There are many
temples and shrines.
average Japanese are not very religiously oriented people, although from time
to time, they worship their family religions on some special occasions, e.g.,
wedding, funeral, anniversaries of the death of their relatives (this is a
serious matter). Interestingly,
while Buddhism and Shintoism are completely different
religions (the former brought in from
All these are only
introductory, but you do not need to know much about them to appreciate the
beauty of Japanese architecture and gardens. Many of temples (there are more than
2,000 Buddhist temples in
A characteristic feature of Japanese gardens is their asymmetry. They are almost never symmetrically constructed, as with the nature itself. On the other hand, they are not intended to be a copy or a miniature of nature. It is more of a symbolic representation of the beauty of natural beauty.
Let me show you some examples.
2. Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion – alas, Japanes only again) This pavilion is very famous for its gold-coated (almost every façade and internal constructions are coated with thin gold films. Jan Willems with Pavillion, Rina and Allen Tannenbaum with Pavillion in the back.
3. Katsura Imperial Villa (Web page– alas,
again Japanes only; but there is a nice video
presentation accompanied with English subtitles) This shows a highlight of Japanese
garden. It is definitely one of the
most beautiful, if not the most, gardens in
This is a magical combination of nature, light, shadow, and above all, simplicity. All small buildings are tea ceremony houses, but each represents a different style, yet they are so rich and simultaneously simple. This garden was founded approx. 400 years ago, but is still maintained in a very good condition. We can take pictures only at restricted areas, and they will hardly convey the overall beauty of this magnificent garden. I hope you’d visit and find out for yourself.
The best seasons are May and October/November, but it will show its significance in any season. Let the pictures speak for themselves (click the thumbnails):