2010-07-13 -- Kyoto

Temples, temples and more temples. Most of our tour was on the western side of Kyoto, in Arashiyama. First off, Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion), then Ryoan-ji Temple (the Zen Rock Garden), then soba noodles for lunch at Arashiyama Yoshimura (where we enjoyed green tea salt), which is a short distance from Okochi Sanso (the house and garden of Denjiro Okochi)

We skipped a planned of Nishiki Market, instead going to a supposedly more tourist-friendly market at Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. For shops, it was a bust. The temple was great though.

Dinner was at Itoh Dining, "a Kobe Beef Steak House in the Gion district". Yow, excellent. The menu is at the end, with pictures.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
Lyle at Kinkaku-ji in the rain.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 40.0 mm; 1/400 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
Kinkaku-ji, while raining. This isn't the original "Golden Temple"; a crazy monk (Hayashi Yoken) burnt it down in 1950.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/1250 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
Beautiful landscaping. Duh! It's a garden!



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 58.0 mm; 1/10 sec, f/7.0, ISO 200
Waterfall at Kinkaku-ji.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 65.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/7.0, ISO 200
Wishing bowl at Kinkaku-ji; toss a coin into the bowl, win a wish. I don't recall if it was possible to see in the bowl, or if it was, if there were any coins in it.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 60.0 mm; 1/40 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
Still at Kinkaku-ji, a fence post covered with fungi.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
Ryoan-ji Temple, the Zen rock garden.

(from the plaque)

Ryoanji Temple, originally an atistocrat's contry villa, was converted into a Zen temple in 1450. In 1488, the Hojo (abbot's quarters) was restored, and repairs were made to the other temple buildings. When these were destroyed by fire in 1797, the Seigen-in Temple's abbot's quarters, built in 1606, was relocated to Ryoanji Temple; this structure is the present Hojo, which serves as the main hall of the temple.

The temple garden, which lies on the Hojo's south side, is thought to date from the mid-15th century. A rock-and-gravel garden comprising 15 rocks in five groupings, arranged on a bed of white gravel, it is renowned throughout the world as the ultimate example of the karesansui or "dry landscape" style rock garden, in which nature is compressed and given abstract expression within the confines of a very narrow space.

Date of Inscription: Resolved on December 15 and inscribed on December 17, 1994.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 93.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
Moss on the side of the rock garden.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
About one-third of the rock garden.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 82.0 mm; 1/30 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400
A scooter in the garden; I'm not sure if this is Ryoan-ji, or somewhere else. We needed about ten tickets today, and I never was really sure what was what.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600
On the way out of...wherever we were, gardeners were out trimming bushes. Fortunately, they didn't melt in the rain, they just took off the rain gear.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 73.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600
Well....almost. A leaf on a mossy stone. I just couldn't make it work as well as I wanted.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 80.0 mm; 1/200 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
I sure wish I knew where this was....



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/125 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
...and I sure wish I could decide which one is better. Maybe I should have thrown some coins into the bowl.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/12.9, ISO 800



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/800 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
An apparently famous bridge. I think it's ugly. Togetsukyo Bridge in Kyoto. Formerly wooden, now concrete.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/30 sec, f/12.9, ISO 200
Humor. On the other side of the bridge, a small hydro-electric plant. Generating a whole 20 watts.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/80 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
Okochi Sanso is bordered by a gigantic forest of bamboo.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/6 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
The bamboo goes on and on, forever.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200
At the end of all the bamboo, is (possibly) Denjiro Okochi's house.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 60.0 mm; 1/200 sec, f/4.6, ISO 1600
On the way out, another garden. Or maybe this is Denjiro Okochi's garden. I don't know. All the signs were in japanese, and I didn't take notes. In any case, the flowers (hydrangea) were pretty.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/4.6, ISO 400
Hydrangea, close.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 65.0 mm; 1/30 sec, f/4.6, ISO 400
Next to the hydrangea, a statue with japanese writing on the back. I though the weathering was wonderful. No clue what it says.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400
More incredible landscaping, and some gigantic fish.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400
(from the plaque)

Originally built in 1255 as a detached palace with a view of Mt. Arashiyama, Tenryu-ji Temple was converted into a Zen temple in 1339. With a typical Zen temple layout comprising a Sammon gate, Butsuden (Buddha Hall), Hatto (Lecture Hall), and Hojo (abbot's quarters) arranged in a single straight line, Tenryu-ji Temple features a garden, credited to the monk Muso Soseki, in which the natural contours of the landscape are made to represent mountains within the garden. The principal temple structures were burned down in repeated military conflgrations, but the garden has survived intact, and though additional work has several times been done on it from the northern bank around to the eastern bank fo the pond, it nevertheless retains its original 14th-century ambience.

This dynamic and sophistaced garden is built around a pond, with rock groupings forming ruumon-baku waterfalls, stone bridges, and rock islands. The way in which it is structured to emphasize the view from the abbot's quarters, and its methods of arranging rock groupings, exerted a significant influence on the pond-bank rock grouping and karesansui or "dry landscape" style rock gardens developed during and after the Muromachi period (1333-1572).

Date of Inscription: Resolved on Decemver 15 and inscribed on December 17, 1994.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/400 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400
Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. Inside the green lattice are two large scary guardians. I forget what they were called, or any of the story behind them.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 35.0 mm; 1/400 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/250 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400
This is the stage where one jumps off -- "to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu"; English equivalent, "take the plunge". Wikipedia has a better picture of the stage.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 82.0 mm; 1/20 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
Girl praying at Kiyomizu-dera temple.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 0.6 sec, f/2.7, ISO 200
Dinner, part 1: Duck with Grapefruit.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/5 sec, f/2.7, ISO 800
Dinner, part 2: Squid, cucumber and tomato sauce salad.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 1/8 sec, f/2.7, ISO 800
Dinner, part 3: Carrot consomme.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 73.0 mm; 1/4 sec, f/4.0, ISO 3200
Dinner, part 4: Tofu and Okra.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 6.2 mm; 0.8 sec, f/2.7, ISO 800
Dinner, part 5: Yellowtail.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 11.4 mm; 1/4 sec, f/3.5, ISO 800
Dinner, part 6: Kobe Steak.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 13.8 mm; 0.3 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
Dinner, part 7: Kobe Steak, almost done.



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 7.8 mm; 1/4 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800
Dinner, part 8: Pizza?



Canon PowerShot A3100 IS at 7.8 mm; 1/8 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800
Dinner, part 9: Fruit, Cake and Ice cream dessert.



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