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11 January 2013 @ 11:25 am
Adventures in Kyoto: Picspam of DOOM (part 1)  
It started with an all night hang out in Tokyo, waiting for the freshest fish in the world to be served at 4 am, then I ran off to visit as many temples in Kyoto as I could handle - actually probably more than. It was awesome. And I'll miss more than just the warm toilet of my room at the ryokan. But I might be temple-ed out at the moment....


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Sam & Ben bowing to the shrine god of Tsukiji (praying for good fresh fish – luckily that was granted!)
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Sam & Katie walking through a shrine thing for good luck.
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The shrine god himself.
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Lanterns at 3 am!
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My first glimpse of Kyoto! The train station building. Pretty cool actually.
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The Kyoto Tower – you see it as soon as you walk out the station.
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The amusing French sculptures outside of Kyoto city hall
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Kyoto City hall itself!
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Ahh palm trees- why on earth are they there? But I was amused.
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This one is self explanatory I think…
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You see this guy as soon as you enter into the market. He's awesome.
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Giant Moving Crab. Enough said.
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This is the actual shopping street – everything from boots to funny hats to souvenirs
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Cool dragon shrine guy. At most shrines they have this kind of a set up so you can wash your hands and mouth before you go into the shrine.
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Graveyard tucked in between the shops
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See that rainbow hanging on the left? It's the temple the photos above came from. YEP, that's how it works on this street… shop, shop, temple, shop
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The last temple I saw that day.
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My room at the Ryokan (a Japanese hotel) Every night you fold your bed out onto the tatami floors, and the rest of the time it's this big room. Perfectly clean and neat. :D Oh, and the hotel had a private bath downstairs – I used it two nights out of three – sitting in the super warm water for half an hour.
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This is Kinkajuji – the Golden Pavillion. First on my list of sights because Mishima wrote a book about it, and it was awesome.
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The strange formations on the super reflective water are ice. The whole scene was breathtaking.
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This guy actually flew across the water for us (of course impossible to photograph with my crappy camera) but I got him on his way to the edge of the water.
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This is the first of LITERALLY 50 or so gratuitous garden photographs. Sorry guys, they're totally my visual kink. Eventually I kind of stopped going into the temples themselves and just wandered around the gardens.
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Just a neighborhood shrine. But it was pretty.
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One of the most famous rock gardens in Japan, supposedly created at the end of the Muromachi period by Zen monk Tokuho Zenketsu. — at Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto, Japan.
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The inscription is "I learn only to be contented" (ie: she who learns only to be content is spiritually rich)
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Look at those striations!
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Ninna-ji - an absolutely huge temple complex. I lost hours here. And here was the first site that greeted me
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Ninna-ji tower - apparently unique because of the very similar size of all four roofs (difficult to do that, and still have it stand properly)
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Roof guardian.
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The garden at Ninna-ji – if you look closely in this picture you can see the woman in kimono standing on the porch of the building.
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Really for my mom – these panels have cranes flying over a tree with snow
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After wandering around the North west corner of the city for the day I decided to tour around Gion and ended up at Yasaka-jinja that was lit up like a candle that night.
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These are prayer placards – you write your wishes and hopes on them
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Gion district - looking down Shijo-dori lit up at night.
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Neighborhood shrine along Shimbashi-dori
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Shimbashi-dori at night. According to Lonely Planet's Kyoto City guide it's the most beautiful street in Japan. It was AWFULLY pretty but I don't know if I'd go quite that far.
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Hilarious sculpture! In front of a restaurant! No, I did not eat there.
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Neighborhood shrine in Arashiyama — at Arashiyama, Kyoto Japan.
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Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Yes it is more awesome than it looks.
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This is the entrance to the garden stroll at Okochisanso Villa (built by actor Okochi Denjiro who was famous for samurai films)
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SO worth it. The whole thing is on a mountain top and the trails wind all over the place.
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They come out at the actual shrine that inspired Denjiro to build the garden in the first place
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It may have been winter but moss covered the ground everywhere I went.
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The view off one side of the mountains.
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The view off of Denjiro's meditation seat on the other - the city of Kyoto spreads out in the valley below.
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Rakushisha - the hut of Mukai Kyorai, disciple of poet Basho. This stone is actually reflecting one of Basho's poems:

summer rains
trace of a poem card
torn off the wall

(this is the official translation)
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This is a "gorinto" (five stone monument) called "haijin to" (monument for haiku poets) erected by Kudo Shiranshi dedicated to haiku poets in the past, present and future
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Gio-Ji temple's moss garden.
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The shrine is famous because the Heian-era dancer Gio committed herself here at 21 after her romance with Taira-no-Kiyomori (commander of the Heike clan in Tale of Heike) ended.
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And a display of all the mosses in the garden
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Adashino Nembutsu-ji - where the abandoned bones of paupers without kin were gathered. All the stones you see here are images dedicated to the repose of their spirits.
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Apparently there are more than 8000 of them
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Ikebana at Adashino Nembutsu-ji
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And that's where I'm going to end this set today. Rest up tomorrow or when I get the chance!

also posted to katekat on dreamwidth | you can reply here or there
 
 
 
twilightofmagictwilightofmagic on January 11th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
Love the picspam. Japan seems to be one of the most photographible (able?) places on earth. I love all the weathered stone and moss gardens. And such a weird disconnect between the aesthetic of the temples and the cutesy pop bricabrac.
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on January 14th, 2013 09:07 am (UTC)
thank you! there's still more to come - if i can finish homework i'll be putting the rest up tonight before i got to bed.

and yeah, kyoto particularly seems to me as if it was made to be photographed. of course, i didn't take any photos of the city i tromped through to *get* to the temples, because like most developed cities it's lots of square buildings with signs and stuff, powerlines and street lights and things most of us see all the time.

and it's so funny about the bricabrac right? but there's less of a separation here between the two i think - like at one of the shrines i was at that was particularly distinguished by its fox guardians (again, pics forthcoming) the fox statues you could buy outside the temple were all hideous white ceramic with terrible painted orange smiles. it sometimes feels like a study in contrasts :D
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on January 11th, 2013 10:09 pm (UTC)
Those are the most amazing photos. Thanks for sharing!
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on January 14th, 2013 09:08 am (UTC)
thanks for looking sweetie!! and there's another set to come if i can just finish homework with enough time to do them :D
Chloe_Sarai: Respectchloe_sarai on January 17th, 2013 12:40 am (UTC)
Beautiful everything! I loved the pictures. Thanks for sharing your view of the world.