Monthly Archives: September 2016

Rokuharamitsu-ji Temple

Rokuharamitsu-ji Temple is located in located in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City.

It’s origin dates back in 951, founded by buddhist priest Kuya.

This temple is rather compact, but has been  considered very important among Buddhists.

kyoto, rokuharamitsu-ji,

Here is the 17th spot of the pilgrimage to the thirty-three Kannon temples in western Japan.

kyoto, rokuharamitsu-ji,

And if you are interested in Japanese Buddhist statues, Rokuharamitsu-ji is a must place to visit.

In the treasury hall, you can see a series of most precious statues,  among them are Juichimen Kannon (Kannon with eleven faces) which is National Treasure, and 14 other important cultural assets.

kyoto, rokuharamitsu-ji,

Standing statue of Kuya Shonin (important cultural property)  by Kosho.

kyoto, rokuharamitsu-ji,

Statue of Kiyomori Taira.

kyoto, rokuharamitsu-ji,

For more information:

Hakutsuru Museum

The Hakutsuru Fine Art Museum is located at the bottom of Mt. Rokko, on the west bank of the Sumiyoshi River, location where you can enjoy beautiful landscape of Kobe.

It was established in 1934 by Mr. Jihei Kano, the seventh president of Hakutsuru SAKE Brewing CO.,LTD.

It is one of the finest private museums in Japan, featuring first-rate  traditional works of art.
The collection includes ancient bronze ritual vessels, ceramics, and antique paintings of Japan.

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

Sumiyoshi river is well reserved,  enjoyable to walk along.

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Main entrance.

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

This main building is somehow like a castle, it is blessed as one of the most valuable architectures in Japan.

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kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

Inside corridor.

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

Since Hakutsuru means “White Crane,” there are crane-related designs here and there.

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

Rest space.

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

Exhibition room.

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

Hakutsuru Fine museum of Art is opened only at the limited period, mainly twice a year.

I visited 2016 Autumn Exhibition, when they exhibit the Treasures of the China Dynasty.

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

To commemorate the 60th year anniversary of the opening of the HAKUTSURU Fine Art Museum, the annex was opened in 1995.

The focus of its display has been Persian carpets.

It has been evaluated highly as Japan’s first carpet exhibition facility.

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

Among their precious collections, I like “Flowers and Birds of the Four Seasons”, by Kanou Motonobu(1467-1559), a pair of six-fold screens, color and gold leaf on paper.

However, it is not always on display.

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

kobe, hakutsuru museum, museum

For more information: HAKUTSURU SAKE BREWERY

Kawai Kanjiro’s House

Kawai Kanjiro’s house is located at Higashiyama 5jo in Kyoto, near to famous KIYOMIZU temple.

Kawai Kanjuiro(1890-1966) is a Japanese ceramic artist, especially famous for his touch of Mingei(folk crafts…craftmanship very familiar to everyday life).

He used live in this very house and it remains as the Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Museum.

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

His famous word is known as “My work is life, my life is work.”

It’s really interesting to visit this house to see how he lived and created.

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

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kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

Kawai graduated from Tokyo Higher Technical School and learned ceramics engineering.
Here are many color and expression samples he tested.

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

This is the climing kiln he used to burn ceramics.

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

2nd floor.

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

This is his study.

kyoto, Kawai Kanjiro's House, Kawai Kanjiro

It is really worth visiting, this house itself is very comfortable, and nice to imagine his life as an artist.

For more information: Kawai Kanjiro’s House

Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum

Recently I came to have interest in Netsuke, so I visited Seishu Netsuke Art Museum in central Kyoto.

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

Netsuke is a kind of “tool” to prevent items the person carries from being lost or stolen in late Edo to Meiji period.(1900s)

People would hang items such as pill boxes, portable writing sets, cigarette cases and pouches, from their obi sash with a string and attach a netsuke to the other end of the string as a stopper.

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

Yes, netsuke is usually so small, like 1-2 inches or so.

Materials such as animal bones, including ivory and bull horns,
ceramic and metals were used to make netsuke and they were finely sculptured by Japanese craftspersons.

Nowadays, they are recognized as precious art, so there are enthusiastic collectors all over the world.

These are some of their old collections from the website.

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

The owner of this Seishu Netsuke Art Museum saw the fact that excellent netsuke works were being flowed out from Japan and saw Japanese craftsmen keep creating outstanding details on tiny materials,he decided to help the people of Japan preserve this wonderful, traditional Japanese art.
The museum building used to be a property of famous Samurai in Edo era, and it was designated by Kyoto City as a tangible cultural property.

Netsukes are desplayed in the whole house building, and it’s also interesting to see the architecture.

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

Taking photos is prohibited in the museum, so I bought some postcards.
Aren’t they cute?

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

kyoto, netsuke, seishu netsuke museum, museum

For more information: Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum

Okochi Sanso Garden

Okochi Sanso is located in Sagano, west side of Kyoto City.

It was the private villa of the famous silent-film era actor, Okochi Denjiro(1898-1962).
He was such a star actor, and at the same time, deep admire of Zen philosophy.

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

He constructed this unique garden villa on the south side of Mount Ogura for over 30 years.

First, he built a small hall for his private meditation, then created little by little this vast and splendid garden villa.

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

While walking around, you can enjoy the seasonal trees and flowers, view of far mountains, just forgetting  hustle-bustle of everyday life.

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

The first meditation hall.

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

Open-air Memorial Hall of Okochi Denjiro.

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

There is a recently added new building, where you can sit alone silently, or enjoy sutra copy.

kyoto, Okochi Sanso, garden

Admission fee includes a bowl of green tea(matcha) and sweets, that you will enjoy at the end of visiting.

For more information: Okochi Sanso

Kyoto National Museum

If you visit the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan in NY, it’s nice to visit Kyoto National Museum in Kyoto.

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

The Main Exhibition Hall was built in 1895, designed by architect Tokuma Katayama.
This elegant building is used only for special exhibitions.

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

 

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

In 2013, Heisei Chishinkan Wing (new Collections Hall),designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, was constructed for museum’s permenent exhibitions.

Heisei Chisinkan is very compact to overview the history of art in Kyoto and Japan.

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

You can see the Kyoto Tower behind.

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

Refleshing space in Heisei Chisinkan.

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

I like these two buildings with totally different tastes, existing together to represent Kyoto’s art scene.

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

By the way, this is an antique postcard of Kyoto National Museum in early 1900s.

The building remains the same.

kyoto, museum,Kyoto National Museum

For more information: Kyoto National Museum

Tenryu-ji Temple

Tenryu-ji was established in 1339 by the shogun Ashikaga Takauji (1305-1358) in memory of Emperor Go-Daigo (1288-1339), with the great Zen master Muso Soseki (1275-1351) appointed as founding abbot.
It was designated the top of Kyoto’s Five Mountains (the city’s five major Zen temples), and the rank remains the same today.

Since its founding, Tenryu-ji has been ravaged by several big  fires.
During the time, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and later Tokugawa shogunate supported to rebuild the temple.
At the end of Edo era, because of the big civil war and the Meiji government’s Buddism abolish policy, the temple became less than a tenth of the previous property.
Despite these setbacks, Tenryu-ji continued its rebuilding efforts through the late nineteenth century.
Little by little, buildings were reconstructed and finally it was designated as UNESCO world heritage.

kyoto, tenryu-ji, garden

kyoto, tenryu-ji, garden

At Tenryu-ji, most attractive viewpoint is this Sogenchi Garden.
Laid out nearly seven hundred years ago by Zen master Muso Soseki and still retaining its original appearance, the Sogenchi Garden was the first place in the country to win designation by the Japanese Government as a Site of Special Historic and Scenic Importance.

It is designed as a strolling pond garden, in which a level path surrounding a picturesque pond allows guests to appreciate the scenery from a variety of perspectives.
The Sogenchi Garden also employs “borrowed scenery” (shakkei), in which nearby mountains are used to give the garden a sense of added depth.

kyoto, tenryu-ji, garden

You can sit at the terrace of this Hojo(Abbot’s chambers).

hojo

kyoto, tenryu-ji, garden

Walking through a path around the pond is such a precious time.

kyoto, tenryu-ji, garden

kyoto, tenryu-ji, garden

Buildings are connected with this bridge corridors, looking over some small tea houses.

corridor

kyoto, tenryu-ji, garden

kyoto, tenryu-ji, garden

Garden is well taken care of so to be able to enjoy seasonal flowers.

kyoto, tenryu-ji, garden

kyoto, tenryu-ji, garden

The whole temple is surrounded by these bamboo trees, also famous for this area.

kyoto, arashiyama, bamboo

For more information: Tenryu-ji

Arashiyama…Togetsu Bridge and Bamboo Road

West side of Kyoto city, Arashiyama is one of the most popular places in Kyoto.

Maybe you must have seen the photo of this Togetsukyo-Bridge once, it repeatedly appeared on the screens and sightseeing posters.

However, it’s totally two different things that you actually feel the atmosphere there.

kyoto, arashiyama, togetsu bridge

kyoto, arashiyama, togetsu bridge

Harmony of mountains behind and the elegant Katsura river remained the same for 1000 years.

Today, this bridge is made of RC with wooden handrail to provide perfect scenery.

“Togetsu” literally means “crossing moon”, this bridge was named by an ancient emperor looking moon moving above the bridge.

togetsu3

kyoto, arashiyama, togetsu bridge

togetsu5

Near to this bridge, there is another famous spot, bamboo road.

This area is famous for bamboo trees, and walking trough these super-high bamboos is an exciting experience.

kyoto, arashiyama, bamboo

kyoto, arashiyama, bamboo