||Yokoso means welcome
For more information, please see the website of Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO) :
Gion Festival and
India Gion festival of Kyoto is one of the major festivals of Japan. Every year, in July, more than half a million people visit Kyoto from every corner of Japan to see the Gion festival. The Gion festival started originally to worship the Hindu deity, with prayers to expel epidemics. Gion is the Chinese name of the Indian Jetavana Buddhist Monastery, which was built on the outskirts of Sravasti, the capital of ancient Khosla state, which is Saheth in U.P. State now. The Guardian Deity of Jetavana Monastery is Gosheersh, who has the sacred power to expel epidemics.
The legend of Gosheersh was introduced together with Buddhism into Japan. When epidemics raged throughout entire Kyoto, people prayed to Gosheersh, the Guardian Deity of Gion, for countering epidemics, by marching with 66 tall spears. This was the origin of the Gion festival.
Kyoto became the capital of Japan in the 8th century. It had flourished as the center for Japanese politics, economy and culture for some 1,200 years until the capital functions were transferred to Tokyo in the mid 19th century. There remain many temples and shrines that had been built during this long period. Seventeen historic sites including the Kiyomizu-dera Temple and the Nijo-jo Castle are designated as World Cultural Heritage Sites.
Today, Kyoto has a population of about 1.5 million. It has the conveniences of any modern city in Japan, and it continues to change as time passes. But the ancient cultural heritage of the city of Kyoto, the nation’s capital for a thousand years, is still there, waiting for you to enjoy.
Sanju-Sangen-Do Temple This temple was originally built in 1164. The temple is famous for its 1,001 units of Sahastrabhuja Bodhisattava (with thousand hands) installed in the hall. All of 28 Guardian Deities are Hindu Deities, Such as Indra, Brahma, Saraswati, Lakshimi, Siva, and so forth. The English notes attached to every statue enable you to compare the Japanese or Chinese names of the Deities with original Hindu names.
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