See the Yakushi Nyorai, the healing Buddha plus many other fine examples of 8th and 9th century sculpture. Two large buildings feature one massive madala each representing the "womb realm" and the "diamond realm" central teachings of Shingon Buddhism. Step outside to see the tallest wooden tower in Japan the five-story pagoda and lovely gardens.
The name is a long and so is the building. Literally meaning Hall with thirty three spaces between columns, 120m long. It's enough to house one thousand and one magnificently carved "kannon" statues each with "eleven faces, a thousand arms and a thousand eyes". Built in 12th century Japan by a team of master carpenters, the whole area caught fire in 1249 but monks risked their lives to save 124 of the 1001 kannon. The rest were carved again and the main hall was rebuilt soon after. Also the sight of many famous sword battles, depicted in many movies, took place along the veranda outdoors.
The oldest Zen temple in Kyoto and a beautiful example of one. Famed also for it's famous painting, a national treasure, of the God of Wind and God of Thunder. Strolling along in bare feet along the many rooms and gardens you can get a sense of calm and photography is not restricted so you can get some great snaps. I love the view from the last dry landscape garden but the highlight might have to be in the main hall where there is a painting of a massive dragon on the ceiling. Not to be missed.
Manga in Japan is a big part of almost everyone's childhood, teenage and even adulthood too. People of all ages flock to this museum which acts almost like a library and archive of all the manga ever made. There are some sections that explain the evolution of manga and even a few English and French translations. Also one or two exhibitions are usually on display and often caricature artists who do portraits. Depending on how much you like these comic books it could be a bit of fun, or a dream come true!
The shogun once decreed that all temples in Kyoto must be built east of Teramachi street giving it the name which translates as "temple town". That's why even today, while there are far more clothing shops and restaurants, there are still quite a few temples dotted along the way and much fewer shops selling buddhist items like in days past. Plus this street and the one next to it, Shinkyogoku, are both arcade shopping streets keeping you out of the elements so you can shop to your hearts content or do a little people watching in a vibrant area.
This market celebrated it's 400th anniversary in 2015 and although now more of a tourist attraction, it's fish markets and vegetable stands are still visited by many of the local restauranteurs in time to get ready for dinner service. Unlike other markets, this one opens a little late around 9:30-10am with most shops closing around 6pm. Sample fresh seafood, Kyoto specialties and sake or visit crafts shops and small bars along the way.
Two shows daily at 6:00pm and 7:00pm (3150yen) show you a little about the main cultural arts of Japan including Maiko dance (apprentice geisha), Tea ceremony, Ikebana flower arrangement and theatrical performance. A nice introduction to the development of the arts in Japan.
Japan's department stores aren't a great place to hang out when on a traveller's budget, but you should make at least one trip to the basement food floor of one while you are here. Just walking through and seeing all the culinary delights is enough to make anyone hungry. Salads, sushi, meat, pastas, sweets, drinks you name it! Many items are pay by weight so Japanese style portions will make it easier on the wallet. And if you can wait, things start to go on sale from around 8pm. Grab a few things to go and have a quiet meal "in" for the night. You've probably had a long day!