2018 Incredible Japan – Day 13 Part 1

RURIKOIN TEMPLE – looking through the windows

Thursday – the usual 7am breakfast and then it is a medley of trains etc to get us to Rurikoin Temple that is only open twice a year – cherry blossom time and the spectacular Autumn leaves.

This will be our first point of interest today before heading back into the city of Kyoto for our own private lunch with a Geisha, but more about that in Part 2.

We are getting about 4 trains to the temple and on the way we pass the famous Minamiza Kubuki Theatre. Following is an excerpt of what to expect if you are ever lucky enough to attend a performance – –

‘The curtain rises and immediately the audience bursts into an appreciative round of applause for the beautiful image of Mount Fuji depicted on the backdrop of the stage. Centre stage on a dais is a samurai, wearing oversized armour and exaggerated make-up.

Below is a photo – not mine of course but obtained from the web – how great is it?

He is brandishing an enormous arrow and speaks in a guttural voice that I find all but unintelligible. From his tone though, and his bombastic poses I gather that he is not happy, and his makeup, in vivid lines of white, black and red, suggests nothing if not anger. As he struts and leaps about the stage, members of the audience shout their appreciation.

At one point he jumps high in the air and lands – bang! – on his backside! The audience again erupts in applause and cheers – and I with them!’  Doesn’t that sound great?  Definitely something to see if I am ever in Kyoto again.

Back to reality – the weather is misty but not cold and yes, the coloured leaves immediately grab you.  What a wonderful area as we investigate further.

Up the path a bit there is the Louis Icart Gallery.  You can read all about it on the link – it really did not do anything for me except provide a nice dry, warm haven for the loos – I think everyone had the same idea.  Back outside and time to continue our uphill walk to the Temple.

Isn’t this little stream beautiful?  Maybe it is something to do with calming the impatience as we line up.

This is the first time that Rurikoin Temple has been on the Incredible Tours list – we are so lucky.  We are told that it features outstanding garden design and is one of the best locations to view Kyoto’s Autumn colours.  It also has a second floor that gives us the platform to view its most famous feature – but that is yet to come – stay with me to find out what it is.

When we get to the head of the line there is a lovely lady who is taking photos of us with our cameras if we wish.  Once this has been done it is in the gate and away we go – this place really is incredible.  The colours just pop everywhere – reds, oranges, yellows and every shade in between.

There are quite a few people here but the pathway around the Temple is quite comfortable and there are plenty of places to stop and take photos without the usual photo bomber.  It is now time to visit the highlight of this Temple – a room with a view!

Even though there are loads of people crammed into this space, everyone is patient and because of this everyone gets to take their photos.  The tables that you see in the foreground are very highly polished so that the colours reflect the outside.  The above photos are at the front of the room, but it is just as interesting to the right of this – more windows – – more colour – not so intense but wonderful just the same.

Polished tables – polished floors – everything is done to perfection so that everyone can get that gob smacking moment.

Every now and again I get the chance to stand at the front before the next lot of clickers come through.

During this time I am lucky enough to see the leaves falling off the trees – so of course camera settings change and voila – see photo left.  I could watch these for ages but I must make way for other photography nuts.

These photos above do not have the brilliant Autumn colours but they do have a very calming green effect.  The photo far right was going to be a wonderful Japanese gardener carrying his tools of the trade up the path – but he saw me and hopped behind a bush – he was, I imagine, being thoughtful about spoiling my photo but it would have been great with him trundling up the path.

I am now heading back down the path to gather with the rest of the group as our time here is coming to an end – still there is so much that catches my eye and so much that I must photograph.

Little nooks and crannies everywhere – and everywhere lovely Autumn colour – –

I just couldn’t pass this up – and no – I did not put the leaves in the water – obviously the Gods wanted me to take the photo and I, of course, had to oblige.

After meeting back at the entrance we now head back into Kyoto for our highlight lunch with the Geisha – and I am certainly looking forward to that experience – – –

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