Autumn in Kyoto – Day 3 – part 2 京の秋

Kozanji 高山寺

Kozanji was found in 774, and has the style of Kamakura architectural elegance. The most famous thing about this temple, I guess, is the hangscroll Choju-giga (frolicking birds and animals). However, the one displayed in the temple is actually a copy of the original one which is in National Tokyo Museum (?).

Before visiting Kozanji, I had to go a little bit deeper along the winding backroad to take picture of the Kitayama sugi which I saw in a photo book. I am so happy I did it in this sequence. I was able to take a few pictures of the red maples standing in front of the Kitayama sugi trees with almost perfect sunlight. 30 minutes later, the sun was being blocked by the hills.

The dinning tables set alongside the Kiyotaki River.

The dinning tables set alongside the Kiyotaki River. 神護寺山下高雄橋北望, 日式餐”桌”排在河床上,浪漫得可以。

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以前看了有関高山寺的資料,感覺上是一重要的寺院,所以必定要來朝聖。從神護寺下得山來,已是下午三時。心裡惗着北山杉, 沿着清滝河急行軍,先抵指月橋,過了橋就是西明寺。神護寺、西明寺和高山寺好像是三位一體,不去”不好意思”,既來之,則安之,進去繞一圈也算到此一遊。主意已定,快步過橋,待到另一端,人山人海,外國遊客也多,像半個联合國都在排隊購票入塲。人多表示寺內有看頭, 只是拍不到北山杉,如何向多年的宿願交代呢。於是把心一橫,還是以北山杉為重,大步邁向高山寺。高山寺山後的車道就是進入北山地區的公路,所以種滿北山杉。山脚下有幾間餐廳,河的對面就有數株紅楓。幸好當機立断,此地向西,仍是陽光普照,拍了幾張後,夲想沿河邊再入(寿岳章子對山裡面曾有記述,令人响往)。但日已快下山,高山寺還未去呢,於是折返。高山寺在山的東面, 整個寺院已在山影下,加上古木参天,非常陰暗。怱怱在寺內繞了一個圈,把ASA推至3200才可以拍幾張。這裡遊客稀少,給人有點荒凉的感覺, 與神護寺和西明寺的熱鬧氣氛不可同日而語。

I felt obliged to show a picture of Saimyoji 西明寺 and explained a bit why I skipped this temple. These three temples in Takao are considered “a pack”, you “have to” visit them all. Silly, I know.  By the time I came back down to the river from Jingoji, it was close to 3 pm and I had to take picture of a few Kitayama sugi trees at the back of Kozanji. So I marched along the river to this bridge, it is called the Shigetsubashi 指月橋 (lit. pointing to the moon bridge, very romantic), I was in such a hurry that I didn’t aware that my picture was not  even focused on the bridge. It is the main gate to Saimyoji. I walked to the gate, holy cow, half of the United Nations were standing in line to get in. That’s karma, so I skipped it (I saved a good reason to come back to Takao again).

Shigetsubashi 指月橋

Shigetsubashi 指月橋

A maple in front of the Kitayama sugi.

A maple in front of the Kitayama sugi. 北山杉前的紅楓,這張照片就是我朝思暮想要拍的,総算得償索願。

These are the few trees I had been dreaming of.

These are the few trees I had been dreaming of.

I did it!

I did it! 総算得償索願.

affa

Matsutake udon and nishin soba.松茸烏冬和鯡魚麵.

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Matsutake (松茸, pine mushroom, Tricholoma matsutake ) or, shortly, Mattake is the common name for a highly sought after mycorrhizal mushroom. It has been an important element of high end Japanese cuisine. The tradition of mushroom giving persists today in Japan’s corporate world, and a gift of matsutake is considered special and is cherished by those who receive it. People joke about giving matsutake mushroom as a gift of gratitude to their boss, and then the boss gives it to their boss and then their boss, and then finally somebody open the box ………  I don’t know the taste of matsutake yet, may be next time when we come back to visit, I mean with my wife, in fall, just for leaf peeping. Nishin soba is a special Kyoto dish, I had it before, it was unique.

我沒有吃過松茸,據說日夲產的味道甚佳,是高級日夲料理的重要食材,也是日夲人送禮給上司的首選。最好的食法是切片然後放在炭火上烤。鯡魚麵是京都特式,関東人來京也要試試。我以前吃过,蛮特別的,至於味道嘛,馬馬虎虎啦。

adad

  いらっしゃいませ!   Welcome!   歡迎光臨!

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I really liked to sit down and have a cup of tea, but the sun was going home. When I was photographing those trees, I realized that Kozanji was on the east side of the hills, meaning that it was already in the shadow of the hills.  When I walked in the vicinity, I thought I was still wearing my sunglasses. It was dark. The Sekisuiin 石水院(?) was having a special exhibition, but time (and light) was running out. The following are the few pictures I was able to take.

不停的走了五個多小時,真的很想坐下來喝杯茶,吃碗麵,但時不我予,只好硬着頭皮。進得寺來,参觀日夲最早的茶園,據說當時留唐僧帶回的茶種延植至今。

asas

I put up this one to show just how dark it was.

Thanks to modern technology, I was able to increase the ISO in my camera to compensate for the light.

Kaisando Hall 開山堂.               Thanks to modern technology, I was able to increase the ISO in my camera to compensate for the light. 此處無大樹遮光,尚可用ASA3200拍之。

adda

Looking over Kaisando Hall     開山堂

The Main Hall. I had to use flash to take this picture.

The Main Hall. I had to use flash to take this picture.

The first tea cultivation in Japan.

The first tea cultivation in Japan. 茶園

Inside the tea garden.

Inside the tea garden. Did not appear to be well attended. 茶樹枝葉橫生,不像被仔細照顧的樣子。

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You may say that Kozanji has the look of an elegant estate, but what I felt was desolate, lonely or deserted. It might be the timing of the day. Anyhow, now I know why when people talk about Takao, they talk about Jingoji. When you search the web for 高山寺, you are asked: do you mean Kodaiji 高台寺. I don’t know how to put this into words, Jingoji is like a beautiful model dressed in the latest designs with brilliant colors, and Kozanji is like…. Cinderella. And when I walked pass the parking lot and the restaurants to the narrow, winding back road that leads to Nakagawa area 中川, I was the only soul there taking picture of the Kitayama sugi. There were truck loads of photographers in front of Jingoji, all with Nikon D3, D300 and Canon 40D. Where are those guys now, I just think that Kozanji and Kitayama sugi deserved a little more respect.

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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.

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