Saturday, January 31, 2015

Red Autumn Leaves

Postcard 3. Glorious colour in these red autumn leaves of the Japanese maple tree. The leaves were just beginning to turn when we were there. A guide had told us we would see colour like this in about a month from when were there.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The River Section

Another of the postcards I purchased from the Daisen-In Temple. This is what is known as "The River Section", with beautiful bonsai's, raked gravel, moss, and strategically placed rocks. Not to mention those gorgeous scalloped roof edges again

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Middle Sea

Inside the Daisen -In Temple were areas of open space with more rock gardens and beautifully raked gravel. We were not allowed to take photographs inside, so I purchased some postcards. This is one of those postcards.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Gnarly Tree

I just loved the shape of this pine tree, a little twisted with lots of gnarly bits. This tree was also in the grounds of the Daisen-In Temple. It looks like some of the branches may have been pruned off, and then to recover, the tree has tried to heal itself so that some parts have become thicker than others. As it has healed, a new branch has taken off in a totally different direction. Reminds me a bit of my rose bushes. But I think there are some great lines here, that would be great as a basis of some stitching.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Colours of Autumn

This tree was in the grounds of the Daisen-in Temple. We were in Kyoto in the beginnings of Autumn, and in this pic we can see the colours beginning to change. I would have loved to see this tree in a few weeks time. I think it would have been a glorious red.

Monday, January 26, 2015

More Tree Supports

How interesting is this? The use of bamboo poles to support the branches of this pine tree. This time they are horizontal, aiding in keeping the branches straight and not drooping on the ground. If we look closely we can see bamboo supports on every branch.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

An Old Tree

This old tree was in the grounds of the Daisen-in Temple. It is hundreds of years old. Note once again the bamboo supports, both horizontal as well as vertical. I loved the texture in the trunk of this ancient tree, it certainly could be inspirational in my stitching somewhere.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tree Supports

I have mentioned before about the use of bamboo. Here it is again being used to support this beautiful Japanese maple tree that is on a decided lean. There is also the bamboo fence in the bottom right corner, held together with ties rather than nails.

What I did find interesting was the use of ridge capping on the other fence. It is like it has it's own little roof with tiles and capping. Very surprising was the fact that there were no patterns on the edges of the tiles

Friday, January 23, 2015


The Daisen-In Temple is a Zen Buddhist temple. This Buddha was in the garden, just at the end of his own short pathway. We were on our way back to our waiting taxi, so there was no time to stop and reflect. I would have liked to get closer to get a better pic.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Garden Structure

This little structure was on the edge of the pathway in the Daisen-in Temple. I am not sure what it was used for, but I did so enjoy seeing those patterns and decorations used under the eves.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Bell

This bell was in the grounds of the Daisen-in Temple. As the garden is 500 years old, I am wondering how old this bell is. We didn't get to hear it ring, but I am sure it would be loud and beautiful. If we look closely we can see the patterns and writing on the bell, and the dragon head at the top. Also visible if you look even more closely, are the patterns on those roof end tiles, and again under the eaves.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Another Garden View

Just another garden view within the grounds of the Daisen-in Temple.  An interesting fence, once again made from bamboo, and sitting on top of a line of rocks. the gutter at the base of the pic is also interesting. Made from rocks and tiles. It must have been a very damp garden as I can see ferns growing wild along the fence line.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Dragon's Head

A closer look at the Dragon's Head that decorates the covering on the walkway. I am assuming he is a water dragon that is there to help protect the walkway from fire. It is, after all, built entirely from timber.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Covered Walkway

Walking through the grounds of the Daisen-in Temple is done in style. There are covered walkways to protect you from the weather. Even these walkways were decorated with scrolls, dragon heads and lace carvings.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Garden View

Just one view of the grounds of the Daisen-in Temple. Note the very clean moss at ground level. No doubt the moss sweepers had been around.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Temple Archway

Just an archway inside the Daisen-in Temple. The pic is not that great as I had trouble with the light. But I do love the patterns everywhere. Patterns in the decoration at the top, line-work in the first curve, carved timber in another, The change of line from being smooth to pointed from the top to the bottom. Then there is the beautiful patterned carving at the base. If we look closely, carved timber lace work can be seen at the top of the next doorway, shown in this pic towards the bottom. So much inspiration for my stitching and lace work.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Daisen-in Temple

The Daisen-in Temple is another Buddhist Temple in Kyoto, famous for it's rock garden. The rock garden is nearly 500 years old! Do rock gardens require maintenance? I am sure they do, these rocks are carefully raked into patterns every day, especially when some animal comes to visit and leaves footprints all through the gravel.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Room With a View

In my last post you may have noticed the big doors at the side. As we sat and ate our lunch we all commented on the garden outside through those doors. The workers at the restaurant kindly opened the doors to let us view upon this. How beautiful and tranquil is this garden?

The restaurant is in the grounds of the Ryoan-ji temple, and this garden is part of the grounds also. Note the garden lights again. There is one over on the right, and another hard to see one hiding behind the tree. Once again there is all that beautiful moss on the ground under the tree.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Yudofu Restraunt

In the grounds of the Ryoan-ji Temple stands a  yudofu restraunt. Yudofu, so I found out, is tofu cooked in hot water in a pot. I had never had tofu before, but there was always a first time. When it came, the pot was laden with tofu, and other things, and it wasn't just hot water either, it was a very flavoursome, clear broth. I tried to find out what the basis of the broth was, and through a language barrier, found out it was seaweed. I might add here that the tofu was OK, not quite the same as a piece of lamb, but very pleasant all the same. I was told it was the best in the world at this restaurant.

 Accompanying the yodufu were other delights set out on a sectioned plate. I had noticed that sectioned plates seemed to be the in thing in my time in Japan. There were all kinds of things, all vegetables of some kind, and I had no idea what they were. I just ate because I was hungry, and this was lunch. Some of the things I tried were very nice, others were disgusting, but I did try them all. I found that there was an underlying flavour to everything, so asked our guide. We came to the conclusion it was sesame.

You may have noticed the cushions on the floor and no chairs. That's right, no chairs! we were supposed to kneel on those cushions to eat. Have any of you seen me try to kneel lately? I wonder why not? Mmmmm.......................... DH has knees that don't work, and that gentleman in the photo has a bungy leg,( he is a footballer) so none of us were kneeling to eat. It is amazing what chairs can be found when required!

All in all a food experience I will remember.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Dragonfy

Further along the walk by the lake, back to our waiting taxi, I spotted this little dragonfly having a rest. Note what he was resting on, another bamboo fence of course. I love dragonflies, and have been trying to get a decent pic of one for a long time now. I will keep trying.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Lake View

This is the lake that we waked past to get back to our waiting taxi. It was full of life, and if you look closely you may be able to see the turtle sitting on the rock in the center. Note also the use of bamboo poles used to prop up and support the old pine tree on the other side.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Another Temple

Yes, still another temple. I am getting lost now, and have to keep referring to my itinerary. I think this was part of the Kinkaku-ji Temple grounds, found as we wandered back to our waiting taxi's from the Golden Temple. I remember there was lots of incense burning, the smoke of which can be seen in this pic. Incense and my nose do not get along so I stayed well back for this one. There were ropes to pull to make the bells ring, but because of all the incense, only a few brave ones from our group tried this task.

Friday, January 9, 2015

An Island Shrine

What we found as we visited all the temples, gardens, shrines and castles, they were mostly surrounded by water, or had lakes not too far away, reminding me of the moats of the old English castles. This lake features a small island with a small structure. The structure has a small Buddha at the base. Obviously another shrine for something, and that tree beside it, although small, looks very old. I wonder what the significance of the island is? Obviously something, though I didn't get a chance to ask. If you look closely, you may even see the use of bamboo again, under the tree on the other side of the lake.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Bamboo Fencing

As we roamed around gardens of temples, castles and shrines, one thing I did notice was the use of bamboo. It was very much used for fencing. Fencing off pathways like in this pic, and sometimes fencing of plants. It is used for support of plants, and shaping trees and a many of other ways. We noticed it everywhere.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Golden Temple - Final View

A final view now of The Golden Temple as we leave to visit still more sights of Kyoto. In this one we can see the colour changes happening as Autumn sets in, and I believe in a few months time this lovely building will be covered in snow. Very hard to believe as the previous day was well into the 30's in temperature.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Another Shrine

I spotted this little collection in the garden grounds of the Golden Temple.  I think it may be a small shrine, dedicated to family. Visitors would throw coins, presumably to give hope to all families.

Monday, January 5, 2015

An Iris

This lonely iris was in bloom by the edge of the lake around the Golden Temple. I am not sure about in Japan, but I have irises in my garden in Sydney that bloom in spring. It was autumn while we were there. There were lots of them growing around the edges of the lake, but this is the only one that I saw in flower.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Garden View

Another view of the lake and garden in the grounds of the Golden Temple. I am not sure what the bird is, it could be a crane but I don't think his neck is long enough. He looks quite at home here surveying his kingdom.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Roof Decoration

I have mentioned before in previous posts about the roof decoration of the old buildings in Japan. This is just one of the many patterns that adorn the circular end tiles of a roof. If you look closely, the same pattern can be seen on the end of every ridge in the roof, but note that they differ from roof to roof.  At the edges of the scalloped tiles between them, there are also patterns, different to what are on the circular ends. Then of couse there is the dragon/lion head at the ends.

Friday, January 2, 2015

An Old Pine

This pine tree was in the grounds of the Golden Temple. We were told the age of it, but my memory escapes me. What I do remember is that it was in the hundreds of years in age. Note the use of bamboo again, this time it is used as a structure to support the bottom limb of the old pine tree.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Golden Temple Grounds Pt 2

A view of the lake surrounding the Golden Temple. Once again those stunning hand pruned pine trees, the garden lights, and the old Japanese maple in the foreground. Just to the left we can see the colours of the leaves turning, and lined along the waters edge, believe it or not, are irises. ! am not sure if they have been strategically planted or are growing wild.