Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Heian Shrine and Nanzen-ji

Heian Shrine, Kyoto, Japan (Jun 1, 2012)

As much as we liked the pampered life at the Hakone-Ginyu ryokan, as all good things, that came to an end. We packed for Kyoto, where Mayli had her neutrinos meeting, for the last part of our trip. We still had a few days of vacation, though, that we spent visiting the many temples and zen garden in the city. The photo above shows one of the structures part of the Heian shrine, a reproduction of the imperial palace built in 1895 in occasion of the industrial exposition fair held in Kyoto that year. The complex is today an important Shinto shrine, and has a fairly large garden with ponds created over the course of 20 years by famous gardener Jihei Ogawa (see photo above). After spending some time in the Shrine, we walked towards Nanzen-ji, a nearby large buddist temples complex founded in the middle of the Heian period, in 1291. The temples are adorned with simple yet rich art, like the painted panels below. They also have smaller but beautiful gardens, like the one with the hidden path over stepping stones shown on the left (not so hidden actually, I had to wait quite a long time to get my people-free shot). The best of this all is that, despite the complex being a quite popular touristic destination, you can still find the forgotten temple without many tourists, and sit there enjoying the silence and your thoughts.

Cranes in Konchi-in (Jun 1, 2012)

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