Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Koyo (Autumn Colors) of Kyoto II

Kyoto Day Two

Kyoto, in regards to the autumn colors (koyo), it can only be described as a gem of Japan. Kyoto is certainly not the only place to see the changing seasons but absolutely one of the most photogenic. With its high concentration of temples and shrines, accented by the dramatic red star of the koyo season, the Momiji tree (Japanese Maple) and the vividness of the yellow of the Ginko tree, and every color in-between, mother natures palette is truly a site to behold where even photos cannot do it justice. Of course I tried.

Off the Higashiyama subway station of the Tozai line in Kyoto is a series of temples.  The Shorenin, Chionin, Kodaiji, and Kiyomizudera Temples surrounding the Yasaka Shrine and Maruyama Park.

A dramatic root system in front of the Shorenin Temple

A mysterious path between the Shorenin, Chionin temples.

Apparently the the mysterious path leads to the burial place of Emperor Hanazono

Emperor Hanazono final resting place.

The Chionin Temple
Mieidou Hall

A huge bell that was the largest in the world between the 17th and 19th century, set against beautiful koyo at the Chionin Temple.
A beautiful Ginko tree set against a home on the hillside of the eastern moutains of Kyoto.

Bamboo fence outside of Maruyama Park

A dressed up cutie around Yasaka Shrine

Another dressed up cutie around Yasaka Shrine
Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine

Gate of Yasaka Shrine
Gate of Yasaka Shrine

The gate of Yasaka Shrine leads into the heart of Gion.

Gion, one Kyoto's famous geisha (professional entertainer) districts, where dim lamps, narrow streets and traditional dark wooden merchants homes are the landscape.  Thin due to the taxation based on frontage leaves a dark and mysterious and very beautiful Gion.

Even Starbucks fits into the facade of Gion

A bridge over Shirakawa Canal leads to a Gion restaurant.
Shirakawa Canal running through Gion

A dim lamp lit Gion provides a very special ambiance. 
A long climb through a merchant laden street to Kiyomizudera Temple with spot light lit target above.

The Kiyomizudera Temple

The Kiyomizudera Temple is the crown of the evening with its koyo "light up".  A spotlight from the temple into the sky over Kyoto creates drama against the night illuminated temple and against the Kyoto skyline.

Triple Pagoda and West gate through Deva gate with the spotlight as the backdrop

West Gate and Pagoda

Beautiful Illuminated Koyo
Bell Tower

Kyoto Skyline from Kiyomizudera Temple

Main Hall and Kiyomizu Stage against Kyoto Skyline
Triple Pagoda

Triple Pagoda
Back to Osaka for the night and dinner. One of the last places open was a swanky restaurant called The Barbara Market Place.  Dimly lit with beautiful lamps and long draped burgundy curtains, and the echo of the trains running above providing the ambiance which was only surpassed by the tenderness of the savory and delicious pork I ate tonight.

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