Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Temples and Scenes from Kyoto Japan

This is more of a cultural stop so not much geology to report on here. But the Japanese certainly do appreciate the inherent beauty of rocks as seen by the many zen-like placing of slabs (mostly of greenschist) near the nearly endless temples in Kyoto. Enjoy the scenes from this ancient imperial capital of a most interesting country.

The Buddhist temple of Kinkakuji, more commonly known as the Golden Pavilion. The site itself goes back to 1397 but the present building dates only to 1955.

Throngs of Japanese come here from all over the country. Kyoto receives over 50 million visitors a year! Most of them are Japanese.

Pine tree reflections at the Golden Pavilion

Detail of the top of the pagoda

The temple of Tofukuji (ji is the Japanese word for temple). It was founded in 1236 and the present temple was built in the 15th century.

Lanterns near a stairway

On the grounds of Tofukuji

One of the gardens at Tofukuji

A quiet moment after the crowd leaves

A greenschist monument. This type of metamorphic rock is formed in low temperature and low pressure environments common on the coast of Japan.

At Sanjusangendo, no photographs are allowed of the 1,001 statues inside the 33-column-long building.

I singed up for a Japanese cooking class!

It was held inside a private home with three instructors

Making omlettes the Japanese way, with a special rectangular pan

One of the great things I learned is how to quick cook spinach and then place it immediately under cold water to keep the dark green color.

My first sushi roll

And my first tempura plate. Lots of fresh veggies and fish in Japan.

The view from my hotel room shows the old and the new in Kyoto

I also signed up for a tour of Spiritual Kyoto, which included a meditation class. It was really good.

Paintings inside one of the meditation rooms

Our instructor had studied at ASU in Tempe and his English was excellent

These are the pillows we sat on for 20 minutes

The last stop in Kyoto was at the Kiyomizo temple. The traffic leading up to the site was incredible and the crowds leading to the entrance were thick.

At the Deva Gate entrance

The pagoda had been recently repainted and was very bright

The temple complex includes the Jishu Shrine, very popular with young people in Japan. The shrine is dedicated to a god of love and good matches. The shrine has a pair of "love stones" placed 20 feet apart, and visitors try to walk between the two with their eyes closed. Success in reaching the other
stone with their eyes closed implies that the pilgrim will find love true love, or at least love. One can be assisted in the crossing, but this is taken to mean that a go-between will be needed. 

I captured a young man's Jishu journey as he navigated between the two stones.

About halfway there....
Getting very close with assistance....

Finally, success! I watched this a few times and even helped a few young men get there.

This is where the Otawa waterfall comes out beneath the large pavilion. The water is said to grant anyone who drinks it their wish. Large ladles are available and are placed in a stand after use with UV rays to disinfect them. There were long lines for this activity.

Ladles getting Otawa water

The photographic opportunities were endless and the Japanese are only too kind to oblige

As you can see here

Young girls in love with the patterns on their new fan

Getting ready for our Shabu-shabu lunch! Large plates are full of raw vegetables and meat, which are then placed in the boiling water on the table. Everyone shares in the repast. I loved the food food here! 

1 comment:

Chris Turner said...

Geology is facinating, observing billions of years of change. This blog entry is cool too, showing some of the interesting cultural variation over only a couple hundred thousand years. When was the great square omelete pan creation event? Please keep your eyes open for evidence of this in the rock layers.