Autumn in Kyoto – Day 3 – part 1 京の秋

Takao District 高雄

The foliage in Takao’s Jingo Ji (神護寺) was rated just 50%, according to 11/9’s foliage report, but the weather for the next two days would not be good (11/15 &16), plus, you don’t want to go to Takao on weekends. Of course, I could go next Monday or Tuesday, but… I just simply couldn’t wait any longer. I had to go. Besides of momeji, I had a silly personal reason. If you have read Kawabata’s Capital, you know what Kitayama sugi (北山杉 lit. north hill cedar or called Daisugi 台杉) is. Kitayama and Kyoto were the stages set for his Nobel Price winning novel “The Capital 古都”. And the images of those beautiful cedars on steep hills, created by a lot of artists, summoned my pilgrimage. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go to the heart of Kitayama, not even the Nakagawa area (中川). However, I was told that in the Takao District, I should be able to see some of the kitayama sugi.

The bus was so crowded that reminded me of Hong Kong or China. However, after the best meal of the day, I found it very enjoyable taking a nap on the bus. For me, my hotel’s buffet breakfast was the best meal of the day, in terms of variety and quantity. I usually had two bowls (small bowls) of Japanese congee or rice porridge (粥 or おかゆ) and tons of salad and fruits, not to mention meat. After staying there 3 times, I’m always amazed how they managed to get the best bacon in the world.

啊,高雄。多少年了,看完川端康成的”古都”後,就好想去看看北山杉。後來看過一些攝影家和畫家有関北山杉的影像,就更想去看,只是每次到京都都在市內活動,總是去不成。這一次,高雄是top priority,只是紅葉情報說只有50%轉紅,所以等了幾天。本來應多等幾天, 只是跟着來的幾天會下雨,所以趁天氣好上路(其實是期盼有陽光能拍得好照片)。正所謂”英雄所見略同”(great  minds think alike),待我在車站等公共汽車時才發原來”英雄”很多呢。車上擁擠得很,坐在位子上閉目養神,挺舒服的。由於日短,加上要看的多,只好省時間,不吃午餐,餓了就吃一條power bar或一小包M&M (老妻給我準備當小吃的),所以一天吃得最豐富的就是酒店裡的自助早餐。有日式的粥,有西式的蔬果和咖啡,更有全世界最好的煙肉。所以飽餐一頓後,閉目養神,為高雄之行儲足能量。

Jingo Ji 神護寺

Jingo Ji is very famous for momeji peeping. This temple, founded in the 8th century, houses a wealth of National Treasures including a dry lacquer (乾漆) Yakushi Nyorai (Buddha of healing 藥師如來). I saw some blogs telling people that Jingo Ji was a hidden gem for leaf peeping. Don’t be fooled by that, it is in fact a well known gem, if you want to go, go early morning and never on weekends. OK, Jingo Ji, here we come.

神護寺是京都首選的紅葉名所。有老外部落格說這是一個秘密的景點,如果是真的話,”秘密”就是”家傳戶曉”的意思了。我的建議是,往京都看紅葉,神護寺一定要去,但切勿於周末去。出發時間以早為妙,到車站候車(尤其是在四條烏丸),在正確的站牌前排隊。不然的話,不但沒位子坐,連上車都有問題。據說十一月中後有由京都車站直往高雄的專車。順便一提, 回程時可在高山寺下的站等車,人較少。

Coming down from the bus station.

Coming down from the bus station. 巴士站下來的步道。

Red maple tempura (紅葉天ぷら)。 有點兒煑鶴焚琴吧。

Red maple tempura (紅葉天ぷら)?   紅葉天婦羅, 有點兒煑鶴焚琴吧。

Kiyotaki River 清滝河

Kiyotaki River 清滝河

Kitayama sugi (cedar) 北山杉

Kitayama sugi (cedar) 北山杉

The road to Jingoji is pretty steep, there is a tea house on each tier.

The road to Jingoji is pretty steep, there is a tea house on each tier, this is the 1st. 神護寺在山腰上,由清滝河住上行,有幾個聞濶的台階,其上都有茶室。

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Looking up the tea house on the 2nd tier. 上望第二台階的茶室。

Tea house on the 3rd tier.

Tea house on the 3rd tier. 第三台階的茶窒。

Beautiful ! 人在圖画�。

Beautiful ! 天朗氣清,美景如画。三五好友,促膝談心,人生樂事。

Magnificent!!

Magnificent!! 艷麗!

The signs hanging outside of the tea house.

The signs hanging outside  the tea house. 好喜歡他們的招牌,很有味道。

Splendid !! I have already use up all the adjustives I know, and we are not even at the main gate yet.

Splendid !! I am running out of adjectives, and we are not even at the main gate yet.現場的氣氛非照片能捕捉。

Finally, the main gate. It is pretty steep.

Finally, the main gate. It is pretty steep the last tier. 好不容易,到了山門。

The Main Gate. Just gorgeous !!

The Main Gate. Just gorgeous !! 山門前的楓, 紅、黄、綠相間,煞是好看。

Inside the main gate. Speechless!

Inside the main gate. 山門內側,色彩繽紛。

Inside the vicinity, there are three levels, most of the halls are on the 1st level.

Inside the vicinity, there are three levels, most of the buildings are on the 1st level. 神護寺夲身亦有三階,建築物和紅葉主要在一階。

I believe this is the Treasure Hall.

I believe this is the Treasure Hall. 宝藏。

asasa

Over the fence of 和氣公靈廟.

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I-don’t-know-the-name Hall 攪不清是那個建築物。

明玉堂

明玉堂

Walking up to the Main Hall 金堂.

Walking up to the Main Hall. 拾步而上金堂,左為五大堂。

The Main Hall 金堂

The Main Hall, 金堂

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The third level is the location of the Tho Pagoda. There is a dirt path surrounding the pagoda. There was no place to stand to take a good picture.

第三階為多宝塔,只有小路一條,連拍照的空間也沒有,所以作罷。

The Godaido 五大堂. Looking down from the Main Hall.

The Godaido. Looking down from the Main Hall. 從金堂下望五大堂。

Jizoin 地藏院

Jizoin 地藏院

adda

Splendid -1

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splendid – 2

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Splendid – 3

bnbn

Splendid – 4

Overlooking the Kihotaki River.

Overlooking the Kihotaki River. 從地藏院下望清渑河。

Kitayama sugi 北山杉.

Kitayama sugi 北山杉-1

Kitayama sugi 北山杉.

Kitayama sugi 北山杉-2

Ladies in kimonos,

Ladies in kimonos enjoying the view at the cliff. 很喜歡他們的和服。

This is Rest Room Hall !

This is the Rest Room Hall ! I guess I have already proven to you – “why Japan”. 這裡是便所,真有點不信。

Bishamondo 毘沙門堂.

Bishamondo Hall  毘沙門堂。牡丹雖好,亦要綠葉扶持。

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Bishamondo Hall 毘沙門堂。這幾張就是我以為京都的紅葉此新英格蘭的好。

The Main Gate again.

The Main Gate again, but the light was different. 下山前回頭再看山門,陽光角度不同,實在是漂亮。

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Although the leaves were not entirely red, I was very happy with the color and the weather. Weatherwise, I would say that was close to my ideal weather for picture taking . My definition of ideal weather is not a totally bright sunny day, but a sunny day with a thin layer of cloud serves as a light diffuser. From time to time, you’ll have sunny and slightly cloudy condition to choose from. As a matter of fact, a number of pictures shown here are the results of those choices.

雖然神護寺的紅葉還未到peak,但對今次神護寺之行,亦相當滿意。尤其是陽光,薄薄的”碎”雲形成一散光鏡,令太陽不是太強,而且雲塊過時,光線有变化,相當不錯。

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This entry was posted in Fall foliage 紅葉, Japan 日夲, Kyoto 京都, Seasons 季節 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Autumn in Kyoto – Day 3 – part 1 京の秋

  1. Martin K. says:

    The Kitayama sugi pictures are amazing. I want to go climb it soon. I love the girl’s kimonos because they are so simple and elegant.

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