This post has been a long long time coming, as have many others, because it takes me a long time to get around to writing about things. Considering I’m writing about Autumn when it’s nearly spring (though I still have things to write about from Summer).
Anyway, back on a sunny Thursday afternoon in late November (21/11), Bettina and I (again) took a train to Kyoto. We were headed for the Eikando temple in east Kyoto.
East Kyoto Map
We were very lucky, despite being quite a cold day, it was incredibly sunny. However, seeing as it was late in the year, it would get dark very quickly. By the time we arrived at the temple, the sun was already going down.
The temple’s full name is Shujuraigousan Muryojuin Zenrin-ji. It was founded in 863AD, and is the head temple of the Jodo-shu Seizan Zenrin-ji sect of Buddhism. Of course of the centuries that buildings have been rebuilt, but it is still a very pretty place.
The road to the temple
After getting off the train at Keage, there was a bit of a walk. But this was actually very nice, down old streets and many other temples, and some expensive looking traditional inns as well. Seeing the Autumn leaves is an annual event in Japan, so hundreds of tourists milled around the area, some with bulky cameras and big back packs, others dressed in traditional kimono. We could see the mountains from the road, a mixture of greens, yellows oranges and reds.
Gate at Nanzen-ji
Of course, most temperate countries in the world have the same annual changing of the colour of leaves, and nobody really takes any notice of it. In Japan, it becomes part of the weather on TV, showing where the leaves had changed so far, predicting when it will be where.
Being a little while back now, my memory isn’t so clear, but as far as I can remember, it cost ￥1000 to get in, which is a little more pricey than some of the other temples in Kyoto. However, I was happy to go there, as it is one of the few large temples in Kyoto I hadn’t been to yet.
Temple and red leaves
Though it was busy within the temple, it was still incredibly pretty, with a tall pagoda half way up a mountain, with a gorgeous view of Kyoto, and a large koi pond, surrounded by red leafed trees. See below for the photos, or here for all the photos from November.