|The Outen-mon... the shrine's main gate|
Constructed in 1892 AD to celebrate the 1100th anniversary of the birth of Kyōto. The replica is dedicated to the first and last Emperor to reside in the city, Kammu and Komei (Emperor Meiji’s father) - the 50th and 121st ruler of Japan respectively. Both of their spirits are said to reside within the shrine. I'm not sure that's what you'd call a happy arrangement - but when accomodation's tight you make compromises...
Actually the original shrine was commemorated in 1895 with only Kammu enshrined - Komei had to wait until 1940 for his spirit to be enshrined - which coincided with the renovating of the shrine for the 2600th anniversary of the founding of Japan. It strikes me that this may have been a little opportunistic re-focusing of the shrine to meet more contemporaneous pressures in a highly nationalistic/militaristic Japanese state.
|The Soryu-ro... or blue dragon tower|
|One of two temizu-sho (hand washing basins)|
|The Daigoku-den - or Hall of State|
|Omikuji tied to trees|
Now we were just passing through here, on our way to the temples in the hills... so we didn't have much time to look around. Also, there's not much else to see here other than if you want to visit the gardens which (by all accounts) are very much worthwhile seeing if you've got the time. If you don't have time to stroll through the gardens you will find yourself very quickly wanting to move on to the next item on your itinerary. This is also the destination for the Festival of the Ages (Jidai Matsuri) on the 22nd of October each year.