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★ WINTER SPECIAL CAMPAIGN - Public Viewings of World Heritage and National Treasures -

Welcome to Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital for over 1,000 years!

During the Winter Special campaign weeks, Kyoto city specially offers several very historic landmarks that are usually closed to public viewing and only viewable from the outside. Don't miss it!

To-ji Temple Gojyunoto (Five-Story Pagoda)

Period of opening to the public : Until March 22, 2010.
Time of opening to the public : 9:00 - 16:00
Admission fees : 800 yen. (includes normal admission)
*May be closed for Buddhist service without notice.

One of the must-see places is the iconic five-story Pagoda of the Toji Temple, being familiar to people as a symbol of Kyoto!!

This pagoda is the tallest in the country, and the very original pagoda was built in the 9th century. After a few fire incidents, the current tower was built in the mid 17th century. Since the tower was contructed of wood and is too fragile for regular public visits, the special admission inside the pagoda is a significant opportunity for visitors.
A thick central “heart pillar” spans the inside of the tower vertically, and Buddha statues are positioned around it for protection. The ceilings, pillars, and walls are decorated with colorful pictures. In addition, the wonderful Buddha statues inside the main Kondo hall (national treasure) and the Kodo (important cultural asset) can be viewed.

Access: City Bus from Kyoto sta. : Toji-higashimonmae stop Bus NO. 42 (Platform C4)

             Or Walk 15 min from Kyoto station (Kintetsu-line) along the Shinkansen railway tword the west.


One of another rare opportunity is Sanmon Gate, Chion-in Temple

Period of opening to the public : Until March 22, 2010.

Time of opening to the public : 10:00 - 15:40
Admission fees : 800 yen. (includes normal admission)

Chionin is the head temple of the Jodo sect and one the the most popular Buddhist sects in Japan. The two-story Sanmon Gate, entrance gate, is located alongside the road between Maruyama Park and Shorenin Temple.

Standing 24 meters tall and 50 meters wide, the majestic Sanmon Gate built in 1621 is the world's largest wooden gate. The gate's balcony is usually not open to the public, only during this campaign!! Interior of Sanmon Gate (National Treasure), Houkan Shaka Nyoraizazo sculpture (Sculpture of a seated Buddha with a jeweled crown) Sixteen Arhats sculpture

Another Highlights of Chionin is "Viewpoint above the Hojo Garden" You can enjoy the beautiful panorama view of Kyoto city like from the top of the mountain.

Don't miss the largest bell in Japan, too!!

"New Year Ringing of the Bell" is the tradition where the monks of the temple ring the bell 108 times to represent the 108 sins of mankind. Among the temples Chionin is very famous in Kyoto, because to ring the largest bells in the world (74 tons), 17 monks need to ring it during the New Year celebrations.

(Click to Enlarge)

Access:  a five minute walk from the nearest bus stop, Chionin-mae. from Kyoto sta. (20 min.) Bus NO. 206 (Platform D2)

★ 18th Minami-za Introduction to Appreciating Kabuki

Now Minamiza, the famous Kabuki theater in Kyoto,  is offering an attractive entertainment, "Introduction to Appreciating Kabuki" for all Kabuki lovers! (sorry, only in Japanese language)

Title: Kuninamari Futaba no Oizuru , Chapter: Dondoro Oushi
Date: Feb 10th  (Wednesday) to 14th  (Sunday)
Place: Minami-za Kabuki Theater

This is anual event, and now one of the most popular attraction in this theater!! The play was composed really approachable even for the Kabuki beginners, and also you can enjoy unique way of explanation why and how Kabuki is so attractive to you before the play by Japanese comedic storyteller

The price is really reasonabl, just 2000yen!!! But the period of play is very short only for five days!!! Don't miss this great chance if you visit Kyoto during these days. :)

Midday Session 11:00~12:45
Evening Session 14:30~16:15
2000 yen All non-reserved seats

First Part - Explanation (11:00-11:35)
"Minami-za and Kabuki" (in Japanese) Introduced by Katsura Kujaku
Break:  15 mins.
Second Part - Performance (11:50-12:45)
Name of the role, Oyumi (the wife of Juroubei)
Name of the role, Otsuru (daughter of Oyumi, making a pilgrimage)

The Highlight is ---
How this small daughter (Otsuru) is pretty with unrestrained devotion, searching really hard her mother since separated from... and on the other hand, the mixed feeling and painful emotion of her mother (Oyumi) who finally found her daughter, but can't tell the truth to her daughter as she is her mother because there is some reason...

Oyumi was taking a rest at the tea store at the temple in Uehommachi, Osaka. A pretty pilgrimage girl was coming up. The girl's name is Otsuru. She was on a pilgrimage because of searching her mother all the way from Tokushima island, her parent home, (meaning Oyumi, her mother's home). While enjoy talking, Oyumi has realized she was her loving daughter...  Oyumi had left her daughter just from the very mixed reason...

Now Oyumi was living on as special thief in order to investigate the family's treasure...., so she couldn't identify herself... because she didn't want her daughter to be involved in any trouble because of her situation. So the mother, Oyumi decided bravely not to tell her daughter she was her mother... However in her true heart... she was wondering... if she missed this chance, she probably never be able to meet her daughter again. Finally she's decided to follow her daughter to get back to her arms... and then...

Minamiza Theater is at Gion Shijo sta. on Keihan line. exit 6
Or in front of "Shijo Keihan" bus stop
TEL: 075 561 1155

The Minamiza theatre is the birthplace of 'kabuki,' and a landmark of the city. Their kabuki performances have been designated as an important cultural property. Not only kabuki plays, but also concerts and 'rakugo' (traditional comic storytelling) performances are held here.

Kyoto Visitors?
How to Process Free Guide!

2011 Kabuki Calendar!

2011 Kabuki Calendar!
1600yen at Minamiza (Kabuki Theater in Gion) This is Minamiza Orivinal Design! What a Perfect Souvenir Idea!! Or Nice Wall Decoration in your Room! Limited Stock, Hurry to get soon! :)

Kyoto Guide Index

Ask Free Guide 
Kyoto Visiters? Welcome to Guide You! :)
Feedback from the Tourists! Thank you! :)
Kyoto Travel Tips
Drop your Luggages at Kyoto Station!!
Kyoto Itinerary (sorry, now in the rennovation)
"Must to Visit" Nijo castle, Kinkaku-ji, Ryoan-ji, Shijo Karasuma Shopping area, Kiyomizudera,Gion
"Must to Visit" <2nd Day> Arashiyama, Tenryu-ji, Bamboo Forest, Togetsu-bridge, Heianjingu shrine.
"Must to Visit" <3rd Day> Ginkakuji, Philosopher's Path, Nanzenji, Shorenin, Chion-in, Maruyama-Park
"Must to Visit" <4th Day> Fushimi Inari & Nara area
Kyoto Tour by Bicycle!
What to do after Sunset
"Must to Visit" <4th Day> Kyoto Night Cruise (Yoru Bus) Bus Tour
Suberbs of Kyoto
Boat Tours down Hozu River
Boat Tour Movie
Kibune area, Kawadoko Kaiseki Cuisine on the River! (summer)
Takao area, Kawadoko Dinner with Maiko (spring and autumn)
Dinner Retaurants
Twilight Pontocho or Kamogawa Riverbank Dining (summer)Okonomiyaki (at Downtown)
● Okonomiyaki (at Kinkakuji area)
● Kobe Beef
Kyoto Sweets
Kyoto Famous Flavor, What is Matcha?
Kakigoori (Shaved Ice)
Souvenir Tips
Recommend Kyoto Souvenir Gallery 1
Recommend Kyoto Souvenir Gallery 2
Maneki Neko (Lucky Cat)
Shichimi Spice
Astro Boy Museum
Japanese Wooden Doll, Kokeshi
How to Wear Yukata
Tea Ceremony
Tea Ceremony Experience
Matcha (Powdered Green Tea) History
Meet Maiko
Winter Gion - Tea Party with Maiko only by One Coin!
Maiko Dance Performance Every Sundays
Meet and Chat with Maiko on Weekends & National HolidaysKawadoko Dinner with Maiko
Maiko Dancing Movie (Gion Higashi Kouta Music)
Funaoka Onsen, Special Public Bath
Kurama Onsen, Houroku-yu
Plum Festival at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
Higashiyama Hana Touro Illumination
Kiyomizu Temple, Blue Dragon Dancing
Yabusame-Shinji (Archery on Horseback)
Aoi Festival Parade
Iris/Azalea Viewing
Bonfires, Daimonji Yaki Festival
Ancient Princess Parade (at Arashiyama)
Arashiyama Hana Touro Illumination
Spring Sakura (Cherry Blossom)
Hirano Shrine
Daigoji Temple
Omuro Ninna-ji (World Heritage)
Winter Special
Public Viewing 2009 (Toji, Chionin etc...)
Night Light-Up
What is Autumn Colors
Shoren-in Temple Night Illumination
Try "Omikuji" ! Enjoy reading your fortune

Okonomiyaki in Kyoto

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