Kyoto, Japan's Capital of History And Culture


Kyoto is the cultural and historical capital of Japan, with its proliferation of shrines and temples that lie hidden between the concrete constructions of the urban sprawl.

Although archaeological evidence places the first human settlement on the islands of Japan to approximately 10,000 BC, relatively little is known about human activity in the area before the 6th century AD. During the 8th century, when the powerful Buddhist clergy became involved in the affairs of the Imperial government, the Emperor chose to relocate the capital to a region far from the Buddhist influence. Emperor Kammu selected the village of Uda, at the time in the Kadono district of Yamashito Province, for this honor.

The new city, Heian-kyō (平安京 "tranquility and peace capital"), became the seat of Japan's imperial court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history. Later, the city was renamed Kyoto ("capital city"). Kyoto remained Japan's capital until the transfer of the government to Edo in 1868 at the time of the Imperial Restoration. (Some believe that it is still a legal capital: see Capital of Japan.) After Edo was renamed Tokyo (meaning "Eastern Capital"), Kyoto was known for a short time as Saikyo (西京 Saikyō, meaning "Western Capital").

An obsolete spelling for the city's name is Kioto; it was formerly known to the West as Meaco or Miako (Japanese: 都; miyako "capital"). Another term commonly used to refer to the city in the pre-modern period was Keishi (京師), meaning "metropolis" or "capital".

The city suffered extensive destruction in the Ōnin War of 1467-1477, and did not really recover until the mid-16th century. Battles between samurai factions spilled into the streets, and came to involve the court nobility (kuge) and religious factions as well. Nobles' mansions were transformed into fortresses, deep trenches dug throughout the city for defence and as firebreaks, and numerous buildings burned. The city has not seen such widespread destruction since. Although there was some consideration by the United States of targeting Kyoto with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II, in the end it was decided to remove the city from the list of targets due to the "beauty of the city" (See Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), and the city was spared conventional bombing as well.

As a result, Kyoto is the only large Japanese city that still has an abundance of prewar buildings, such as the traditional townhouses known as machiya. However, modernization is continually breaking down the traditional Kyoto in favor of newer architecture, such as the Kyoto Station complex.

For nearly three centuries the city flourished as a centre of religion, culture, politics and economic development. Having been spared the devastating aerial bombardment of WW2 that razed nearly every other important city in Japan, Kyoto is a unique monument to Japan's past.

However, what makes Kyoto especially interesting is the chance to feel the contrasts and contradictions that permeate today's Japanese society; the clash between the hustle and bustle of the modern city and the peaceful serenity of beautiful Zen-gardens; the frantic consumerism that runs so contrary to the minimalism of Japan's Buddhist and Shinto heritage.

The National Museum of Modern Art, one of many museums in the city, is a wonderful chance to see how contemporary artists are interpreting these contrasts. Take some time to explore and Kyoto will offer up countless treats and surprises.

Himeji Castle And Sake Brewery Museum

Visit two popular attractions outside Kyoto on a full-day trip: beautiful Himeji Castle and the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery. You'll take a ride on a famous Shinkansen Bullet train, tour one of the best examples of a Japanese castle in the country, and sample potent sake rice wine.

Your full-day tour starts with a Bullet train ride to Himeji to visit the Himeji Castle, one of Japan's most famous castles and designated a World Cultural Heritage site. The castle's sublime form and white walls have earned it the nickname “WhiteHeron Castle”. The castle grounds are divided into inner and outer-walled zones, with gates built around maze-like spaces to confuse enemies, and a double moat for extra protection.

After lunch at Kokoen Garden, a short distance from Himeji Castle and designed in various styles from the Edo period, it's off to the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery, founded in 1743. The company has maintained old sake-brewing traditions combined with the latest techniques. The museum exhibits the process of sake making and its history, and includes a sake tasting.

Arashiyama And Sagano

Arashiyama is a pleasant, touristy district at the outskirts of Kyoto. Its landmark is the wooden (now partially concrete) Togetsukyo Bridge with forested Mount Arashiyama as backdrop.

There are many things to see and do in the Arashiyama area. Tenryuji, a leading Zen temple, shops, cafes and restaurants are found in the district's busy center around Togetsukyo Bridge and Keifuku Arashiyama Station.

North of the central area, there are bamboo groves and a residential district with several small temples, scattered along the base of the wooded mountains. The area with its rural feel is best explored on foot, by rental bicycle (around 700 Yen per day) or on a rickshaw (around 8000 Yen for 30 minutes and 2 persons).

Another pleasant thing to do is taking a two hour boat tour down Hozu River. The river flows through an idyllic, forested valley before reaching urban Kyoto at the Togetsukyo Bridge. Alternatively, you can enjoy views of the valley from the Sagano Romantic Train.

Arashiyama is particularly beautiful and busy during the cherry blossom and autumn leaf seasons.

Finally, You can find a lot of interest things and places at Kyoto. However, Kyoto is a place we can't ignore to get some interest which make our life much attractive.

Selección de las mejores Hoteles en España

E0.jpgspaña idénticamente con Barcelona y Madrid. Unas vacaciones en Barcelona y Madrid le proporcionará emoción, aventura, romance y la historia. Barcelona y Madrid tiene muchas actividades y entretenimiento para los turistas que buscan descansar, relajarse y divertirse un poco.

Al planificar un viaje a Barcelona, para pasar unas vacaciones o un viaje, usted debe hacer reservas de hoteles, plan de actividades y entretenimiento. Porque en Barcelona, usted podrá encontrar un hotel de Barcelona a su altura. De cinco estrellas a la economía, Barcelona es el hogar de todos los hoteles en diferentes rangos de precios. Algunos de los hoteles Grander ofrecerá lo mejor en restaurantes, entretenimiento y servicios. Tome el Hotel Gallery Barcelona un hoteles baratos de Barcelona, por ejemplo. Este increíble hotel ofrece habitaciones de lujo y un creativo diseño arquitectónico. Y si le gustaría descansar su cabeza en un suntuoso cama, este hotel es para usted.

View hoteles baratos de Barcelona

El arte es enorme en Barcelona, y su viaje no sería completa sin visitar algunos de los museos. El Museo Picasso hay que ver, incluso si no son de su fan más grande. Otros museos de arte de retratar el período modernista a través de los períodos románico y gótico. Visitar los museos de Barcelona en su viaje no sólo entretener sino que servirá como una lección de Historia del Arte al mismo tiempo.

Las Ramblas es uno de los lugares de Barcelona que no debe desaprovecharse. Las Ramblas es un refugio para la cultura y las artes. Si es el espectáculos de calle, músicos profesionales, o los conciertos más estructurado tarde en Sant Josep Oriol, Las Ramblas se encuentra gran recurso para los amantes de la música. Allí, se puede visitar el Centre de Cultura Contemporània (Cultura de Cultura Contemporánea), que es el hogar de la restaurada Museu d'Art Contemporani (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo). Con su amplia gama de exposiciones itinerantes y permanentes, el Museu d'Art Contemporani es una obligación para toda persona que desee comprender el patrimonio artístico de Barcelona.

538663.jpg Y, por último, si usted camina en el West Edificio Moll de Barcelona, se encuentra el Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel Barcelona Hoteles baratos de Las Ramblas, el mejor alojamiento en el Área de Las Ramblas con el precio barato. El hotel le hará sentirse cómodo en la parte de atrás para disfrutar de su viaje en Barcelona.

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N de vacaciones a España sin visitar Madrid. Madrid es la ciudad moderna que es rica en historia y tradición. Hay muchos lugares para visitar en la ciudad, desde las antiguas murallas árabe a la vanguardia contemporánea rascacielos, edificios de Madrid y monumentos son baluartes de la historia y el arte, incluido el fantástico castillo construido por los árabes en el siglo 9 de cuyos restos todavía están en exhibición. El Palacio Real de Madrid, la residencia del monarca español, es uno de los muchos lugares de Madrid que debe ser visitado.

594036.jpg Como pueden ver, Madrid es un gran destino de vacaciones. Y eso no es completa si no encuentra el hotel. Hay muchos hoteles en Madrid que ofrece varias ventajas. Mira en el Hotel Westin Palace de Madrid un hotel de cinco estrellas con un precio barato, y muchos más hoteles baratos de Madrid se encuentra.

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Fantastic Diving On Northern New South Wales

Australia is undoubtedly unique. With over 35,000km's of magnificent coastline, they have superb diving in the tropical waters of the world renowned Great Barrier Reef and northern Western Australia, as well as brilliant temperate diving in the southern states and Tasmania. Both tropical and temperate marine life are found in the Solitary Islands off northern New South Wales, popular Byron Bay near the Queensland border, and the fabulous Abrolhos Islands on the west coast off Geraldton.

Port Macquarie Citylighthouse-beach

Take a pit stop at Port Macquarie, the halfway point between Sydney and Byron Bay. Here you can kick back and relax or take part in activities like camel riding along the beach, sea kayaking, 4WD tours, water sports or tandem skydiving. And for the rest, you can visit the Port Macquarie Hotels. They have international standard rooms with cheap price.

coffs_harbour_big_banana Next destination is Coffs Harbour. Coffs Harbour is famed for its Big Banana, its beaches, and its rainforest. The swimming is magnificent, and the fish are almost always jumping. There are also beautiful nature trails to explore and whale watching cruises to enjoy. Known as the action capital of the coffs-harbour North Coast, there’s plenty of adrenaline rushes to be had. Go white-water rafting, diving, whale watching or sky diving. You can bring your own or hire at Coffs Harbour. The boat ride from the marina to the main dive sites at Split Solitary Island and South Solitary Island is around 20 and 40 minutes respectively. Below awaits fields of plate coral and underwater arches, endangered grey nurse shark, big blue gropers, colorful banded anemone fish, moray eels, bull and eagle rays, turtles, dolphins, giant cuttlefish, lion fish, flying fish and many more colorful creatures.

311376.jpg In Coffs Harbour, you can visit Coffs Harbour Hotels and accommodation for a cheap price with the international quality. They will bring you to places that you want to visit during the Coffs Harbour. And if you still have energy left after an action packed day, check out the great nightlife.

bb-whale5 Byron Bay is one of the best places in Australia. Byron Bay is a town in the state of New South Wales neighboring Queensland on the eastern most point of the mainland of Australia about 600 kilometer north of Sydney and 140 kilometer south of Brisbane. Byron Bay boasts of several beaches good for surfing. Byron Bay is also popular for sky diving and whale watching as well as for its wildlife. Byron Bay is the meeting place of temperate and tropical waters which makes it an ideal place for scuba diving and snorkeling, particularly at Julian Rocks Marine Reserve, one of Australia's top ten dive sites.

bb-clownfish3 bb-greynrs3

Byron Bay host events such as the Byron Underwater Festival, Byron Bay Yoga fest, East Coast Blues & Roots Festival, EHVA Festival for Art Lovers and Artists, Byron Bay Writers Festival, Byron Bay Arts & Music Festival, Byron Bay Farmers Market, and many more.

432702.jpg Finally decided to stay in Byron Bay Hotels is an appropriate decision. During the day, you could walk along the beach, which was good. And with the cheap price, you can enjoy all the luxury provided by them.

Plan Your Trip To New Zealand

Rendezvous Hotel AucklandNew Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses, commonly called the North Island and the South Island. The South Island is the largest land mass of New Zealand, and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps, the highest peak of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3754 meters. There are 18 peaks over 3000 meters in the South Island. The North Island is less mountainous but is marked by volcanism. The highest North Island mountain is Mount Ruapehu, an active cone volcano. The dramatic and varied landscape of New Zealand has made it a popular location for the production of television programs and films, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Last Samurai.

Trip to New Zealand is always fun, whether on holiday or business trip. And of course the city of Auckland is the right city to visit when you trip to New Zealand. Auckland is the centre of commerce and industry, and is perhaps the most vibrant, bustling and multicultural city in New Zealand.

Rendezvous Hotel Auckland When you visit Auckland, of course, find a cheap hotels in Auckland is that you must do. Rendezvous Hotel Auckland that located in Corner Mayoral Drive & Vincent Street Auckland 1010 is probably the right option for you. This hotel is an ideal launch pad for sampling the sights of Auckland or doing business, sure to be a highlight of your trip to New Zealand.

Besides of Auckland, Christchurch is a destination that doesn’t less important for us in New Zealand. Located on the east coast of the South Island, Christchurch is a city of contrasts. It is a place where its residents continue to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle amidst a natural environment world-renowned for its beauty. A growing cosmopolitan ambience also adds a touch of excitement without overt flashiness.

George Hotel Christchurch (The) You will find many Cheap Christchurch Hotels to be occupied whilst in Christchurch. Conveniently located at 50 Park Terrace Christchurch 8001 in Christchurch - City, George Hotel Christchurch (The) is the supreme home base from which to explore or do business in Christchurch, home to some of New Zealand's finest attractions. Besides George Hotel Christchurch (The), you can try Copthorne Hotel Central Christchurch. This hotel is easily accessible in the Christchurch - City neighborhood, at 766 Colombo Street Christchurch.

Copthorne Hotel Central Christchurch

To buy souvenir, you can go to the Cathedral Square Market. An outdoor market with stalls offering handcrafted and imported goods such as New Zealand wood-ware, hand knitting, jewellery, pounamu, paua, bone carvings, possum fashions, sheepskins, clothing, healthcare products, sunglasses, t-shirts and much more. The Cathedral Square Market is located in the heart of the city, Cathedral Square. Take something to take home as a gift from a fun trip in New Zealand.

The Acropolis of Athens, the Best Known Acropolis in the World

What would a visit to Athens be without going to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon? And still people ask why the Partheon is so important. It’s because it was the most perfect building built by the world's most advanced civilization.

The Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis of Athens is the best known acropolis (Gr. akros, akron, edge, extremity + polis, city, pl. acropoleis) in the world. Although there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as The Acropolis without qualification. The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the pre-eminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on 26 March 2007. The Acropolis is a flat-topped rock which rises 150 m (490 ft) above sea level in the city of Athens, with a surface area of about 3 hectares. It was also known as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Kekrops or Cecrops, the first Athenian king.

The Acropolis rock is part of a Late Cretaceous limestone ridge (Higgins) that cuts through the Attica plateau in the northeast to the southwest axis and includes the Likavitos hill, the Philopappos (Museum) hill, the hill of the Nymphs, and the Pnyx.

The rock rises from the basin about 70 meters and levels to a flat top 300 meters long by 150 meters wide. Its flat top is due to the numerous landfills that have accommodated construction of fortifications and temples since the Mycenaean era. With its many shallow caves, the abundant percolating water springs and steep slopes, the Acropolis was a prime location for habitation and worship location for Neolithic man.


Acropolis_of_Athens_01361 The greatest and finest sanctuary of ancient Athens, dedicated primarily to its patron, the goddess Athena, dominates the centre of the modern city from the rocky crag known as the Acropolis. The most celebrated myths of ancient Athens, its greatest religious festivals, earliest cults and several decisive events in the city's history are all connected to this sacred precinct. The monuments of the Acropolis stand in harmony with their natural setting. These unique masterpieces of ancient architecture combine different orders and styles of Classical art in a most innovative manner and have influenced art and culture for many centuries. The Acropolis of the fifth century BC is the most accurate reflection of the splendour, power and wealth of Athens at its greatest peak, the golden age of Pericles.

Most of the major temples were rebuilt under the leadership of Pericles during the Golden Age of Athens (460–430 BC). Phidias, a great Athenian sculptor, and Ictinus and Callicrates, two famous architects, were responsible for the reconstruction. During the 5th century BC, the Acropolis gained its final shape. After winning at Eurymedon in 468 BC, Cimon and Themistocles ordered the reconstruction of southern and northern walls, and Pericles entrusted the building of the Parthenon to Ictinus and Phidias.

Erechtheum1 In 437 BC Mnesicles started building the Propylaea, monumental gates with columns of Pentelic marble, partly built upon the old propylaea of Pisistratus. These colonnades were almost finished in the year 432 BC and had two wings, the northern one serving as picture gallery. At the same time, south of the propylaea, building of the small Ionic Temple of Athena Nike commenced. After an interruption caused by the Peloponnesian War, the temple was finished in the time of Nicias' peace, between 421 BC and 415 BC.

During the same period the building of the Erechtheum, a combination of sacred precincts including the temples of Athena Polias, Poseidon, Erechtheus, Cecrops, Herse, Pandrosos and Aglauros, with its so-called the Kore Porch (or Caryatids' balcony), was begun.

Between the temple of Athena Nike and the Parthenon there was the temenos of Artemis Brauronia or Brauroneion, the goddess represented as a bear and worshipped in the deme of Brauron. The archaic xoanon of the goddess and a statue made by Praxiteles in the 4th century BC were both in the sanctuary.

Behind the Propylaea, Phidias' gigantic bronze statue of Athena Promachos ("she who fights in the front line"), built between 450 BC and 448 BC, dominated. The base was 1.50 m high, while the total height of the statue was 9 m. The goddess held a lance whose gilt tip could be seen as a reflection by crews on ships rounding Cape Sounion, and a giant shield on the left side, decorated by Mys with images of the fight between the Centaurs and the Lapiths. Other monuments that have left almost nothing visible to the present day are the Chalkotheke, the Pandroseion, Pandion's sanctuary, Athena's altar, Zeus Polieus's sanctuary and, from Roman times, the circular temple of Augustus and Rome.

Site Monuments


Northwest view of the Parthenon The Parthenon, dedicated by the Athenians to Athena Parthenos, the patron of their city, is the most magnificent creation of Athenian democracy at the height of its power. It is also the finest monument on the Acropolis in terms of both conception and execution. Built between 447 and 438 BC, as part of the greater Periklean building project, this so-called Periklean Parthenon (Parthenon III) replaced an earlier marble temple (Parthenon II), begun a

after the victory at the battle of Marathon at approximately 490 BC and destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC. This temple had replaced the very first Parthenon (Parthenon I) of c. 570 BC. The Periklean Parthenon was designed by architects Iktinos and Kallikrates, while the sculptor Pheidias supervised the entire building program and conceived the temple's sculptural decoration and chryselephantine statue of Athena.


Detail of the south porch of Erechtheion, with the famous Caryatids The elegant building known as the Erechtheion, on the north side of the sacred rock of the Acropolis, was erected in 421-406 BC as a replacement of an earlier temple dedicated to Athena Polias, the so-called ''Old temple''. The name ''Erechtheion'', mentioned only by Pausanias (1, 26, 5), derives from Erechtheus, the mythical king of Athens, who was worshipped there. Other texts refer to the building simply as ''temple'' or ''old temple''. The building owes its unusual shape to the irregularity of the terrain - there is a three-metre difference in height between the eastern and western parts - and the multiple cults it was designed to accommodate. The eastern part of the building was dedicated to Athena Polias, while the western part served the cult of Poseidon-Erechtheus and held the altars of Hephaistus and Voutos, brother of Erechtheus. This is where, according to the myth, Athena's sacred snake lived. The sanctuary also contained the grave of Kekrops and the traces of the dispute between Athena and Poseidon for the possession of the city of Athens.


Southwest view of Propylea The Propylaia of the Athenian Acropolis were built on the west side of the hill, where the gate of the Mycenaean fortification once stood. The first propylon, or gate, was constructed in the age of Peisistratos (mid-sixth century BC), after the Acropolis had become a sanctuary dedicated to Athena. A new propylon, built in 510-480 BC, was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC and repaired after the end of the Persian Wars, during the fortification of the Acropolis by Themistokles and Kimon. The monumental Propylaia admired by modern visitors were part of the great Periklean building program. They were erected in 437-432 BC, after the completion of the Parthenon, by architect Mnesikles. The original building plan was particularly daring both in architectural and artistic terms, but was never completed.

Temple of Athena Nike

West view of Athena Nike temple The temple of Athena Nike stands at the southeast edge of the sacred rock atop a bastion, which in Mycenaean times protected the entrance to the Acropolis. The Classical temple, designed by architect Kallikrates and built in 426-421 BC, succeeded earlier temples also dedicated to Athena Nike. The first one of these, a mid-sixth century BC wooden temple was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC. The eschara, the altar believed to have supported the cult statue of the goddess, dates to this period. Under Kimon, c. 468 BC, a small temple of tufa was erected around the base of the statue and a new altar was built outside the temple. The foundations of these early temples and altars are preserved inside the bastion under the floor of the Classical structure. Pausanias (1, 22, 4) refers to this temple as that of the Apteros Nike, or Wingless Victory, and mentions that the cult statue of the goddess had no wings so that she would never leave Athens. Apart from the cult of Athena Nike other, earlier cults were also practiced on this site. On the west side of the bastion was a Mycenaean double-apsed shrine and on the east side, the pre-Classical shrines of the Graces and of Hekate Epipyrgidia. The construction of the Classical temple of Athena Nike was part of the Periklean building project. Several inscriptions, mostly decrees of the city of Athens, provide information on this particular part of the project.

Temple of Rome and Augustus

The temple of Rome and Augustus was erected in the late first century BC east of the Parthenon or of the Erechtheion. Several architectural elements of the building were found east of the Parthenon and many more were brought here after their discovery elsewhere. Nearby are the irregular tufa foundations (approximately 10.50x13 metres) of a building generally considered to be the Roman temple. Another theory, however, based on the construction technique of these foundations and on depictions of the Acropolis on Roman coins, places the temple east of the Erechtheion.

The inscription on the temple's epistyle mentions that the building was dedicated by the city of Athens to the goddess Rome and to Octavian Augustus. Pausanias does not mention the building during his visit to the Acropolis, possibly because it did not present any interest at his time. The small, circular temple had a single row of nine Ionic columns and no interior wall, the entablature and conical roof being entirely of white marble. The fact that the columns imitate those of the Erechtheion may indicate that the temple was built by the same architect who repaired the Erechtheion after it was damaged by fire.

Old temple of Athena

View of ancient temple remains. At the background, Lycabetus hill is sighted The earliest temple to Athena Polias on the Acropolis, called 'the Old temple' in ancient literary sources, was located between the Erechtheion and the Parthenon. It was probably built in the third quarter of the sixth century BC, on the site of an earlier, Geometric temple and of the even earlier Mycenaean palace. The Old temple was damaged by the Persians in 480 BC, but was repaired soon after; parts of its entablature were incorporated in the Acropolis fortification wall. The temple was damaged again in 406 BC after the completion of the Erechtheion and was never rebuilt. Traces of the temple's altar to Athena are visible on the bedrock, east of the building.

The Old temple was a Doric, peripteral structure with six columns on the short sides and twelve on the long sides. The interior arrangement was quite unusual. The east part of the temple consisted of a distyle pronaos with antae and a naos divided into three naves by two rows of columns. Inside the naos was the wooden cult statue (xoanon) of the goddess Athena. The east part of the temple consisted of three rooms, each dedicated to the worship of Poseidon-Erechtheus, Hephaistus and Boutes. The marble pediments of the Gigantomachy, displayed in the Acropolis Museum, and a sime with lion and ram's heads probably belonged to this temple. The metopes, cornices and roof tiles were also of marble, while the rest of the temple was built of limestone.

The temple was unearthed in 1885 and W. D?rpfeld was the first to identify it. Only the foundations of its south side, towards the Erechtheion, are visible today, along with two stone column bases from the Geometric temple.

Aerial Photo of Acropolis Rock Erechtheum1 acropolis night