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Temmangu shrines around the Japan are most often statues of cows and bulls in the seated position (and not because it's about to rain!) These statues are thought to have healing properties.
There are also thousands of plum trees and these draw the Japanese crowds just before the annual cherry blossom frenzy. They are coming for the deep pink blooms.
Kitano Temmangu hosts its nationally famous flea market on the 25th of each month, when you'll really see massive hordes of visitors; they come for the items on sale and for rubbing the statues. It is believed that if you rub the same place as a troublesome area on the cow you may get relief from this infirmity or stress.
People travel from afar to sift through the offerings of used kimono, antique furniture and ceramics, antique scrolls, crafts, food, household items, and countless other categories of bric-a-brac and sundries, paying prices ranging from the reasonable to the outrageous.
The present buildings are a 1800s reconstruction; the original 8th-century Imperial Palace was destroyed in one of Kyoto's fires which ravaged the previous buildings.
As you pass through the Seishomon Gate on the western side you will enter the Shishinden ceremonial hall. Here emperors are enthroned this is a privilege retained by the city of Kyoto even after the move to Tokyo, and it is where New Year's audiences are also held.
Often overlooked by visitors, but worth a visit: Kompukuji is a dry landscape garden with a steep bank of azaleas, this temple is affiliated with the Rinzai school of Zen, but also has literary associations with two of Japan's greatest haiku master: Basho and Buson.
Exchange rate fluctuations can have a considerable impact on your trip budget. If your home currency has appreciated in value in the recent term over the currency of your destination you are likely to find the place inexpensive.
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Graphic showing average weather in Kinkaku-ji in Celcius and Centimeters (Change to Farenheit and Inches)
|Month||Temp °C||Rainfall Cm||Temp °F||Rainfall Inches|
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