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Note: The opinions and views expressed in this user report are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of japan-guide.com.

September 29, 2014 - Ninnaji and Takao

While preparing for our travel we found an article here at japan-guide that there is a bus operated by Japan Rail in Kyoto which goes from Kyoto Station all the way to Takao. So we decided to take advantage of our JR Passes and use this JR bus to get to Ninnaji and Takao.
Our first stop in the morning was Ninnaji. Beside that it is a World Heritage sight, this Buddhist temple has large grounds with historical buildings from the Edo Period and a wonderful garden. Getting to the temple is very easy, because the JR bus stop is just in front of the Niomon Gate.

On our way to the three temples of Takao, we got off the JR bus at Yamashiro Takao stop. Not far from the stop we found a nice map showing the temples and the routes which helped us a lot while walking around the valley to find our destinations.

The first stop of our Takao sightseeing was Jingoji. The temple grounds and buildings were magnificent, especially with those giant trees all around. The whole place had a very peaceful mountain atmosphere.

At Jingoji beside seeing the temples there is an other exciting thing to do. Not far from the main buildings there is a lookout where little clay discs can be bought. You can throw these discs into the valley below and hope that they hit the river below. It may seem impossible to throw so far, but believe me, if you use the right technique these discs can fly very very far.

From here we walked about 20 minutes to Saimyoji. We couldn't really find much about Saimyoji prior to our visit, but there is a nice information board just near the entrance which provided some basic facts about the temple in different languages including English.

The last stop of our visit was Kozanji, a World Heritage sight. Getting to this temple from Saimyoji was not easy, because we had to walk at the side of the road that had heavier truck traffic than we would expect. But after a 20 minute walk we finally arrived and had a great time there.
The historical buildings of Kozanji blend very well into the surrounding forest creating a very special environment. We arrived here late afternoon and inside the forest it was already darker, this gave the place an additional mysterious feeling.

There is a nice building open to the visitors with beautiful surroundings and an exhibition inside, where among other interesting items you can see the "first manga" scroll.

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List of Posts:
2015/10/28 - Meoto Iwa and Ise Jingu
2015/10/26 - Hikone Castle and Genkyuen Garden with unexpected film shooting
2015/10/25 - Inuyama
2015/10/24 - Matsumoto Castle and Daio Wasabi Farm
2015/10/23 - Himeji Castle, the first autumn since reopening
2015/10/22 - Exploring Nagoya Castle and surroundings
2014/10/05 - Rainy days in Itoigawa
2014/10/03 - Two days in Takayama
2014/10/01 - A day in Kyoto about Shinto
2014/09/30 - Tea and Zen at Uji
2014/09/29 - Ninnaji and Takao
2014/09/28 - Exploring Kyoto's southern temples
2014/09/27 - Iwakuni and Hiroshima
2014/09/26 - One day at Miyajima