End of 2023 Kyoto Walk -3

The remainder of my Kyoto shots, taken in the morning when I went out for a walk in the Kenninji area of Higashiyama. The equipment was the usual Lumix G99 and Leica DG12-60.

First, Yasui Konpiragu Shrine. Although I went out rather early in the morning to avoid the crowds, the temple grounds were very crowded with tourists, especially young people.
Apparently, it has become an occult favorite spot due to the TV anime. I see what you mean.

In contrast, Kenninji Temple is deserted. This kind of quietness is rare in Kyoto these days.
Kenninji temple is surrounded by silence in the dull sunlight of a winter morning.

The “stillness” doesn’t directly show up in the photo, but hopefully it conveys the atmosphere well.

There were a few clouds in the afternoon, but it was nice and sunny at this time of the day.

Kenninji Temple is famous for two of its most famous “Dragon & Clouds” paintings, the sliding doors of the Hojo (late 16th century) and the ceiling of the Hodo (early 21st century), but since we were walking before opening time on this day, we were not able to see both.

Although it is not a substitute, let us take a picture of the powerful roof of the Dharma Hall.

There are signs all over the temple grounds saying, “Don’t pick tea without permission”. In my ignorance, I wondered where and how someone would pick tea at a temple.

Later, I learned that Eisai Zenji, the founder of Kenninji Temple, was also the “founder of tea” who introduced tea cultivation to Japan, and that tea trees are often planted on the grounds of Zen temples, not only here.
↑This is all tea trees. No wonder there are so many unscrupulous people.

As I was walking south past Kenninji Temple, I was surprised to look back and see the five-story pagoda of Yasaka. It is quite wonderful to see such a thing in Kyoto, a city where one can see such things in one’s ordinary life without thinking.

The last photo is of “Ajiki Alley”.

Even in Kyoto, there are not many of these traditional machiya row house alleys left. Here is one of the precious alleys that have been intentionally preserved. It is a real estate rental property for artists, which is offered by highly art motivated owner at a reasonable price so that artists who love Kyoto can work and live together and engage in creative activities. For more information, please visit the official website.

あじき路地 | 京都東山にある若手作家の暮らす町家長屋
京都東山にある築100年を超す町家長屋「あじき路地」。若手作家たちが、ここを店舗兼住宅として日々活動しています。

I was able to take a quiet stroll around the temple because it was early in the day, but as the sun rose, Kenninji Temple and the Higashiyama alleyways would be swallowed up by the crowds of people. I myself am one of those who are part of it, and I am really troubled by the overheated popularity of sightseeing in Kyoto.

This is the end of this year’s Kyoto Photo Walk. I am planning to visit Kyoto again during the flower season, but I am not sure if that will work out so well…

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