Cherry blossoms in motion!

Actually, the camera is moving more so than the cherry blossoms… This short video was taken from the crane last week’s picture was taken from. It’s too bad that we all couldn’t have enjoyed the cherry blossoms from this angle!

This is an amateur video, you’ll hear some voices in the background but you will also be able to hear some birds singing. It was taken in the morning before the temple is open to visitors.

We have entered into Golden Week here in Japan! I’m sure there will be many, many people spending their vacation days visiting temples and sites around Kyoto. While the cherry trees are no longer in bloom, the temple grounds are covered with green and Goten and the other temple structures are as beautiful as ever! If you will be in Kyoto for Golden Week be sure to come visit Ninna-ji during your stay!

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Final Fall Colors

Now that it is December Ninna-ji is operating on winter hours, from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. We close 30 minutes earlier than usual so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to see everything before closing!

Here are a few pictures of the fall foliage with some of the beautiful structures here at the temple! There are still some leaves on the trees, but the peak for foliage has passed.

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The next seasonal pictures you can expect to see here are snowy ones!

Some Fall Colors

Five-Storied Pagoda

It has recently become consistently colder here in Kyoto, and it is starting to bring out the fall foliage around the temple. There are still only a few places where the leaves have changed colors, but in the next few weeks we can expect to see more! This tree by the Five-Storied Pagoda has only changed color on a few branches. When the entire tree has changed color it will be very beautiful, but the contrast of the green and red make early fall foliage photographs like this one special.

Five-Storied Pagoda

Five-Storied Pagoda

Five-Storied Pagoda

The five-storied pagoda at Ninna-ji was completed at the end of the Ka’nei era (1624 – 1644). It was built about the same time that the taller five-storied pagoda at Tōji Temple was constructed. Pagodas constructed during the Edo period (1603 – 1868) tend to have roofs that are all approximately the same width, the pagoda at Ninna-ji demonstrates this characteristic. Pagodas that have roofs which become smaller with height are built in an earlier style dating back from the Heian and Kamakura periods.

The pagoda at Ninna-ji is a total of 36.18m (118.7ft) tall. Inside the first story, five Buddha images are enshrined amongst colorfully painted walls and posts. Although it is not possible to see from the outside, on the inside there is one main pillar in the center of the building that reaches up through all five floors surrounded by one pillat at each of the four corners. This type of engineering combined with the flexibility of wood makes pagodas flexible and resistant to earthquakes. Historically pagodas are very strong and durable structures, with the notable exception of a severe weakness to fire.

A little help

Five-Storied PagodaIf you look closely at the four corners of the five-storied pagoda, you can see four figures helping to hold up the weight of the roof of the first floor. It was difficult to take clear photos, be ready with a good zoom setting to get better shots than this! I’m missing one figure, his photograph just didn’t turn out quite right…

 

Bird’s-eye View of the Temple

Ninna-ji Temple

You have to be some distance away from the temple to get a view like this! It is easy to see that Ninna-ji is truly at the base of a mountain in this picture. I’ve tagged several of the structures that appear in the photograph, see which buildings you can identify! There is a large copy available on Flickr, click the image to go to Flickr and download the larger size.