Nara and Kyoto (Buddhist Pilgrimages in Japan)

Buddhist Pilgrimages in Japan Nara, the Japanese imperial capital in the 8th century, remains one of the great centres of East Asian Buddhist history. In and around Nara's historic park are pagodas, early Buddhist and Shinto shrines, formal gardens, the important Nara National Museum, and not least the Todai-ji temple with its immense bronze Buddha statue.
The beauty of old Kyoto lies in its numerous Zen temples dating from the Hieian period, and the famous gardens - "hill gardens" featuring water, and dry gardens featuring rock and sand - of temples such as Tenryuji and Ryoan-ji. Zen is a living tradition and Western students are accepted at some temples in Kyoto as well as in many of the more remote monasteries in the north of the island.

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