Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Kyoto: Day Three

I saw this out the bus window... I do love the Kewpie in its little yukata. (There will be a separate post soon on bicycles--I took MANY photos of them because they are so very photogenic.)

Our first stop: Ryoanji. While this famous Buddhist temple is probably most well known for its rock garden, all of the temple's gardens are quite lush and beautiful. We held our breath as this heron flew by and then landed, as if posing for us.
The rock garden is remarkable--words don't do it justice (nor, unfortunately, do photographs--you can't see the precise raking of the white rocks). In this garden, there are 15 moss-covered rocks--but only 14 of them are visible at any one time/angle (except from above, of course). This garden, which dates back to around the 14th century, is apparently clouded in mystery--no one agrees who might have designed it, nor is the meaning of the puzzle presented by the rocks clear...
Above is a helpful little model of the garden--but even here, from this angle I only count 14 rocks.
Obviously, fire is always a concern, hence the many buckets of water lined up against the veranda of the temple itself.
Lovely trees, in all shapes and sizes...
...and their lovely shadows (these are obviously Japanese maple leaves).

Then we went to Kinkaku-ji, the so-called Temple of the Golden Pavilion. (It is actually named Rokuon-ji, "Deer Garden Temple.") Originally built in the 14th century, it was burned down in 1950 by a mentally disturbed acolyte; Yukio Mishima based his book The Temple of the Golden Pavilion on this story (and in turn, a movie was made from the novel, entitled Enjo ("Conflagration"). Obviously, it has been reconstructed--and it is simply lovely...

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Amazing pictures, my fav is the dark tree with the blue sky.