Thursday, November 28, 2019

2019 Fall Colors Walk Day 2 Saba Kaido


On the second day I headed up the Saba Kaido, the old road that ran from Obama on the coast down through the mountains to Kyoto. I started in Ohara and first visited Sanzen-in Temple, and for me, this was my first visit.


The temple is known for it's extensive gardens and grounds, and as the sun peeked over the mountains they were truly delightful and at 8:30 in the morning not yet crowded.


Next I made a visit to Hosen-in, one of the smaller temples nearby. This had a garden to be enjoyed while sitting inside drinking tea, but also an unusual, smaller one that was walked through. This one I found more intriguing. There was more to see in Ohara but I had a long way to go so headed north....


After climbing steadily for several hours, by early afternoon I had crossed the pass and started heading downhill into Shiga. On this side of the pass the autumn colors seemed a little more further along than in Kyoto....


By late afternoon I reached Myou-in Temple in Katsurgawa, one of the Kinki Fudo Myo Pilgrimage temples and my reason for this walk.

Monday, November 25, 2019

2019 Fall Colors Walk Day 1 Kyoto


I missed my traditional autum colors walk last year because of a bout of pneumonia, and this year in my eagerness  I started a little early in mid November. Crossing the Katsura River early morning in Arashiyama, the hillside had started to turn......


At Osawa no Ike Pond next to Daikakuji Temple the clouds started to clear away to reveal some color...


On my first ever visit to Ninna-ji Temple there was not much color to be seen yet except in the eastern part of the temple grounds where there are a couple of shrines.


On my first ever visit to Jisson-in Temple in the northern suburb of Iwakura, the gardens were nice enough, but yet again the colors had only just begun....


I took the Eizan Line train to Kurama, and the famed Maple Tunnel where the train slows down for a couple of hundred meters so passengers can enjoy the colors, yet again it was just beginning....

Monday, November 11, 2019

Myotokuji Temple, Toyo Daishi


At the end of my 11th day walking the Shikoku Pilgrimage I had crossed the border from Tokushima into Kochi and was about bto start the long stretch down the coast to the cape. Myotokuji Temple, lo9cally known as Toyo Daishi, is not one of the 88 temples of the pilgrimage, nor is it one of the twenty extra Bangai temples on the route, yet it is well known to walking pilgrims.


Between the temple and a nearby shrine is a small waterfall for practicing purification by cold water. There was evidence of recent use.


The temple had a kind of hand-made feel to it, with not a lot of money spent on it, but lots of effort. It felt more like a "working temple" rather than a tourist attraction. I was particularly taken by a small statue of the 7 Lucky Gods in their treasure boat that had a glass sphere that caught the setting sun.


I spent the night here in my first experience of a tsuyado, a place to stay for pilgrims provided free by a temple. The priest seemed to hesitate before giving me permission, and later asked if I wanted any food.


Before the sun was up loud drumming and chanting came from the small main hall as the priest began the days rituals.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Kagoshima Prefectural Citizens Exchange Center


I'm not exactly sure why, but I found this to be one of the most attractive buildings in Kagoshima. I suspect it may be to do with the proportions, which I often find with modern Japanese architecture to be a little "off"


The space that intrigued me most, photographically-wise at least, was the centra; atrium space.


I have been unable to find out who the architects were....



Friday, November 1, 2019

Miko Mai Rehearsal


While exploring Kagoshima Jingu I watched to miko practising for a ceremony later that night.



Miko Mai, or Miko dance is believed to originate with the dance performed by the goddess Uzume in front od the cave wherein the sun goddess Amaterasu had hidden herself.


It is often sid it is the origin of kagura. I have seen it performed by single miko and by groups of 4 miko, but never by 2.


An earlier post with video of 4 very young girls performing can be found here


The ceiling of the shrine was quite stupendous. The performance of the dance was a little surreal without any musical accompaniment.


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