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Great Botanical Gardens of the World

<center>Great Botanical Gardens of the World</center>
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Kyoto, Japan

Lay of the Land: On what was once a country estate on the outskirts of Kyoto, this 4.9-acre garden is now (as of 1994) on UNESCO's World Heritage list. An 11th-century temple complex created for the worship of Buddha Amida, Byodoin blends Chinese- and Japanese-style pavilions, a pond, and a circuit of bridges. One of only five remaining major Pure Land gardens in Japan ("Pure Land" translating roughly to "Paradise"), the wisteria- and weeping-cherry-filled oasis bears a fitting resemblance to heaven on earth.

Don't Miss: Amida Hall, as reflected in Ajika Pond, where the former appears to be floating.

More Info: Japan Guide.

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