From an architectural point of view, the Heian Jingu from Kyoto is a one-of-a-kind construction, because its buildings are not using the traditional Shinto architecture. Instead, they were designed as accurate, although slightly smaller replicas of the buildings of the first Imperial Palace, built in Heian-kyo in 794.
The replica was designed to be smaller (5/8 scale) because while the original palace was occupying an area of 1.4 by 1.2 kilometers, the reconstruction had to be done on a smaller, almost rectangular area known as Chōdō-in. The shrine compound is enclosed by walls, with the main building (Daigoku-den, the Great Audience Hall) in the middle.
In today’s photo you can see the main entrance, a sanmon type gate, a construction which is now specific to Zen Buddhist temples. An interesting fact is that the name of the gate, Oten-mon, comes from the name of the official who was in charge of it, a man called Otomo.
Click on photo for higher resolution:
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: