Wednesday, February 15, 2006

京都 2005 - 25 Otonashi-no-taki - Sanzen-in

[241105] on e eastern side of Ohara valley....

an unexpectedly long (70% due to crowds, 30% due to a 'deceptive' contour-less map that gave no indication of e gradient + e cat's lousy knee) climb up past an endless array of souvenir stalls to Sanzen-in temple, one of e most famous maple-viewing spots in e Kyoto area that people from around Japan flock to every autumn.

a quick glance at e tour groups pushing their way up e packed staircase on e left leading to e temple entrance & e huge souvenir store facing it, & a look at e empty path to e right leading to e forest behind e temple & Otonashi-no-taki waterfall - no prizes for guessing which option e cat jumped at ;)

from Otonashi-no-taki it is possible to continue hiking all e way up to Daibi-zan, Mizui-yama & Hiei-zan. e waterfall itself isn't too impressive....


& neither did e trail there appear to be so initially:


moving uphill from e valley & into e woods, e sun disappeared & e trail was rather dark & cold as it led past a side gate of Sanzen-in & e entrance to Raigo-in temple:


& then there was a clearing of sorts, where e woods suddenly sprang back to life in colour:


this is e sort of gold that e cat loves:


zero karat, & no destructive mining nor cyanide required for extraction ;)


stopping to pick gold off e path:


back at e by now slightly less crowded path to Sanzen-in:

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within e temple there is a room where visitors can try their hand at 写经 (copying Buddhist sutras) with calligraphy pens, & e Ojo-Gokuraku-in hall where monks explain at length e significance of e 3 Buddhist images kept there.

童地藏 jizo, probably e second most-photographed part of Sanzen-in:

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hundreds & hundreds of little 觀音 Kannon (what e Chinese refer to as e Goddess of Mercy) statues, each with e name of e person who donated them inscribed below:


e most photographed part of Sanzen-in:



e cat decided to visit Sanzen-in after seeing a photo of this corner on e temple's webpage while planning for this trip. just about everyone paused here (below) to capture e above:


but not that many looked up to let their jaws fall open at e sight:


wonder if e chrysanthemum crest has anything to do with Sanzen-in's status as a 'Monzeki' temple, where in e past, e chief priest would be a member of e imperial family:


back in Kyoto, e 3rd kaiten sushi restaurant to be tested on this trip was hunted down in Kyoto station building. & then it was back to K's House, where e cat had to shift from e 4-bed dorm to a 6-bedder - something to do with e hostel's system of shuffling residents once in a while to avoid having to make male & female hostellites share rooms. when it was full house last Saturday, there were plenty of rather loud arguments between a Thai-American lady & one of e 3 guy strangers that she had to room with....& when she introduced herself to us in e cat's new room tonight, everyone responded by saying 'yeah we heard you' =P

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