Temples of Tōfukuji

11 July 2009

For the day after the conference, I had a shortlist of some things I still liked to see, and I would just see how many things I could do. I had already considered visiting the Ise-shrine (which is rebuilt every 20 years to retain traditional craftmanship skills and not to get attached to worldly objects) and the closeby Meoto-iwa, but I figured it would be too much to do in a single day on my way back to Tokyo. The same would hold for the famous temples and pilgrimage (hiking) routes of the Kii mountains. They are just too far a detour and especially inaccessible because of the limited number of trains going to these rural areas.

So what was left over? Nijō Jinya was not too far from the hotel, but when I came there, it seemed closed. I figured out later that I should have made a reservation... Also, it appears they closed for renovation 3 years from May 2009 anyway. So, next stop: Tōfukuji

[HDR] Tōfukuji has many sub-temples. This is the Reiun-in, which has a nice rock garden


[HDR] This is the main temple complex, with a large gaden, containing a valley full with mostly Japanese maple trees. It is one of Kyoto's (and Japan's) most famous spots for watching autumn colors, but July is too early for that. The good news: it was not crowded at all!

[HDR] nicely raked gravel garden

[HDR] And here the picture from the opposite side (if you can recognise the tree from the picture before, you will understand)

[HDR] The next building (separate entrance fee...) also had nice gardens

[HDR] front side garden again

reflection of the front side garden

[HDR] back side garden

the roof of the main building has a nice dragon painted on the ceiling. It is a building separate from the two with the gradens, you don't have to pay to see it, but you can't enter.

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