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Beauty of Snow in Silence

Japan's chilly winter allows for a season of quiet reflection. A crisp and snowy walk through one of Japan's many beautiful temples or shrines invites such contemplation and is equally inviting for visitors during Japan's colder months. Wrap up warm and wander through the solemn and splendid atmosphere dusted in snow.

Here are some of Japan's best places to appreciate the beauty in silence.

Muroo-ji Temple (Nara Prefecture)

Beauty of Snow in Silence


 

Muroo-ji Temple is situated in the Nara prefecture and takes approximately 2 hours from Nagoya by Kintetsu train. Nestled in a deep secluded region, the temple is a great place to experience silence while surrounded by nature. Muroo-ji temple started accepting female worshippers when most temples prohibited women from entering temples due to the "No women allowed" policy instituted at nearby Mt. Koya before the 20th century. Popular to female visitors, the temple is referred as the "Women's Koya". During winter, the slopes at Muroo-ji temple depicted in covered snowflakes are beautiful and create a solemn yet charming atmosphere. Admire a number of national treasures like the Buddha of Enlightenment (8th century), Kon-do hall, five-storied Pagoda and much more. After climbing up a series of stone steps, stop by the traditional restaurant located directly in front of the temple. With over a 100 year history, it is famous for wild plant cuisines.

For more information, please visit here.

Shoren-in Temple (Kyoto City)

Beauty of Snow in Silence


 

Located in popular tourist destination of Kyoto city, the Shoren-in temple is one of the five Monzeki temples of the Tendai sect in Kyoto. Monzeki is a temple whose head priest was a member of the Imperial family. The temple has a classical circuit style garden and is very elegant due to its close association with the imperial family. The scenery of the garden blanketed with snow from Kacho-den, or "drawing room", is breathtaking. The Kacho-den is adorned with about 60 traditional sliding doors and features a painted scenery of beautiful lotus flowers.

For more information, please visit here.

Yutoku Inari Shrine (Saga prefecture)

Beauty of Snow in Silence


 

Yutoku Inari Shrine is located in Kashima in Saga prefecture, about one hour from Hakata station (Fukuoka) by express train. The shrine built in 1687 is referenced as one of the three most famous shrines dedicated to Inari, guardian of the deity of food, clothing and shelter. Over 3 million people worship every year and appreciate the beautiful and traditional architecture, lacquered by blue, green, red and gold. After climbing to the top of the shrine through the torii gates archway, you reach Okunoin, the inner shrine which commands a picturesque winter panorama of the Ariake Sea. After visiting the shrine, meander the market close to the entrance of the shrine. There are several souvenir shops providing local specialties such as red bean sweets and rice crackers.

For more information, please visit here.

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