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Trip to Japan: Kyoto
drinking bird
Kyoto remains one of the most interesting cities I have visited. It has great charm and is full of treasures. One of the days there, I met my friend Aya, and a friend of hers, Izumi, and we went to visit several places. Our first stop was Tofuku-ji. It has sand gardens, but they seem different from others.

Here is one view

And another, less austere

I liked this gallery, which is actually a covered bridge over a little valley and stream

Afterwards, we went on to Byodo-in in Uji-shi. This temple is 1000 years old. Most of the original buildings are gone, but the most important one, the Phoenix Hall, survives. The temple used to be painted red, like Miyajima, which in fact it evokes with its galleries and the water nearby, but the paint disappeared over the centuries, and now only the natural wood remains. The temple has a beautiful Heian garden.

This is one wing

The center and left part. The roof design is supposed to evoke the wings of a phoenix.

An interesting moss garden

We finished our day with a visit at Mimurodo-dera, where we actually arrived at the same time as a group of pilgrims in traditional garb [white clothes, conical hats, walking sticks, etc.] The shrine has an interesting bell

But actually more interesting are the grounds, home to some 20,000 azaleas, thousand of rhododendrons and hydrangeas. Unfortunately, it was too early in the season, and they were not in bloom. Have to come back!

This marked the end of my Kyoto visit. I will be back in August and hope to see some more then.

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I would still have loved to visit these types of zen gardens. My family & I have heard there's very specific ways to making these zen gardens, w/a significance in the way the stones are placed, as well as the significance in raking the sand. Must be so peaceful in making these.

Now the 2nd pic really reminds me of a taiga drama or even 'Yukinojo Henge'...Yukinojo's home in the drama. lol Very commanding-looking...very 'samurai'.

This covered bridge pic reminds me of Enbujou pamphlet 2007 when Takki stood on a covered bridge like this w/a dark-colored suit. I know it's a different place he took the photoshoot from but still...just saying. ^_^ Love the forest greenery in back.

We visited the Miyajima temple too where Taira Kiyomori is burried at. This Byodo-in Uji-shi temple is simply 'Wow!'. Loved reading your description and background to it. Yes, I know there's a lot of these temples that are very ancient and older, w/a worn-downness to them over the centries. It's too bad these haven't been restored. They should really re-think of restoring the paintjobs to these, but I can imagine having to restore every single one of them would take a lot of money, time, and manpower to do them. Now I should re-think of renewing our vows at this type of Heian-look of a temple. lol I would love to renew our vows here.

Hmm, this moss garden looks interesting, kinda like a patchwork grid.

This shrine, Ujigami-jinjya, too bad you didn't take a pic of them in garb. I would've loved to see what they looked like there. That's really gr8 you were there the same time as them. ^^ This bell takes me back home at Valley of the Temple in Kaneohe on Oahu. There's a bell much larger & similar to this one, only the outside of the bell tower is red.

Whoa, 20,000 azaleas? That's a lot! I pitty the grounds keepers who have to maintain them all. ~_~ And thousands of rhododendrons and hydrangeas too? Geez...Japanese culture really goes all out on these gardens, don't they. lol Yes, you must go back! lol

You're going back in August?? O.O You must have racked up lots of miles and free coach-class r/trips w/an airline mileage plus program by now...lucky. lol

Very beautiful pics from your trip! Loved reading your journey to Takkiland. ^^

There is actually a reproduction of Byodo-in [red painted] on Oahu, at Kaneohe, not far from Windward community college.

I have racked up a lot of miles, but have only been able to use them for US trips.

Actually, we're VERY familar w/this temple in Kaneohe as we always go there...and my hub. used to 'hang out' there w/the bonsan many years ago during his hs days. lol ^_~

I also brought my daughter there when she was only a baby.

Ah... there is soooooooooooooo much in Kyoto to see, it's really amazing!

Lovely *.*

Sticking my comment here :p Thank you for sharing your recent trip! I love these pictures. It all gives me a sense of peace/tranquility. I would not want to be the one that kept up the gardens but I sure would like to visit them. LOL Really remarkable scenery & so many historic sites in Japan. Months would probably be needed to do it all. I'd like to see that place with all the flowers when they were blooming---will you when you go back in August? Not sure what their season cycles are in comparison to U.S.

I'm a little on the fence about the painting of temples. I know they've kept Miyajima up. But I'm wondering if the temple here isn't better in letting it age gracefully. I suppose they were always painted? I fail at the history here. If they were, then historically it would make sense to keep that repair. If not, then the naturalness of aged wood would be more in keeping with history probably. Either way, if I ever see them in person I'm sure they'd be breathtaking :)

Thanks again!

In August the hydrangeas should still be blooming, but the azaleas and rhodos will be long gone. The seasons in Japan are like ours. I would say that it compares with the East Coast. Though Tokyo is milder than Washington in winter, and overall it is somewhat rainier, with most of the rain coming in May & June.

Actually I prefer the temples that show the natural wood, and most do. I will have to do some research on that. I think it may depends on the places. It is always strange to think that the European cathedrals, for instance, had painted statues...

wow im envious! ^o^ the pictures are nice!!! i love how u capture the beauty of the architecture and the landscape

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