We visited a couple of temples in Kyoto on Sunday, to see the changing autumn leaves… and we weren’t alone – it felt a bit like attending a sports event (not that I have actually done that in decades) but it provided a lovely insight into how much reverence Japanese people have for such things – the trains were all super busy getting to & from Kyoto, and each temple had long queues… Funniest moment was visiting Genkoan – this temple has a beautiful garden which at one point can be viewed through two windows, one circular and the other square. Apparently the square one is called “The window of hesitation” and the round one “the window of enlightenment” and there was a queue to sit and experience the views, which equated to rows of people sitting on the tatami floor, and as each group of people finished their viewing and exited sideways the whole room of sitting people would shuffle forward… like a human conveyor belt to enlightenment?
As with some other iconic temples I’ve visited no photos were allowed inside, but you were allowed to buy postcards of photos – was it actually an issue or simply fundraising? Wish they would offer an option to ‘take your own photo for Y300’ rather than the buy generic postcards…
As dusk fell we headed to another temple, which was beautifully lit up and again being enjoyed by large crowds of people!
“yes, I can confirm the gaijin is lost, over” (lovely bokeh thanks to Zeiss ZE 50mm F1.4 lens on my 5D)
So nice to have a walk through the quiet back streets of Kyoto..