Actual History at Tokyo's Nanzenji Temple

 Nanzenji Temple is, well, a temple. But there are some unique aspects that sets this one apart from the thousands of other temples in Japan.
 Seemingly like every other Kyoto temple, it is one of the most important of its kind. Nanzenji is a zen temple, the head of one of the schools in the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. There are several subtemples on the grounds that makes the place even bigger.

Okay, it's important, and it's big. What can you see that's unique?
 Start by looking up. There's some pretty nice artwork on the ceiling. Some of the buildings have beautiful sliding door paintings too.
 One surprise is the brick aqueduct built during the Meiji Period to move water and goods between Kyoto and Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture. There are several remnants of the canal system around town, one of which is the short railway I brought you last month.
 The aqueduct is quite photogenic. People were posing in the arches at ground level.
 You can follow a path and get up to the top as well. Paths run on either side of the still-functioning canal, though the area above the temple grounds is closed to the public.
 You can follow the path around the mountain, though. This is another temple worth revisiting and spending a bit of time exploring.
 You can walk around the temple's buildings, connected by covered walkways, by taking off your shoes.

 The rock gardens between the buildings are very beautiful and it's possible to just sit down and relax on the outer pathways.

 Even with overcast skies, the beautiful arrangements of rocks and trees makes this a pleasant place to spend an afternoon.

Nanzenji is about 5-10 minutes from Keage Station on the Tozai Line. It's actually at the southern end of a day-long stroll from Ginkakuji, along the Philosopher's Path, to Eikando and finally Nanzenji. The northern end of Higashiyama area, which includes Kiyomizudera, is one stop away.

Most of the "attractions" at Nanzenji open around 8:30, including access to the Sanmon Gate (500 yen), the Hojo with the rock garden and beautiful views (500 yen), Nanzenin sub-temple (300 yen), and nearby Konchi-in Temple (400 yen). They all close at 17:00. Access to the grounds is free, but the best views come at a cost.

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