Kinshi Masamune is one of the famous sake brewer and Horino Memorial Museum is a home of Kinshi Masamune. It is located on the southern part of Kyoto-gosho (Kyoto Imperial Palace). Here we can see Temmei-gura (Cellar) which had been the facility for brewing sake which started in 1781. With ingenious devices of various kinds this cellar was designed to make sake of best quality. Also here there is a well called the “Momonoi Well” which has been yielding high quality water. Even today, 8 tons of water flows from it every hour without stopping. Pure water is essential to make sake of best quality. We can also enjoy Machiya “traditional wooden townhouse” of two-storied structure in the same grounds. Let’s enjoy a cellar and Machiya at the same time here.
The view of ‘Yasaka-no-to pagoda’ seen from Yasaka-dori Street is so beautiful that it often appears on TV. as one of the Japanese drama scenes and attracts many tourists’ attention. It is on our way to Kiyomizu-temple in Kyoto City. Besides we can often see around here some Geiko-san (traditional, female Japanese entertainers who have various Japanese skills of arts such as classical music, and dance, etc. ) and Maiko-san (an apprentice ‘geiko’ ). This five-story Yasaka-no-to pagoda is said to have been built by Shotoku Taishi (also known as Prince Umayado , a regent and a politician of the Asuka period in Japan) in 592 and to be one of the oldest pagodas in Japan.
Nishiki Market, which is located in the center of Kyoto City and extends about 400 meters from Teramach Street to Takakura Street, is a must for tourists especially from foreign countries . There are 123 shops in a narrow, shopping street. Various kinds of fresh and processed foods including Kyoto specialties, such as vegetables, fresh seafood, sushi, dried food, sweets, pickles (tsukemono), etc. are sold. We could enjoy just walking around and observing here even without buying anything. Foreign visitors could understand what kind of foods Japanese people eat and could experience traditional Japanese culture and atmosphere just by visiting here. Many foreign visitors take many pictures here. Half an hour is enough for us to stroll around. If we have more time, we can have lunch here. We can get here in 5 minutes on foot from Shijo Station on the Karasuma Subway Line. Welcome to Nishiki Market, “Kitchen of Kyoto City”!
Kyoyouchi (“Mirror shaped” Pond) at Ryouan-ji Temple
When you enter the temple grounds, you can see Kyoyochi (“Mirror shaped” Pond).
This pond was created by the Tokudaiji family in the 12th century. This pond is also called “Oshidori ike”- the pond of mandarin ducks. A couple of mandarin ducks love each other deeply and a human couple who love deeply each other is said “a couple of mandarin ducks”. And then if an unmarried human couple can see them here, it is said that they can get married happily. And if a married human couple can see them here it is said that they can have a happy marriage life for a long time.
You can see them without fail by going around the pond for a long time, because generally as a route of Ryoan-ji temple grounds you walk the one side of the pond (before entering the main temple) and the other side of the pond (before leaving the temple grounds).
The best seasons to visit Ryouan-ji Temple is spring and fall.
There is such a famous expression as “to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu”. But actually en Edo period from 1603 to 1868, estimated 424 persons jumped off the stage which was located at a height of 13m above the ground and estimated 362 persons (85.4%）survived. Some trees, branches, leaves and some parts of structures might prevent them from falling straight, so most of them might have been saved. It was said “ if one jumps off the stage and is saved, his or her wish will be achieved afterwards”. This practice is so dangerous that it is now prohibited.
Otowa no taki at Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple means “Temple of Pure Water” and Otowa no taki means “Waterfall of Sound of Birds’ Feather. This waterfall is very popular among youngsters. Today, at Otowa no taki , you can put a dipper under one of three streams of water to drink, the stream of health, the stream of long life and the stream of academic achievement.
But you should not drink water from all three streams and should drink water from one or two streams. If you drink water from three streams, none of your wishes will be achieved and besides, you will invite misfortune upon yourself. Almost nobody knows this in vain and they drink water from all three streams in vain. Be careful, everybody !