Friday, April 14, 2006

京都 2005 - 33 Myojin-gawa - Kamigamojinja

[261105] to e 上賀茂 Kamigamo area in e north of Kyoto, to trace e path of e 明神川 Myojin-gawa stream through a 社家町 shakemachi, e residential area of Shinto priests around a shrine.

e #4 Kyoto City bus took e cat somewhere near Midoro-ike pond, where e giant 妙法大文字 myoho daimonji on e slopes of Matsugasaki Nishiyama & Higashiyama suddenly loomed into view. hopping off at e 上賀茂石計町 Kamigamo-Ishikazucho stop, e cat found itself surrounded by vegetable patches on either side of e road, half-expecting Peter Rabbit in his blue jacket to peek out from among e neat rows of huge cabbages, half-nibbled carrot in paw....hard to imagine that it was still standing within Kyoto city!

rather cold even though it was past noon, but e cat still picked up ice cream together with lunch from e Family Mart konbini. one of e last chances on this trip to enjoy dessert made using great quality 宇治 Uji green tea:


familiar face - Mei from e anime Tonari no Totoro *grin*


an indication of e elementary school nearby that served as a landmark for locating e stream, which is not marked on most maps.

e Myojin-gawa runs through a beautiful neighbourhood:


[1, 7, 8] many of e traditional homes are linked to e road by a little stone bridge across e stream [2] some of e houses have beautiful gardens filled with trees & birdsong =) [5] at one point e stream passes a large old sacred tree bounded by a wooden fence painted vermillion [4, 7, 8] many of e houses here have identical yellowish cream-coloured boundary walls, & they are e traditional homes of Shinto priests from e nearby Kamigamo-jinja, a World Cultural Heritage site [9] e eastern end of e Myojin-gawa, at e boundary of Kamigamo-jinja

e 梅辻 (Umetsuji?) residence along e Myojin-gawa:



photos of e interior taken during a special opening of e residence, an Important Cultural Property.

筝 (also written as 琴?) koto & 三弦 sangen (aka. 三味線 shamisen?) lessons offered by 梅辻理恵:


she graduated from Geidai (東京藝術大学 Tokyo National University of Fine Arts & Music), which has a really beautiful campus (somewhere between Yanaka & Ueno-koen) that e cat strolled through on its 2002 Tokyo trip =)

more of e Kamigamo shakemachi:


more photos of e neighbourhood here & here.

none of e info in English =| e sign at e little shrine at e base of e big fat tree:


outside one of e shakemachi residences:


at e entrance to Nishimurake garden:


where e stream flowing out of Kamigamo-jinja meets e Myojin-gawa:


heading upstream into Kamigamo-jinja:


e grounds of Kamigamo-jinja:


[2, 9] this place is famous for its version of 'twin peaks' =P

ema at e shrine:


this shrine also sells a special kind of o-mamori for 'air safety' with a little picture of an aeroplane stitched onto e charm - perhaps pilots, cabin crew & frequent flyers can look out for it here as a souvenir =P most shrines sell just e 'standard' o-mamori for luck in studies/work/relationships, traffic safety, & easy delivery (for expectant mothers).

e shrine proper:


once again, e cat stumbles upon a wedding at a Shinto shrine on a weekend:


everyone stepped aside to make way for e entourage to enter e 'inner sanctum' of e shrine for e wedding rites:



[1] bride & groom [2] e bride had to be helped up e stairs step by step....first time e cat has seen e bride's headgear (for hiding e 'horns of jealousy'?) covered with e white cloth [3] e priest, & probably e only obese Japanese guy that e cat has seen in these 2 weeks (bottom left) [4] endless stream of relatives lined up in twos like kindergarten kids


[1, 3, 5, 9, 11] Kamigamo-jinja has its fair share of dazzling maples =) [4, 12] in front of e shrine is a large open field where people gather to picnic, play softball & let kids run around in e sunshine [2, 8] e two cones of gravel that have become synonymous with e shrine

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