The Smell of Zen
There are numerous shrines and temples in Kyoto, with each step you make, you can smell the calm aroma of the temple wood. And slowly walk away from the hustle and bustle of the secular world, back to the tranquil state of ancient times.
On the quiet street of Kyoto
Only the temple bell echoes
The smell of the calming temple wood
Makes you step away from the secular world
into the tranquil state of ancient times.
Over the years, apart from the strong influence of the Tang dynasty, Japan was never colonized by any country so its unique culture has not been invaded by other cultures. During the two world wars, Kyoto has not been bombed so the traditional architecture can be preserved. Among all the ancient city built with wood, Kyoto is the only city that has been a cultural center for over 1200 years.
Because of its long history, the persistence of Kyoto seemed to become like air and penetrated into every corner of the city. In ancient times, Chinese fir over hundred years old were imported through sea transportation to Kyoto, together with the white sandalwood produced locally, many traditional shrines and temples were built. These woods had created a sense of tranquility, making those shrine visitors to have a peaceful and self-satisfied feeling.
Sandalwood is one of the oldest spices in human history, it has a sacred aroma which represent the special quality from the oriental countries. It is believed that the calming aroma from the wood can sweep away the worries of their life and return to the pure land on earth. Only in Kyoto, where the temple bell echoes, which makes you able to find a peaceful mind during chaotic time and grant you the pure peace.