Heian Jingu Shrine

May 7, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Cassandra Ling Kyoto is filled with ancient temples and shrines, and Heian Jingu is one of the most peaceful and beautiful. Out of all the shrines, this is by far the best one for nature lovers, and those who want to have a relaxing walk through the mesmerizing gardens. The main gate opens up into an expansive court with the shrine low and flat against the backdrop of mountains. The stark red architecture mimics The Imperial Palace, but Heian Jingu is much more accessible with more to see. Heian is actually the old word for Kyoto and the main shrine was built as a point of pride for the people here, hundreds of years ago. After entering through the main gate, take a peek to your right at the charms for sale, called Omamori in Japanese. Heian Jingu has a fantastic selection of charms, some for protection against evil, and others for luck in passing exams, or for traffic safety. These lightweight, thoughtful souvenirs are easy to transport back home, and make a wonderful gift for [...]

Sedona Arizona

April 30, 2015 // 0 Comments

Sedona, Arizona is one of the most beautiful vacation locations in the USA. It has been revered as a magnificent spiritual haven since prehistoric times. Native Americans have been coming to Sedona for their religious ceremonies, their spiritual awakenings, their rites of passage and their weddings for hundreds of years. The first time you visit this marvelous valley with its awe inspiring beauty, you will understand why it has been venerated for so long. Red sandstone cliffs rise a thousand feet above the valley floor. Buttes, mesas and pinnacles of rock rise throughout the valley. Everywhere the rocks have been eroded into fantastic shapes resembling giant fortresses, towers, pinnacles and other exotic visages. The village of Sedona is located in the midst of this scenic splendor surrounded by cascading mountain streams, lush green meadows, and forested hillocks all dominated by the imposing red rock formations. More accessible than the Grand Canyon The Grand Canyon, just a 90 [...]


April 29, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Kristin Romey The collapse of Kathmandu’s 183-year-old Dharahara Tower, which once loomed nine stories over the ancient city and modern capital of Nepal, has become a symbol of the nation’s cultural loss in the wake of last weekend’s earthquake. While the 19th-century watchtower was a civic icon, sites of critical importance to the more ancient cultural and religious legacy of Nepal have also been damaged and destroyed by the quake. A country that occupies a mountainous land 1/20 the size of India (approximately the size of the U.S. state of Arkansas), Nepal is nonetheless home to eight UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites. That includes three royal cities and several Hindu and Buddhist sites within the Kathmandu Valley, as well as Lumbini, the legendary birthplace of the Buddha, all of which are in the area affected by the quake. Many of these monuments were damaged earlier in the 8.1 magnitude earthquake of 1934 and were subsequently rebuilt—a testament to the [...]