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!
Today, a peek at a couple of the decorative tiles on top of Kannon-do. The rectangular faces are faces of oni or ogres. These tiles are called oni gawara (ogre tiles) and are often found on buildings at Buddhist temples. The figure to the top of the right-hand image is a type of tomebuta tile, a statue made to affix the corners of traditional tile roofs. There are many different designs for tomebuta tiles, you could fill a whole photo album with pictures of tomebuta tiles from around Kyoto!
The original Kannon-do was built in 951, but was lost to fire during the Onin War. The present building is a reconstruction from the 17th century. Kannon-do has a hip-and-gable roof covered in tiles, and is a rather tall structure for a building from the early Edo period. The principle image enshrined within Kannon-do is the Thousand-Armed Goddess of Mercy (Thousand-Armed Kannon) and the inside of the building is painted with colorful images of Buddhist deities.
It is a little difficult to gauge the size of the building from this picture, but imagine a person standing next to the building with their head coming just over the height of the railing and it will give you a better idea of the size. Kannon-do is usually closed to visitors, but the next time it is open to the public you can expect a post about it on this blog!
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.
The Kyoto Ancient Culture Preservation Society (homepage in Japanese here) has organized special limited time exhibitions at several temples and shrines around Kyoto for this week. Ninna-ji is included among them and for the next few days you can gain admission to Kannon-do and Kon-do! Normally these buildings cannot be entered by visitors, so it is a special opportunity to be able go inside. You can enter the buildings until May 8th with a ticket being sold near the buildings. They are open from 9am to 4pm daily.
The hours and days remain the same for the other participating locations around Kyoto, a list of which you can find here (in Japanese).