Koto-in Zen Temple

[October 2011 - Kyoto, Japan]
We often tell people to go visit Kyoto. But when asked what it is about Kyoto that is so wonderful, we are usually lost for perfect words. In short, it’s hard to express the subtlety and serenity that evokes the beauty of Kyoto.

We always love going back to Japan. Literally anywhere there will do, but Kyoto is by far the most therapeutic and inspiring. We like to think of it as a kind of magic that’s just in the air there, guaranteeing to mesmerize and capture us on a soul level no matter how many times we go. It takes us back to a place where we remember that simplicity is good, natural beauty is abundant, and authenticity and excellence are integral components of quality.

Besides the 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and over 400 Shinto shrines, there are more than 1600 Buddhist temples in the city. We particularly love the Zen temples that are architectural symbols of impermanence, serving as a reminder that authenticity, not perfection is the goal. The catch is, they do manage to withstand the test of time and are just perfect. You can energetically sense equanimity, wisdom, and compassion on the temple grounds as you’re captured in the moment by the understated simplicity that is just so immensely intricate. And then it hits you, and you just get it… that non-dualistic contradictory nature of Zen… It is nothing yet it is everything!

What’s fun about Kyoto is the anticipation of encountering the vibrant traditional Japanese culture of your dreams, and then finding yourself pleasantly surprised because it’s all that and so much more. The true essence of Kyoto’s beauty is largely hidden from casual view. There are thousands of pockets of incredible beauty scattered across the city. The more you look, the more you see.

nota bene: Take time to explore Kyoto.


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