2012年12月7日金曜日

Fall color in Arashiyama, Kyoto


fallen leaves on the moss garden garden. The contrast is breathtaking.
I went to Kyoto to enjoy the scenes in brilliant fall color last weekend.  This time, I mainly visited Arashiyama and Sagano district, which is located west part of Kyoto, 20 minutes by train from the center.  The region used to be a resort for the noble in the Heian period (794~1185) . 

As you stand and look around on the Togetsukyo bridge (it means moon crossing bridge), which is an landmark of Arashiyama, you can easily imagine the way how Heian people appreciated the beauty of the nature in every season.  Floating a boat on the Katusra river, they must have adored autumn leaves and cherry blossoms, as well.

Arashiyama is also famous for the place where “the Ogura Anthology of One Hundred Tanka-poems by One Hundred Poets” was edited by Teika Fujiwara (1162-1241).  The poem bellow is the one that depicts how mesmerizing the fall color in Arashiyama is.

小倉山 峰のもみぢ葉こころあらば いまひとたびの みゆき待たなん

If the maple leaves
On Ogura mountain
Could only have hearts,
They would longingly await
The emperor's pilgrimage.

Fortunately, the maple leaves seemed to have hearts, and we were able to catch the last blaze of color.


Gio-ji
There are some beautiful temples in Arashiyama and my favorite one is Gio-ji, a Shingon Buddihism nunnery.  

In Heike-monogatari (the Tale of the Heike), there is a story that is related to this temple.  A Shirabyoshi dancer Gio was loved by Taira no Kiyomori but was dumped when he was attracted to another Shirabyoshi, Hotoke-Gozen.  Gio, her sister Ginyo and their mother Toji left Kiyomori and afterwards they entered a nunnery that is present day Gio-ji.  It was when Gio was 21 years old.

Sagagiku, a kind of chrysanthemum named after Saga emperor who loved this flower.

This is exactly a red carpet.

It’s a small temple, but fallen leaves on the moss garden are breathtaking.

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  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

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    1. I'd love to. Thank you very much for your invitation.

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