Day 6 – Sightseeing Day Kyoto

First stop on our sightseeing day was at the Ginkakuji Temple. A quiet and beautiful place for meditation. The Ginkakuji Temple, a Zen temple, was established in 1482 by Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the eigth Murromachi Shugunate. Yoshimasa, following Kinkakuji Temple Kitayama than built by his grandfather Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, built villa Higashiyama than to spend his retired life. Ginkakuji is the common name, and formally it was called Higashiyama Jishoji, taking after Yoshimasa’s posthumous title after his death. Higashiyama than is the place where Higashiyama culture formed mainly by Yoshimasa started, and is the start of modern life style of the Japanese. Even now, the combination of Higashiyama culture and Zen culture can be seen here.

The second stop was at the Kiyomizu-dera Budhist Temple. Three MBA students from the Doshisha University joined us and gave us additional background to the temple. Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period. The temple was founded in 798, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu. The temple complex includes several other shrines, among them the Jishu Shrine, dedicated to Ōkuninushi, a god of love and “good matches”.

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In the afternoon we visited the Fushimi Inari shrine.  Fushimi Inari is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto goddess of rice.  Weather was not so good but at least it was not raining like the days before. Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fushimi Inari Taisha) is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds. These torii gates are also featured in one of the scene in the movie Memoir of a Geisha. The donor’s name and date of the donation inscribed on the back of each gate. The cost starts around 400,000 yen for a small sized gate and increases to over one million yen for a large gate.

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The foxes are considered her messengers. Foxes are sacred beings in Japanese mythology, capable of changing shape and vanishing in an instant.

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After the sightseeing with our three colleagues from the Doshisha University we went to visit their campus. There we get an introduction by the dean of the university Ph. D. Mari Kondo about Kyoto. Next a former student of the ZHAW Pavel Soukal, presented us their university. At the end Prof. Rüttimann gave a presentation about innovation. After an intensive task we had the pleasure to have dinner with a group of students of the Doshisha University.


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