s water is said to have a different benefit, namely to cause longevity, success at school and a fortunate love life. However, drinking from all three streams is considered greedy.

Other structures on the spacious temple grounds include the Okunoin Hall, which resembles the main hall on a smaller scale and has also a stage. Near the Okunoin are halls dedicated to Shaka Buddha (the historical Buddha) and Amida Buddha, as well as a small hall with nearly 200 stone statues of Jizo, the protector of children and travelers. The three-storied Koyasu Pagoda stands among the trees in the far southern end of the temple grounds, and a visit is said to bring about an easy and safe childbirth.

Around the entrance of Kiyomizudera, outside the paid area, stand various other temple buildings, including a vermilion three storied pagoda, a repository for sutras, large entrance gates and the Zuigudo Hall which is dedicated to Buddha’s mother and where against a small entrance fee you can wander the pitch black basement that symbolizes a mother’s womb.

Part of the fun of visiting Kiyomizudera is the approach to the temple along the steep and busy lanes of the atmospheric Higashiyama District. The many shops and restaurants in the area have been catering to tourists and pilgrims for centuries, and products on sale range from local specialties such as Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets and pickles to the standard set of souvenirs.

The Higashiyama district together with Kiyomizudera, Yasaka Shrine and other temples in the area, have special evening illuminations during the annual Hanatoro event held in mid March. Kiyomizudera also has special illuminations during the autumn leaf season in the second half of November.

Get There and Around

Kiyomizudera can be reached from Kyoto Station by bus number 100 or 206 (15 minutes, 230 yen). Get off at Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi bus stop, from where it is a ten minute uphill walk to the temple. Alternatively, Kiyomizudera is about a 20 minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station along the Keihan Railway Line.

Luhur Watukaru Temple – Best Place To Visit In Bali

Luhur Watukaru temple

Luhur Watukaru temple or Pura Batukaru is one of the biggest Hindu Temples in Bali (Sad Kahyangan) with Catur Lokapala Temple and Padmabhuwana Temple status. It is set in the plateau area with lush tropical rain forest surround it. It is situated in the peaceful area which is far from the local resident that is ideally for worship. There are some temple building spread out through the tranquility of rain forest and the big mountain of Batukaru as a back drop.

The history of this temple is difficult to be found out even in the ancient omission exists in this temple. For example some profile area like harpoon own the Ancient Bali type, but no written data found it. The effort study and research of this temple history remain to find difficulties. The temple festival at Luwur Watukaru or Batukaru Temple is executed every six-month or 210 days which is every Thursday Umanis Wara Dungulan (Balinese Calendar), just the day after Galungan Day (the biggest Balinese Hindu Holidays). The extension day of temple festival is executed during eleven day, to give the opportunity for Hindu public society especially in Bali to come for praying. Pengempon (the society who take care of the temple) has the obligation to take care of the temple inclusive of ceremony execution. This fact is one of characteristic power outside of physical of Watu Karu Temple.

Kubayan is commissioned holy occupation lead the temple ceremony and his status higher than all priests in Pretending pertinent Ancient. In the execution of praying during the temple festival or the certain day ceremony, it has to be preceded by doing pray in Beji Temple which is located in eastside of Watu Karu Temple or inside of Madya Mandala (middle area) and Nista Mandala (outside area). After doing pray in Beji Temple, then the praying is continued in the main temple building located in the center of temple area. This is also not need again clean the hand and gargle because, it has been conducted the hallowing of body by conducting pray in Beji Temple. This is specification of praying procession in Watukaru Temple.

Bang Sa Kao Mat Weaving Village – Best Place To Visit In Chanthaburi

Bang Sa Kao Mat Weaving Village

Bang Sa Kao Mat Weaving Village is a large manufacturer of reed mats in Chanthaburi Province. Anyone who wants to buy some reed mats made in Chanthaburi can understand and see the whole process, from bleaching and dyeing the reeds to preparing them. There is reed farming around the village area. Apart from mats, the village also uses reeds to create other utensils and sells them both wholesale and by retail.

The tourists can travel to Bang Sa Kao Mat Weaving Village. It opens for the tourists to see and buy the products every day from 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please contact 0 3945 0923 and 0 3945 0587.

Bang Sa Kao Mat Weaving Village is located in Bang Sa Kao Sub-district, Laem Sing District, Chanthaburi Province, 22190. As for the direction, the tourists can go to Bang Sa Kao Mat Weaving Village by taking the same route with Samet Ngam Village. At Wat Ko Tanot T-junction, go straight and turn right at Wat Thakian Thong T-junction before continuing for another 200 meters. There is also another route. From the city center, cross Trirat Bridge to Sukhumvit Road, and then turn right to Trat Province for around 8 kilometers. After that, turn right at the intersection to Ban Bang Sa Kao for another 8 kilometers.

At present, Bang Sa Kao Mat Arts Center was founded in 2000 supported by the Social Investment Fund (SIF). It was constructed under the concept of self-reliant community development, which concentrates on the process of learning reinforcement and the participation of community, village organization, and strong community culture. The main function of the center is to encourage reed and jute cultivation. Besides, its purposes are to reduce the manufacturing costs, to have enough raw materials in the area, to provide some capital to pay for the cultivation and preparation costs, to refund social capital to the members, and to purchase and distribute community products. The purchase means to buy reed mats from the members and to process the mats for sale by focusing on the use of raw materials in the area. However, the other products are sold on consignment in order to create connection among the products in the community.

Kyoto Tower – Best Place To Visit In Kyoto

Kyoto Tower

Standing 131 meters tall just across Kyoto Station, Kyoto Tower (京都タワー) is Kyoto’s tallest building and a rare modern iconic landmark in the city famous for its ancient temples and shrines. The tower was completed in 1964, the same year as the opening of the shinkansen and the Tokyo Olympics.

A viewing platform is located 100 meters above ground and affords a 360 degree view of Kyoto and as far as Osaka on clear days. Kyoto Tower stands on top of a typical commercial building, which contains souvenir shops, restaurants and a hotel, as well as a public bath in the basement.

Get There and Around

Kyoto Tower stands on the north side of Kyoto Station.

Kabira Bay – Best Place To Visit In Okinawa

Kabira Bay

Kabira Bay is one of Ishigaki’s best known tourist spots.
It has even received 3 stars in the French edition of the Michelin Green Guide Japan.

The strong currents preclude swimming, but the stunning view of coral and marine life from the glass-bottomed boat is absolutely stunning.