Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kyoto Zen

I spent a full day on the train to get from Beppu to Kyoto, and after needed some time to chill!! I spent a full day just going to different zen gardens in Kyoto. Mostly the first day I just checked out a few all at the same temple, Tofukuji. This first one I just happened upon and was unoccupied, so I didn't even have to pay to get in. I think it was closed for the new year. There were a few others wandering in and out, so I figured it was okay to go in!

I had the garden mostly to myself, so it was definitely relaxing!! It also started snowing while I was there. They were such small flakes that my fellow Minnesotans wouldn't have actually called it snow...but it was snow! It didn't stick to the ground or anything and it was nice and sunny still, so it was perfect.

Wishing you a Happy New Year on January 31st.

A few New Year's offerings for Buddha

Next I headed off to one of the other popular gardens, the one below that's got a raked tile design. This one is more popular and was much more crowded. There was also some New Year's ritual going on. The monks there were walking around and chanting something or other, so it was interesting to watch for a bit...but only for a bit since I didn't really know what was going on.

Next, I ventured off to see the one garden that I had looked up before going that I really wanted to see.
Like most buildings in Japan, you have to take off your shoes to go in any building on the temple grounds - even if you're going to see a garden.

Here I am....relaxing again. Do you notice a trend for this trip?

So I can't remember exactly, but I'll do my best to explain. This garden was designed by Mirei Shigemori. It's supposed to look like a waterfall and something else. Here's the waterfall...do you see it?

I think this is supposed to be like the water running down the stream....

And this is down and around a corner, I'm not exactly sure what it's supposed to represent...

But anyway, it seems pretty cool. Hope you enjoyed it as much as me ;) That's about all I did on New Year's Eve Day -- went back to the hostel to get ready for the Eve!!

1 comment:

k8inorbit said...

Oh cool! I really liked that garden too. I was trying to figure out why I didn't remember those spirals and then I realized, that's where the moss was in the summer! Hee.

There were 2-3 special gardens in Kyoto that you had to apply to see via post-card (do-able, but it takes about 1-2 months to get permission), I'm still mad at myself for never getting organized enough to apply for them. :P