Nanzenji is one of Kyoto’s most beautiful temples, in the foothills on the eastern side of the city. However, one can’t help but notice the large brick structure that cuts through the temple grounds. The structure is an aqueduct built to carry water and goods to the people of the neighboring Shiga prefecture. Though the aqueduct appears as ancient as the temple, it was actually built about 100 years ago, whereas the current temple buildings were rebuilt 400 years ago. I imagine the building of the aqueduct was seen as intrusive at the time, though now visitors assume it was part of the original design.

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