Thursday, 7 June 2012

more temples

We were at the Ginkakuji Temple the other day and chanced upon what must have been a local festival where the Shinto shrine’s deity was carried through town on palanquins.  There were a lot of huffing and puffing as the palangquins were heaved onto traditional attire-clad shoulders and then some chanting and hopping as the deity was carried through town, bobbing up and down through a sea of people.

Ginkakuji Temple itself is an assembly of traditional landscape and architecture, built in the 1400s for a Shogun.  It backs onto a bamboo forest on the base of the Higashimaya mountains.  As always the landscaping is always neat, and the gravel freshly raked. 

At the base of the temple is the famous Philosophers Walk, a path that meanders alongside a canal for 2 km and lined with cherry blossom trees.  We were a bit late for them but you can imagine the explosion of flowers during Sakura season in early spring.  We walked this path and here you can see my three doing some serious philosophical thinking.

Thought of the day: Learn to walk before you run.

Yesterday we were at the Todai-ji temple in Nara, about 50 minutes by train north of Tokyo.  What was most appealing for the kids was that deers roam freely in the deer park surrounds of the temple.  The temple itself is supposedly the largest wooden structure in the world and houses an immense Buddha within.

As we spend our last day in Kyoto and pack our bags yet again, we are excited at the prospect of doing some serious lazing on the beach in Hawaii.  But first, we are off to rent some bicycles for a little promenade en velo today!

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