Monthly Archives: October 2016

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

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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

 

Ginkaku-ji Temple

Getting near to the Ginkaku-ji Temple, or Silver Pavilion, is already an exciting experience.

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

The entrance gate.

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

Right after the entrance, you’ll be surrounded by huge green walls.

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

Looking through the large temple kitchen on the left……

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

You will see the Ginkaku, or “Silver Pavilion” , remains just the same from it’s foundation, surviving many fires and civil wars.

This building is officially called “Kannon-den” , dedicated to Kannonbosatsu, the Goddess of Mercy.

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

Ginkaku-ji Temple has its origin in the elegant villa known as Higashiyama-dono, “Palace at the Eastern Mountains,” established in 1482 by the 8th Muromachi Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimasa.

When Yoshimasa became Shogun at the age of 14, Japanese history marked an extreme chaos. He decided to retire at the age of 29, and he pursued his deep interest in the arts.

This temple(after Yoshimasa’s death, the villa was converted to a Zen temple) is full of Yoshimasa’s refined taste.

On the roof, there stands a bronze phoenix.

 

 

 

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

The mountain crest called Kogetsudai(Moon Viewing Stage) and white sand waves called Ginshadan add a sophisticated mood beside this Ginkaku.

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

“Togudo” is a buddhist hall owned by Yoshimasa.

Inside this small building, there is a 4.5 tatami mat room called “Dojinsai” where Yoshimasa loved most. This Togudo was the stage originating Higashiyama culture.

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

In landscaping his villa, Yoshimasa took inspiration from the garden designed by the priest Muso Soseki at Saihoji temple known as Kokedera or”the Moss Temple.”   This garden is a splendid early example of a pond garden for strolling.

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

kyoto, temple, ginkaku-ji, silver pavilion

Approaching the exit, you will again encounter the Ginkaku from the other side.

For more information: Ginkaku-ji 

 

Nomura Art Museum

Nomura art museum is located in Higashiyama, Kyoto, very near to Nanzen-ji temple.

Here we can appreciate art objects and crafted products collected by Tokushichi Nomura, a well-known ardent collector of art works,  the founder of a financial clique and a man of refined taste with the tea spirit in mind.

kyoto, museum, nomura art museum,

Today, I went to see this collection:  Beautiful Japanese tea ceremony bowls.

In the beginning days of “tea ceremony”, imported bowls from China and Korea were highly appreciated.

However, according to the enthusiastic spreading of tea ceremony, numerous elaborate tea bowls were made by Japanese craftsmen all over Japan.

kyoto, museum, nomura art museum,

 

kyoto, museum, nomura art museum,

Left: by Eiraku Hozen

Right: by Ogata Kenzan

display2

Left: by Raku Donyu

Right: by Raku Ryunyu

There is my favorite passage next to this museum, a short-cut to Heian Shrine, Okazaki area.

Please come and find it.

kyoto, museum, nomura art museum,

For more information: Nomura Art Museum

Sen-oku Hakuko-kan Museum

Sen-oku Hakuko Kan Museum, known as the Sumitomo Collection, is located in a quiet residential area, Shishigatani, noted for its beautiful scenic view of the Higashiyama mountain range.

senokuhakuko1

Entrance.

kyoto, museum, senokuhakukokan, sen-oku hakuko-kan museum

Lobby.

senokuhakuko3

Rest space.

kyoto, museum, senokuhakukokan, sen-oku hakuko-kan museum

Inner garden.

kyoto, museum, senokuhakukokan, sen-oku hakuko-kan museum

From the inner garden you can enjoy beautiful scenery of Higashiyama mountains.

kyoto, museum, senokuhakukokan, sen-oku hakuko-kan museum

This time, I went to see this presentation: “Arts and tableware that decorated Sumitomo House in autumn.”

Sumitomo family is known as one of the wealthiest families in Japan and their art collection ranges from huge bronze collection, to various other arts such as Chinese and Japanese calligraphic works and paintings, western-style paintings, modern ceramics, Japanese tea utensils, literary utensils, Noh masks and costumes.

I enjoyed displays like modern-pictures, folding screens, vases and china objects, and especially tableware like dishes and tea sets, actually used by Sumitomo family.

kyoto, museum, senokuhakukokan, sen-oku hakuko-kan museum

Folding screens displayed in their living room in autumn.

kyoto, museum, senokuhakukokan, sen-oku hakuko-kan museum

kyoto, museum, senokuhakukokan, sen-oku hakuko-kan museum

kyoto, museum, senokuhakukokan, sen-oku hakuko-kan museum

For more information: Sen-oku Hakuko-kan Museum