November 1st, 2011

drinking bird

Kyoto and Nara

I had a few days in Kyoto after visiting Izu. I met my friend Aya-san, and we went to discover Chishaku-in temple. I had seen it mentioned somewhere, and her mother highly recommended we visit it. She was right! I was awed by the beautiful garden and the gorgeous paintings inside.

They are actually in the residential areas of the temple. These paintings, by Hasegawa Tohaku and his son, are of the 16th century and were originally in a temple built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi
. That temple was destroyed in 1615 and the paintings moved to Chishaku-in. Unfortunately, the sliding screen areas were smaller, so several were cut, and sometimes the design is interrupted.

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There are also some panels done in delicate pen and ink, but photos of them were not allowed.

Then we strolled through the garden.

There is even a little Zen area.

We had lunch at a very pleasant little restaurant, and then went on to Nara. Aya-san took me to see Hannya-ji, which is rather unique in having a garden filled withe cosmos flowers.

Then we walked over to Isuien, one of the most beautiful gardens in Nara. It is unfortunate that it had gotten cloudy, and that spoiled some of the pictures. Along the way we met a couple of deer standing on the sidewalk.

a tea house

mossy carpet

pond crossing

hint of fall

The next day I went to Shôsei-en, then returned to Tokyo the following day. I will post these last photos soon.