Author Archives: birdsflowers

Great Buddha at Todaiji-Temple

The Great South Gate is the main gate of Todaiji.

This is the largest temple entrance gate in Japan, suitable in scale to the Great Buddha Hall.

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

The statues of the guardian dieties, the two “Ni-O”s housed in the gate.

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

Always greeted by deer.

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

The Great Buddha Hall is the Main Hall of Todai-ji.

Origin of Todai-ji dates back in mid 8th century, when Emperor Shomu(724-749) decided to save his people and the nation with the help of Buddhism, by structuring The Great Buddha.

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

The Daibutsu is properly known as Vairocana Buddha, the Buddha the light of whose knowledge and compassion illuminates widely.

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

This is the replica of Todaiji complex in its origin.

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

The Great Buddha Hall.

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

Another interesting building is Nigatsu-do.(February Hall)

The name Nigatsu-dō, or Second Month Hall is derived from the fact that the Shuni-e Ceremony is held here during the second month of the lunar calendar.

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

nara, todaiji, todai-ji temple

For more information: Todai-ji Temple

Ashura in Kofuku-ji Temple

Kofuku-ji Temple was founded in early 8th century, rapidly grew  under the patronage of successive emperors and empresses, as well as continued support from members of the powerful Fujiwara family.

It is no doubt that this temple is one of the oldest and most prestigious temples in Japan.

In this Nara Park area, deer are walking all over, and greeted me like this.

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

The left building is Eastern Golden Hall, the most important building in the Kofukuji temple complex.

The right is 5 stories pagoda,  the landmark of Nara.

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

The gate of Eastern Golden Hall.

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

5 stories pagoda.

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

Now, there is a interesting presentation to show famous Ashura statue and other statues in its original displaying style.

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

It can be said that every Japanese knows this “Ashura”statue.  His elegant and neat faces attracts us young and old, men and women.

( 3 photos from published website)

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

Now, Ashura is desplayed not by its own, but in its original displayed position in 1300 years ago.

With Amida Buddha in the center, 10 his disciples and 8 mythological beings ( Ashura is one of them), along with other beings are on display.

The layout itself has a meaning.

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

The Southern Round Hall.

From ancient times, deer are supposed to be accompanied with God.

nara, kofukuji, kofuku-ji temple, ashura

For further information: Kofuku-ji Temple

Late Cherry Blossom at Daigoji-Temple

Daigoji-temple is one of the oldest temples in Kyoto, so it attracts people throughout the year, however, the cherry-blossom season is the best to visit.

In 1958, the most powerful man at that time,  Toyotomi Hideyoshi had a huge Cherry Blossom Seeing Party here at Daigoji, and it is well known as “Cherry Blossom Seeing at Daigo.”

He ordered to  transplant  thousands of cherry blossoms of all kinds to hold the party.

So we can still enjoy his legacy today.

Since I visited there yesterday, it was a little bit late to see its full-bloom.

 

At the outer gate, there is a huge Sakura.

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

Gate of Sanpo-in, one of the sub-temples in Daigoji.

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

Sampo-in’s garden is designed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi himself.

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

Nio-mon Gate.

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

This beautiful Pagoda is the oldest wooden architectural structure in Kyoto, it was constructed in 951.

Its elegant shape is really breath-taking!

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

Kon-do.

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

Sun and moon Gate.

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

Kannon do.

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

Besides Kannon-do, there is a beautiful pond, reflecting ancient times.

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

Cherry blossoms petals gathered on the surface of the pond.

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

There is also a museum to show the temple’s treasures to public.

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

kyoto, daigoji, daigoji-temple, cherry blossom

For more iformation: Daigoji-temple

Night Sakura at Toji-Temple

In this Sakura (Cherry blossom) season, there are some light-up events in Kyoto area.

I went to Toji- temple, one of the oldest temples in Kyoto.

Its 5 stories pagoda is undoubtedly the icon of Kyoto for thousands years……

kyoto, toji, cherry blossom at night, yozakura, 2017

What a beautiful combination of Sakura &  Pagoda!

kyoto, toji, cherry blossom at night, yozakura, 2017

kyoto, toji, cherry blossom at night, yozakura, 2017

kyoto, toji, cherry blossom at night, yozakura, 2017

This conspicuous Sakura is called “Fuji-Sakura”,  “Fuji” is not from “Mount Fuji,” but the meaning is “The only one.”

It was transplanted in 2006, in commemoration of  1200th year of Kobo-taishi’s coming back from China.

The tree is more than 120 years old.

kyoto, toji, cherry blossom at night, yozakura, 2017

Huge Toji temple area is beautifully and solemnly lit up.

kyoto, toji, cherry blossom at night, yozakura, 2017

Lucky enough,  the night was full moon.

kyoto, toji, cherry blossom at night, yozakura, 2017

For more information: Toji temple

 

Camellia at Jonan-gu

Jonan-gu is located in southern part of Kyoto.

From late  11th century to the beginning of 12th century, consecutive emperors abdicated but stayed in power.

In that case, they no longer stayed in designated imperial palace, but lived in detached palace, and Jonan-gu is one of them.

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

Beautiful garden surrounds the shrine.

We can enjoy various kinds of flowers throughout the year, however, when I visited there  was too late for plum and too early for cherry blossom.

Instead, some elegant camellia kindly greeted me.

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

This is the most beautiful scene I saw.

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

You can enjoy various arrangements of gardens.

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

Tea break!

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

kyoto, jonangu, jonan-gu

I’m sure to be back to enjoy more flowers!

For more information: Jonangu

Shokoku-ji Temple

Shokokuji Temple was built in 1382 by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu , who is regarded as one of the most powerful and influential  figures in Japanese history. It is located next to Kyoto Imperial Palace.

Like many of Kyoto’s treasures, however, the temple complex was destroyed by fire and rebuilt many times.

This Dharma Hall (Hatto) was rebuilt by Toyotomi Hideyori, and it was survived the Onin War (long civil war 1467-1477) . The Hatto is the oldest such Buddhist Lecture Hall in the country. kyoto, temple, shokoku-ji

kyoto, temple, shokoku-ji

Most of the buildings are closed to visitors except for a brief viewing period in autumn.

kyoto, temple, shokoku-ji

Inside the Hatto, the ceiling is decorated with a powerful dragon painting by Mitsunobu Kano.

kyoto, temple, shokoku-ji

kyoto, temple, shokoku-ji

Hojo garden.

kyoto, temple, shokoku-ji

Kaizan-do.

kyoto, temple, shokoku-ji

kyoto, temple, shokoku-ji

Bathing room.kyoto, temple, shokoku-ji

Shokokuji has a beautiful collection of treasures and cultural assets, which are displayed in the Jotenkaku Museum. The museum holds treasures from a number of Shokokuji’s sub-temples including Ginkakuji and Kinkakuji.

For more information: Shokokuji 

Hashimoto Kansetsu Garden & Museum

Located just a short distance west of the famous Ginkakuji Temple, there is a garden&museum, called “Hakusasonsou”, which is a famous Japanese artist, Hashimoto Kansetsu’s private villa and garden.

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

There is his nameplate “Hashimoto” at the entrance.

Hashimoto Kansetsu(1883–1945) is a well-known  nihon-ga (Japanese style) painter.

First, he studied under Takeuchi Seihou (1864-1942), the leading figure in the Kyoto art community, but after a while, he began to search for a  new form of art, both in the East and the West. Traveling to China and Europe many times, and he finally established  a new genre of painting. Kansetsu’s paintings of animals are considered as masterpieces because the creatures depicted in them seem so vibrantly alive.

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

 

Hakusasonso is the largest artist’s private garden in Kyoto.

The interior design and layout of the mansion and garden itself were all personally designed by Kansetsu. He created this garden based on the idea of being deep in the quiet mountains, but still be located conveniently in the city. It was recognized as a national site of beauty in 2000.

There are so many stone sculptures he had collected  for half of his life.

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

This is a tea house built for his wife.

3

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

This pavilion is called “Nyohou-tei”, very comfortable place to rest. (Now you cannot enter inside, though)

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

This huge building was his ideal atelier, beside a beautiful pond.

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

21

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

This is his private Buddha statue hall.

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

Inside the garden, there is a museum called “Hashimoto Kansetsu Memorial Museum.”

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

When I visited I was lucky to see the autumn special exhibition.

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

From the veranda of the museum, you can see the Higashiyama and Hiei mountains.

kyoto, museum, hashimoto kansetsu, garden

For more information: Hashimoto Kansetsu Memorial Museum

Shinnyo-do Temple

Shinnyo-do Temple is located at the east side of Kyoto, near Eikando and Honen-in.

It dates back in 984, however, like many other temples in Kyoto, it relocated several times, and finally came back to this original place in 1693.

People call this temple as “Temple of flowers.” so you will enjoy beautiful flowers throughout the year.

kyoto, temle, shinnyodou

The main gate.

kyoto, temple, shinnyodou

Beautiful three-story pagoda.

kyoto, temle, shinnyodou

kyoto, temple, shinnyodou

Main Hall.

kyoto, temle, shinnyodou

kyoto, temle, shinnyodou

kyoto, temle, shinnyodou

Connected with a corridor, there is another shoin building, where you will see “Nirvana Garden.”

kyoto, temle, shinnyodou

This garden depicts the Buddha’s Nirvana scene, laying Buddha and grieving pupils and animals.

kyoto, temle, shinnyodou

This is another garden is designed by Shigemori Chisao, grandson of Shigemori Mirei, a well-known garden architect.

This is called “Zuien no Niwa” (Garden of relation, or encounter), depicting profound and mysterious phenomenon in our lives.

kyoto, temle, shinnyodou

kyoto, temle, shinnyodou

kyoto, temle, shinnyodou

Shinnyo-do is famous for the red autumn leaves, however, it was a little early when I visited.

kyoto, temle, shinnyodou

kyoto, temle, shinnyodou

For more information; Shinnyo-do

Cafe Shinkokan

If you are walking in north-east area of Kyoto, Shinkokan cafe will be a comfort hideout. Located near Yoshida shrine, this cafe is inside of a long established Yoshida Sansou Ryokan.

Yoshida Sansou entrance.

 

 

kyoto, yoshida sansou, cafe

Yoshida Sansou Ryokan( hotel).

kyoto, yoshida sansou, cafe

Near the Ryokan, there is another house, this is Shinkokan Cafe.

kyoto, yoshida sansou, cafe

Upstairs is totally different atmosphere, somewhat European.

kyoto, yoshida sansou, cafe

kyoto, yoshida sansou, cafe

kyoto, yoshida sansou, cafe

You can overlook Ryokan entrance.

kyoto, yoshida sansou, cafe

A piece of Japanese poem is served with coffee and cake.

kyoto, yoshida sansou, cafe

Penmanship is too excellent……I can hardly read!!

kyoto, yoshida sansou, cafe

For more information: Shinko-kan

Mirei Shigemori Garden Museum

Shigemori Mirei is one of the greatest garden architects in 20th century, maybe his  most famous work is Hojo Garden in Tofukuji temple, and he created over ninety religious and domestic gardens throughout Japan.

It’s a  so precious experience that here in Kyoto, we can visit “The Shigemori Residence” and appreciate his private garden and tea ceremony pavilion.

The house belonged to the Shinto family for Yoshida Shrine, and was acquired by Shigemori for his family in 1943.  In contrast to the shrines and temples of the city, the house is connected to the rhythms of everyday life.

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

The garden is overlooked by a veranda and shoji(wood and paper door) screens and tatami mats.

The main garden consists of four rocks symbolizing the Elysian islands, Hojo, Eiju, Horai(center) and Koryo. The stones known as “blue rock” are mainly from Shikoku island.

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

It’s really amazing that you can really walk through his elaborate garden, somewhat reminds of sea waves.

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

shigemori14

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

The tea ceremony pavilion is a rich hybrid of traditional and modern design.

Inside is all designed by Shigemori Mirei himself.

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

kyoto, shigemori mirei, garden

To visit this house, you need to make a reservation.

For more information: Mirei Shigemori Garden Museum