Japan, Kyoto, Nanzenji Temple, Sanmon...
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Japan, Kyoto, Nanzenji Temple, Sanmon Gate

The World > Asia > Japan

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A: 京都 南禅寺 水路閣

SEIMA作, ここから80メートル

京都 南禅寺 水路閣

B: Japan, Kyoto, Nanzenji Temple, Aqueduct

Thomas Blanket作, ここから90メートル

Japan, Kyoto, Nanzenji Temple, Aqueduct

C: Graveyard at Chion-in Temple, Kyoto

Dave Kennard作, ここから890メートル

The northern end of the top graveyard at Chion-in (知恩院) temple, in Kyoto, Japan. The temple is built ...

Graveyard at Chion-in Temple, Kyoto

D: 平安神宮 大鳥居

SEIMA作, ここから960メートル

平安神宮 大鳥居

E: 京都、知恩院

Dave Kennard作, ここから990メートル

The area in front of Seishi Hall at Chion-in (知恩院) temple, in Kyoto, Japan. The temple is built on Hi...


F: 平安神宮

Dave Kennard作, 1.1kmかなた

Panorama taken inside Heian Shrine (平安神宮; Heian-jingū) in the Sakyo-ku ward of Kyoto, Japan. Heian Sh...


G: Japan, Kyoto, Chion In Temple, Garden

Thomas Blanket作, 1.1kmかなた

Japan, Kyoto, Chion In Temple, Garden

H: 京都、知恩院

Dave Kennard作, 1.1kmかなた

A bridge over a lily pond at Chion-in (知恩院) temple, in Kyoto, Japan. The bridge leads to a columbariu...


I: 京都、知恩院

Dave Kennard作, 1.2kmかなた

Chion-in (知恩院) temple, in Kyoto, Japan. Chion-in is the headquarters of the Jōdo-shū (Pure Land Sect)...


J: 住蓮山安楽寺 ANRAKUJI-Temple,Kyoto

Kudo Kenji Photograph作, 1.2kmかなた

ANRAKUJI // 京都住蓮山安楽寺 A brief introduction to the Anraku-ji templeAt the beginning of the Kamakura per...

住蓮山安楽寺 ANRAKUJI-Temple,Kyoto



The eight islands of Japan sprang into existence through Divine Intervention.

The first two gods who came into existence were Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto, the Exalted Male and Exalted Female. It was their job to make the land for people to live on.

They went to the bridge between heaven and earth and, using a jewel-encrusted halberd, Izanagi and Izanami churned up the sea into a frothy foam. As salty drips of water fell from the tip of the halberd the first island was formed. Its name was Onogoro.

So far, so good. But when Izanagi and Izanami first met on their island, Izanami spoke to Isanagi without being spoken to first. Since she was the female, and this was improper, their first union created badly-formed offspring who were sent off into the sea in boats.

The next time they met, Izanagi was sure to speak first, ensuring the proper rules were followed, and this time they produced eight children, which became the islands of Japan.

I'm sure you did not fail to miss the significance of this myth for the establishment of Japanese formal society.

At present, Japan is the financial capital of Asia. It has the second largest economy in the world and the largest metropolitan area (Tokyo.)

Technically there are three thousand islands making up the Japanese archipelago. Izanagi and Izanami must have been busy little devils with their jewelled halberd...

Japan's culture is highly technical and organized. Everything sparkles and swooshes on silent, miniaturized mechanisms.

They're a world leader in robotics, and the Japanese have the longest life-expectancy on earth.

Text by Steve Smith.