A Travellerspoint blog

September 2011

Back in Japan

Daigo-Ji and Nenbutsu-Ji

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Chair socks? CHAIR SOCKS??
This can only mean one thing - I am well and truly back in Japan!

Not that that's a bad thing, after my time away in Europe I'm in the mood to appreciate a bit of classic Japanese culture so I've decided to hit up a couple of the 9 million or so local temples that I still haven't seen.

The first one I've chosen is Daigo Ji, which is a quite large and famous temple on the outskirts of Kyoto - plus it's only a couple of stops away from Haru's flat and I have some time to kill while she finishes her shift at work!

The lower area of the temple is a quite standard classical layout complete with pagodas, bell towers and great halls.

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I did really like the large koi pond though, which was so peaceful. I ended up sitting there for quite some time simply enjoying having the place pretty much to myself.

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Beyond this area lies the entrance to a mountain path that leads up through the woods to another collection of temple buildings higher up. Although I hadn't planned this I quickly stocked up on snacks and drinks and decided to tackle the trek despite the hot weather.

The lower end of the path took me past some nice pastel coloured flowers and moss encrusted carvings, while higher up there was a thin tumbling waterfall and vistas opened up over the tree tops.

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In the end it was a beautiful, but grueling, walk to the top. Though I was amply rewarded with a rich collection of Buddhist figures at one of the halls at the end of the path.

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The second spot I wanted to see (a couple of days later) was Nenbutsu-Ji which I'd heard was somewhere behind Arashiyama (west of Kyoto centre). Luckily tracking it down with Haru's sat nav didn't prove too difficult.

Nenbutsu-ji is a quirky little place, where if you look carefully you might just spot one or two little cute carvings peeping out of the grass like this.

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Actually, I'm teasing - the name Nenbutsu-ji means something like 1000 Buddhas, and the place is crawling with these statues.

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They've been carved by various artists and no two are exactly alike, in fact many have unique quirks - such as bizarre expressions, or possessions (such as one above with a camera taking your picture).

Exploring between the rows and rows of figures was an entertaining way to pass a pleasant afternoon.

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Yes, our European adventure was wonderful and romantic, but it's not a bad thing to be back in Japan :-)

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Posted by DKJM74 00:41 Comments (0)

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