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Posted on 29 January 2012

Travel Date: 28 October 2010
Location: Eastern part of Kyoto

Woke up early that day, joined the morning commute crowd in subway, crossed a street, walked through a tunnel and some residential looking area and finally I see Nanzenji (南禅寺) – the first destination of my very first Japan trip, so you can imagine how excited I was when I spot the temple.

Almost not a soul on sight in Nanzenji when I entered, plus it was drizzling. Still remember it felt as though I could have this whole place for myself. For a moment I was so happy that I threw the umbrella aside and danced around the sanmon (main gate) for a bit. Not sure if the monk on the second (or third) floor of sanmon saw me though. ;P

Anyway, Nanzenji is a good place to visit. It’s huge and pretty, especially the zen gardens and the suirokaku (aqueduct).

Suirokaku (水路閣), aqueduct that used to transport water from Biwa Lake to Kyoto

Under the Suirokaku. 93m long, built in 1890

Inside the hojo (方丈) of Nanzenji. As a zen temple, of course, there's zen garden

How To Get There

  • Take subway/metro from Kyoto station [K11] to Keage station (蹴上駅) [T09], note that there’s a change of line at Karasuma Oike station [K08/T13] (烏丸御池駅)
  • Nanzenji is about 10min walk from Keage station, cross a street, go through a short tunnel, follow the road a bit and soon you’ll be able to see the temple

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