Do you know the best way to get three young boys to visit a 400 year old temple?
We got a great tip on this from our American friends in Kyoto.
Hint: It's not by promising them a lovely garden.
And, surprisingly, it's not the window of enlightenment.
In case your kanji are a little rusty, that reads, "blood ceiling."
This ceiling in this next picture in fact. Above my head, you can see....
The full story is told better here. But in 1600, 10 soldiers were in Fushimi Castle (in South Kyoto), outnumbered by 40,000 troops. Instead of being killed, they all committed suicide in the...let's just say...traditional Japanese way. Their blood soaked the floor of the castle. Later, to bring peace and honor to the men's souls, the leaders (who eventually won the war) arranged to have the floorboards incorporated into five separate temples.
What can I say? It was pretty cool.
The rest of the temple was also very peaceful and open.
Here you can read some more about it: