Genko-an was originally founded in 1346, however it has undergone significant renovations and restorations since then, and has a fresh, vibrant feel to it that is accentuated by its several wide terraces to the gardens outside. Two notable features at Genko-an are its round Window of Realization and enlightenment, and the square Window of Delusion.
Today, Nijo Castle sits on 275,00 square meters of Kyoto’s Nakagyo Ward. Having survived fire, flood, and lightning strike, as well as modernizing updates and building additions from other historic locations, Nijo Castle nonetheless retains much of its historic, picturesque beauty from its days as the palace of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Honno-ji sits near Kyoto Shinkyasho-mae Station, having been rebuilt several times following devastating fires. Its location in downtown Kyoto makes it an easy stopover for shoppers perusing Teramachi, or the Shijo shopping district. The small grounds are the site of several memorials, including one for Oda Nobunaga.
Mount Heiei is where the ninja tradition was born. In 1571, Oda Nobunaga burned the temple and hundreds of monks died during the raid. After the Enryakuji incidednt there was a big fight between the ninja and Oda Nobunaga in Iga.
Hachidai Jinja sits in northern Kyoto’s Sakyo-ku ward, in the Ichijoji district. Its out of the way location scenically located at the base of a mountain with several other temples along the incline makes it a perfect destination for travelers looking to experience some of old Kyoto without the bustle of tourists.
During the 16th century there was a famous ninja whose name was Ishikawa Goemon. His philosophy was just like Robin Hood. However he was caught by the Shogun Toyotomi. He was boiled alive in a giant pot. The incident took place in front of the Nanzenji Temple in 1594.
The original Omiya Inn, the site of Ryoma’s assassination no longer exists. Its former location is marked by a memorial outside of a convenience store on Kawaramachi Dori, in downtown Kyoto.
In 1867, Ito Kashitaro, a senior officer of the Shinsengumi broke off from the famous Kyoto Bakufu police force to form his own organization called The Guardians of the Imperial Tomb. This group withdrew to operate out of Gessin-In in southern Higashiyama.
Ryozen Museum of History
The Ryozen Museum of History is dedicated to the events and artifacts of the Bakumatsu–the end of the Bakufu period, which led to the Meiji Restoration. Located in the Gion district, the museum houses several artifacts from the period, as well as a gift shop selling Ryoma and Shinsengumi items.
Located in Higashiyama-ku, Chion-in is a large temple complex dedicated to the Pure Land Buddhist sect. First established in 1234, it memorialized Honen, the founder of Pure Land Buddhism. Chion-in houses several features unique to Japan, or otherwise interesting in nature.
Today the Terada Inn sits in the southern Fushimi ward of Kyoto. Although the wooden structure has been reconstructed, it still bears the marks of Ryoma’s battle against the Bakufu patrolmen in bullet holes and sword cuts. The inn also features several bits of Ryoma memorabilia for interested guests to view, as well as the stunning traditional Japanese interior that so wonderfully preserves the atmosphere of old Japanese inns.
Gojo Ohashi Bridge
This current Gojo Ohashi Bridge was constructed in 1959, nearly eight hundred years after the Kamakura period was begun by the Minamoto victory in the Genpei War.
Over three hundred years later, Ichiriki Chaya still stands in the Gion district of Kyoto. Its access is extremely exclusive however, and guests must have close ties to the house already established before being permitted to enter. For a limited time in 2006, at the request of the Kyoto City Tourist Association, a small number of foreign guests were permitted to enter without being chaperoned by established patrons. Entertainment at Ichiriki can be as much as $8,000 USD per night, making the tea house both economically and socially closed to most visitors.
The place where the pro-Imperial loyalists were hiding and were caught. Eight shishi were killed and twenty-three were arrested in the raid.
Many ninja also lived near Nijo castle. One of the famous ninja buildings was Nijo-jinya. This house was also used as an inn and a center where people traded rice. The house has an architecture that is convenient for the ninja.
Sanjo bridge is also special as you can still see the supports under the bridge that are about 400 years old. In the Spring and summer, many people sit by the river and some musicians perform near the bridge.
Yogen-in is a tiny temple first established in 1594. It was reconstructed with the floorboards of Fushimi Castle in 1621. Sitting behind the much larger Sanjuusangen-do temple, all Tokugawa shoguns starting from Hidetada are enshrined here.
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