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Highlights include the Hondo, or Main Hall, rebuilt in 1760 with a number of fine rooms decorated with paintings on gold backgrounds and numerous important statues, some dating from the 6th century.
Also of interest is the Founder's Hall (Daishi-do) with its much-revered statue of Shinran, carved in 1244 and later covered with a coat of lacquer mingled with his ashes.
The site's most important building is Ninomaru Palace consisting of five separate buildings linked by corridors, and with exquisite interiors decorated with paintings by Kano Tanyu and his pupils.
The principal apartment is the Hall of the Imperial Emissary (Jodan-no-ma), matched in splendor by the adjoining rooms, Ni-no-ma and Tozamurai-no-ma with their paintings of tigers.
Also of note are the additional sculptures of the 28 "celestial auxiliaries," spirits considered subordinate to Kannon, located behind it.
, built in AD 794 and replaced several times after being destroyed by fire, remains one of the city's most visited historic sites.
Although one of Japan's great tourist destinations, it has managed to preserve much of the atmosphere of the past, having been the only major Japanese city to escape the devastation of WWII.Also of interest is the adjacent building with its large Audience Hall surrounded by a gallery and with sliding doors with large paintings of larches on a gold background.The fourth building, the Kuro-Shoin, has animal paintings by Kano Naonobu, while in the Shogun's private apartments are paintings of mountain landscapes.Famous as the residence of the emperor and Japan's principal cultural center for almost 1,100 years, Kyoto today boasts numerous fine examples of sculptures, paintings, and other art forms in its many museums and galleries.The city is also home to centuries-old architecture, much of it influenced by Buddhism and found in well-preserved temples.