December 5th, 2013

drinking bird

Shinnyo-do, November 18th, 2013

This was my last day in Kyoto, and I chose to go visit Shinnyo-do. While founded in 992, this temple was destroyed during the Onin war [1467-77], rebuilt in 1482, and after various vicissitudes, finally settled here in 1693. I understand parts were rebuilt during the Edo period. It isn't much visited, except on November 15th when a famous statue of Buddha is displayed, and of course during November for the maples.

From Kyoto Station, the easiest way to Shinnyo-do is to take bus No.5. It lets you off about 5 minutes from the temple. Coming from the bus stop, there is an inconspicuous wall opening with a flight of stairs, the "higashi-sando" [east entrance]. This is the quickest way in, rather than going around to the large "omotae-sando" [main entrance].
higashi sando

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First glimpse:
first glimpse
A close-up of these leaves
The strolling garden. You can get a glimpse of the pagoda behind the trees.
gingkos and maples in front of the pagoda
From the strolling garden you can walk into the graveyard. Near the entrance were some tombs decorated with fresh flowers.
flowered tpmbs
The gardens and the main hall are of free access. The main hall is quite large and imposing, with the usual decorations, and ornate lamps. Then for 500¥, have access to the other rooms and attached buildings. Among various treasures are some interesting fusumas [painted screens]:

You also get to see the side gardens. Here is a modern one:
inner shinnyo
One last look at the trees:
I found Shinnyo-do a very pleasant visit. The place was not crowded, and it is quite large, which encourages strolling and lingering.

The air was clear and cool, and as I looked out my window that evening there was a pleasant view of Kyoto hills:
sunset over the hills of Kyoto

The next days I traveled to Nagoya, with the intent of visiting Inuyama castle. This will be for my next post.