21. Katsura Imperial VillaKatsura Imperial Villa were the residences (villas) of 17th century princes. The villas were constructed to view the moon. They have unusual features such as a moon-viewing platform and drawing room. The villas are considered architectural masterpieces.
Katsura Imperial Villa also features a large Japanese strolling garden with a large central pond, tea houses, bridge, hills and lanterns.
It's owned by The Imperial Household Agency (The Emperor), visitors must book an appointment.
22. Kyoto Imperial PalaceThe Kyoto Imperial Palace is the Kyoto palace of the Emperor of Japan. The Emperor no longer lives in the palace (since the capital of Japan moved from Kyoto to Tokyo in 1869).
It's a large walled complex with buildings for state ceremonies, receiving diplomats, court rooms, imperial study and residences for the Emperor, Empress and high ranking officials.
Public tours are conducted (you must show your passport or alien registration card).
23. Eikan-doEikan-do (863) is a Buddhist temple complex that's known for it's unusual Buddha who is tilting his head to look backwards.
The buildings of the complex are connected by a series of covered walkways. It's most popular in autumn for its fall foliage (maple trees).
24. Jojakkoji TempleJojakkoji Temple (1596) was the peaceful mountainside retreat of a famous Japanese priest (Nisshin). It's small but attractive with maple trees and moss covered paths. There's a view of downtown Kyoto from the area.
25. Chion-inChion-in is noted for its large temple gate (sanmon). The architects of Chion-in built an umbrella into the roof of the temple to bring rain (and avoid fire). These structures were built in 1633 after many of the original buildings (1234) were burnt to the ground.
The Tokugawa shogun (the Tokugawa clan ruled Japan from 1603 until 1868) sponsored the reconstruction of the temple. Like Nijo Castle, the floor beams of the temple were constructed to squeak. This feature was designed to protect the Shogun from Ninja assassins.
26. GenkoanGenkoan is a Zen Buddhist temple. It has two views (windows) into the same garden: The Window of Confusion (rectangular) and the Window of Enlightenment (circular).
The windows illustrate the dichotomy between the ordinary (confused) and enlightened views of the same world.
27. Okochi Sanso VillaThe villa of the well known Japanese actor Okochi Denjiro (1896-1962). The buildings can only be viewed from the outside. However, the grounds have a nice garden and matcha green tea and a snack are included with admission.
28. Kitano Tenmangu ShrineIn the 9th century a Japanese politician and poet named Sugawara no Michizane was exiled by his political rivals. He died a lonely death in exile.
Shortly after his death Japan was struck by a series of disasters. There were droughts followed by floods. The sons of the Emperor perished in a succession of unusual incidents.
The government posthumously restored Sugawara's titles and tried to erase all records of his punishment. When this did not work they made him the god of scholarship and built Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in his honor.
The shrine is popular with students who want to pray for academic success. It's crowded each year before Japan's university entrance exams.
29. Kifune ShrineKibune Shrine is situated deep in a cedar forest in the mountains. It's dedicated to the god of water (Izumi Shikibu). Praying at the shrine is thought to bring good luck for marriage and sea voyages.
30. Kamigamo ShrineKamigamo Shrine is a large complex that dates back to 678 (making it one of Japan's oldest shrines). The shrine warns visitors of the unlucky ages for men and women. For men it's 42 years of age, for women it's 33.
Men and women of these ages come to pray at the shrine.