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Beautiful Shoren-in Temple, Kyoto

A superb mixture of old and new

Although not many people visit Shoren-in Temple (and garden), those in the know call it one of the most beautiful in Kyoto. I went there on the morning of December 31, and it was practically empty, which suited me just fine. Built in the late 13th Century, part of the temple's fame comes from its connections over the centuries to the Royal Family. The buildings are laid out around a central garden and pond. Rooms are wide and spacious and beautiful. The wood is dark and old, and there are a lot of reds to match the darkness of the wood. Colorful lotus door paintings are a delight! A path winds its way up through a bamboo grove and, at the top, provides a splendid view of the surrounding countryside. 

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