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The idyllic Ninna-ji Temple – Kyoto

The Ninna-ji Temple in Kyoto was originally built in the year 886-888 by Emperors Kōkō  and Uda as the head temple of the Omuro School of the Shingon sect of Buddhism.  However, none of the buildings from the temple’s foundation in the 9th century still survive.  The oldest buildings date back to the beginning of the Edo Period in the early 1600s.  The Kannon Hall, the Niomon front gate, the Chumon inner gate and the five storied pagoda are standouts among the temples..

Ninna-ji
Kyozo
Kyozo
17th century, five-story pagoda
17th century, five-story pagoda
Ninna-ji
Interior of Shinden
Interior of Shinden
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Worth a note is the Goten, the former residence of the head priest. Look for it in the southwestern corner of the temple complex.    Here sliding doors (fusuma) provide a broad open view to the beautiful stones and pond.

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Takefue Ryokan – Kyūshū

There are no words to fully describe the beauty and magic of the Takefue Ryokan.   In a nation that consistently exceeds all expectations, Takefue Ryokan is beyond the best Ryokan in Japan.

It is located up an isolated mountain, in Kyushu, just outside the amazing town of Kurokawa Onsen, deep in a bamboo forest.

photo © Takefue
photo © Takefue
photo © Takefue
photo © Takefue
photo © Takefue
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The hospitality is beyond anything expected – even in Japan.  A member of the staff is allocated as your sole contact throughout your stay.  They gently guide you, from choosing a yukata and coat, to designing and scheduling menus, to assisting your reservation of baths.  Without out going into overt detail; it is  beyond anything we’ve experienced -anywhere in the world.  The combination of service and planning creates the feeling that you are the only guest at the hotel.

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Ahau Hotel – Tulum

A successful blend between hippy, eco-chic, and family friendly, Ahau Tulum helps set the standard for gypset Tulum. It is very easy-going hotel  with the friendliest staff.  Nothing is a problem at Ahau. The atmosphere is is like you have always been a part of the family.

ahau hotel bed part of gypset tulum

Ahau has all the elements you come to expect from the gypset in tulum. The beach day beds are comfortable and spaced well apart.  Simple, ample food and tasty juices are on call from the open air restaurant.  For the area, Ahau’s menu has a good range between comfort and healthy food, and is moderately priced.  Above the restaurant there is a large mezzanine, bathed in beautiful filtered natural light, where the yoga classes are held.

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Robot Restaurant – Tokyo

If you are fan of over-the top Japan; then The Robot Restaurant Tokyo is a MUST!

“Restaurant” is a bit of a misnomer; more like “Sensory Overload Sensation that also serves beer and popcorn and sushi”

Going to let the visuals do the talking here, because no words can really do justice to this palace of pop.

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Reiyukai Shakaden Temple – Tōkyo

One can count the space age the black star temple of Reiyukai Shakaden Temple among the many places in Tokyo that seem straight out of a Science Fiction movie!

Completed in 1975, this red and black granite complex sheathed in electrochemically coloured black-steel shingles, is home to the Buddhist sect Reiyūkai (霊友会 Spiritual-Friendship).   Reiyūkai emerged as an offshoot of Buddhism in 1925 by Kakutarō Kubo and Kimi Kotani, focusing on ancestral worship without a priesthood.

The temple is open to explore and consists of: the Main Hall, the Plaza, the Kotani Hall, various conference rooms, a cafeteria, a child care room, and a nurse’s office.

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