Monday, January 23, 2006

京都 2005 - 19 Ginkakuji - Daimonjiyama

[211105] 10 minutes before opening time, & e first tour group (of PRCs) was already pushing against e doors at e entrance to 銀閣寺 Ginkakuji temple, ready to charge in e instant they were unlocked - or ram it down & barge in if they weren't opened by 08:30AM sharp....

& in they rushed, pushing & shoving their way past e ticket office. & e cat decided to temporarily lose its ability to read & comprehend e kanji characters 表参道 on e signs, & walk through e grounds of Ginkakuji in e opposite (counterclockwise) direction starting from e back of e 'Silver Pavilion'. & so it wandered through in peace & quiet, until both tourists & cat reached e halfway mark along e 表参道 ;)

early in e morning, Ginkakuji was still hiding in e shadows of e Higashiyama mountains - not very good lighting for photos. e cat had planned to come here later in e day - after climbing Daimonjiyama - but couldn't find e starting point of e trail up e mountain.


[1, 2, 5-7, 9] e 'silver pavilion' of Ginkakuji that never got its coat of silver; [2, 3, 6-8] e ginshadan raked gravel formation that reminds e cat of a big fat giant soon kueh; [4] e kogetsudai (moon reflecting?) truncated cone


[1] samples of e mosses grown in e temple garden; [2, 8] kogetsudai; [3, 4] ginshadan; [5, 7] e beautiful autumn colours; [6] e quiet elegance of Ginkakuji, a real contrast to Kinkakuji; [9] aerial view of Ginkakuji & Yoshida hill

had better luck finding e starting point of e Daimonjiyama climb after asking one of e Ginkakuji staff. apparently e cat had mistaken a fork leading to e Ginkakuji staff carpark & maintenance facilities for e fork mentioned in LP's 'Hiking in Japan' guidebook =P

to help fellow sotongs find their way to e starting point:

Daimonjiyama route - left fork leads to e Korean high school in Kyoto....


if you're around Ginkakuji-michi before 08:00AM on a schoolday you can follow e trail of Korean high school students to get here.

right leads to Daimonjiyama:


map of e trail:


e daimonji:


there are 6 of such kanji characters 'carved' onto e slopes on 6 of e mountains in north Kyoto - firewood is laid out in e shape of e characters in e clearings & set alight on e night of 16 August for e 大文字五山送り火 Daimonji Gozan Okuribi festival, to guide spirits on their way back to e netherworld.

e big fat red banner mentioned in LP's 'Hiking in Japan':


e path enters e forest proper after e tiny bridge with metal railings on e right (above) & gets a little steep....


before reaching this bunch of jizo statues at a fork:


taking e left [L] & passing under e pulley system used to haul firewood up e mountain [R]....

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& a few long steep flights of stairs later, e left end of e 横 heng2 (horizontal stroke) of e 大 'dai' in 大文字 daimonji is reached (below left):

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撇 pie3 (above right), 捺 na4 (below left), & e intersection of all 3 strokes (below right):

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shrine at e intersection:


e whole point of climbing all e way up here:


e entire Kyoto at your feet!

(stitched together lousily - no tripod - from 6 frames, hence e 'whirlpool' effect in e larger version)

e individual frames:


on super clear days one can supposedly see as far as Osaka (somewhere behind e clouds/fog/smog on e left above)





5 of e 6 characters on 5 of e 6 mountain slopes:

左大文字 hidari daimonji on Daihokusan [L], somewhere above Kinkakuji, & e boat-shaped 船形 funagata daimonji on Nishigamo Funayama [R]....

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why there are two 'dai' characters on two different mountains? anyone knows?

妙法 myoho daimonji - 妙 myo [L] & 法 ho [R] on Matsugasaki Nishiyama....

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e 鳥居形 toriigata on Senoji-san in Saga couldn't be seen from here, but e cat would hunt it down later in this trip!

how much firewood is used:

more views:



just as e cat was about to start climbing down, e place was invaded by kindergarten kids on a school outing:


wonderful thing was how they yelled ganbatte at their slower friends & ran back to try & pull them up e last bit to e top =)


they started laying out picnic mats:


yesh, e cat kena Hello Kitty-ed here *grrrr*

& posing for class photos....


....before raising their arms & screaming BANZAAAAAAAIIIII down e mountainside =P kids have super powerful lungs.

e steep way down:


flaming red maples....



....& yellow gingko in someone's garden along e path leading from Ginkakuji to e start of e hike:


cat love autumn colours =) living a dream come true to see all these - happiiiiieeeeeee =)))

along Ginkakuji-michi:


e signs on e left are advertising 八ツ橋 yatsuhashi (lit. 8 bridges?), e yummy sweet that Kyoto is famous for. unfortunately they do not last long - only bought a small box of black sesame flavoured ones for parents on e very morning e cat left Kyoto. apart from e more traditional matcha, chestnut, sweet potato & black sesame flavours, there are strawberry & banana+chocolate versions too.

e Ginkakuji end of Tetsugakunomichi, e famous 'Path of Philosophy':


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