Monday, December 15, 2008


Today I went to Kyoto with my host mother and her friend, who kindly invited me. It's the third time I've been here, and it's a beautiful place. This is Japanese December, at least in the area that I'm in. Green leaves on the trees, blue sky, white clouds, sunlight... it's a little cold and it grows dark early, but those are the only hints that it's winter.

We went to a market held on the grounds of a temple, apparently a bimonthly affair. The place was packed with stalls and people, everyone buying and selling handmade crafts like pouches and purses made out of kimono fabric, jewelry, pottery, traditional Japanese sweets, and clothing.

Beauty in simplicity.

After a light lunch at a popular French cafe, we went by taxi to Kiomizu Dera. It and the small streets around it were less crowded because of the season, but even in winter the blue sky framing the buildings made for wonderful photographs. I believe that these temples date from the 4th century, but they were rebuilt in 1633.

Presumably oxidized copper adding some colour to a wooden roof.

A distant temple seen from the wooden balcony at Kiomizu Dera.

More buildings surrounding the main temple. There are lots of things you can do around here to grant yourself luck, whether it be buying charms, drinking the spring water, praying, or washing your hands from the fountains.

A mess of maple trees sheltering a barely-visible staircase.

Kiomizu Dera seen from a pond along a walking path nearby.

I wasn't sure how these pictures were going to turn out, but the shapes of the tree branches really made the shots.

Lovely colours, still water. A very peaceful scene.

A view of the busy city of Kyoto from Kiomizu Dera.

The design of the roof of one of the temple buildings at Kiomizu Dera.

1 comment:

  1. I love kiomizudera! It's such a beautiful temple and the view is simply astounding. I think I went there during the summer though so the trees were covering much more of the view. I have to say there's nothing quite like the beautiful reds and oranges of Japanese maple leaves...