Sunday, January 01, 2006

京都 2005 - 11 Ryoanji - Kinkakuji - Daitokuji

[181105] temple temple day....

unsure of e bus timings & how long it takes to change buses....ended up at Ryoanji temple at 07:30AM, when e only thing to do was to watch e guys from Asahi & some other drink company empty coins from e vending machines & restock them with stuff like minestrone soup....


....& some mysterious 'waist-wave' thingy:


indication of Ryoanji's presence on e international tourist map: 2 separate toilet blocks, with one entire block just for 'Western style' cubicles. at 07:55AM e ticket booth opened, & 4 early birds + 1 early cat had Ryoanji's kare sansui (dry landscape) garden all to themselves:


15 stones in 5 groups, arranged such that one always remains hidden from view when seen from any point along e e cat's 5-year old AR1722 (e cat took CFMs that prepared it for travelling =P) lecture notes, e plan of e garden is drawn from an aerial view in order to show every rock.

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e difference between arriving at e 08:00AM opening time [below left], half an hour after opening time [below right], & 09:00AM when big fat tour groups pour in en masse & loudspeakers start blaring Japanese commentary about e garden - don't bother to take photos, run!

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everyone zooms in on e famous dry garden & forgets about e rest of Ryoanji, so escape from e noise & crowds is still possible in other charming bits of e temple grounds:




on to 金閣寺 Kinkakuji, which was packed to e gills less than 15 minutes after opening time. helps to be a small cat when squeezing to e front to see this:



no wonder e pond is called 鏡湖池 Kyoko-chi (lit. mirror lake pond). damn heng that e cat changed its plans to come here on e 15th or 16th - think it was closed off for a while on one of those days, when President Bush came by for a visit.

Japanese have this obsession with throwing coins at everything:


at almost every temple that e cat visited, staff would be raking up coins with nets from e bottom of ponds & around statues like these.

more maples:



不動堂 Fudo-do, dedicated to e God of Fire:


where you can buy your fortune from a machine....

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....& conveniently trash it if it turns out to be bad

on e way to 大徳寺 Daitokuji:


big fat Daitokuji has 20+ subtemples & felt like a micromouse maze built for humans:


red rectangle = 'you are here'
blue arrow = 大仙院 Daisen-in (is e Baby here?)
green arrow = 高桐院 Koto-in

e cat took quite some time just to get to e red rectangle as there didn't seem to be any distinct entrance to e temple complex. it chanced upon e path leading to e red rectangle when it wandered through e carpark (big fat empty space at middle right).

for blondes?


entrance to Daisen-in tei-en, another famous kare sansui garden:


no photography allowed within....though e nice pamphlet with pictures of e garden sponsored by Kikkoman was some sort of consolation =P

here e cat was struck by e (lack of) size of e garden - just narrow rectangular strips of spaces surrounding a hall. & amazed by how e grainy black & white photos in e lecture readings sprang to life - e 枯山水 'dry waterfall', 'river flowing under e bridge', 'treasure ship', 'turtle swimming against e currents', etc - all without a drop of water. & how mere gravel & rock could create such an illusion of space in an area so confined, allowing e mind to transcend e boundaries of e perimeter walls that shut out e rest of e world =)

Koto-in, another subtemple famous for its maples, which were still mostly green:


to get out of this big fat maze, e cat just kept walking south until it hit Kitaoji-dori. nice noren spotted on e way out of e Daitokuji complex:


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