ENKOJI TEMPLE – a room with a view
This is the last part of today’s journey; and let me tell you it is a journey and a half just to get there. The guys who brought along their carry on roller bags are cursing every step I bet. Not only did they have to lug them around in those crowds, they couldn’t use their tripods.
Leaving Komyo-in all nice and peaceful we now have to walk to the station; being careful at the train crossing – we are no longer peaceful by the time we reach the station.
When we arrive at Gion-Shijo station there is another one of those famous painted trains – I think it looks like the snow monkeys that we will see at the end our Japanese Adventure – but I digress.
The plan is to grab some lunch near Gion-Shijo Statiion and then head for the temple. Up little streets, down little streets, up more hilly little streets, this is certainly turning into a work-out. Finally we arrive at Enkoji Temple and there is a long queue but it seems to moving quite quickly. No opportunity for some entrance gate photos.
They are in pots so hopefully they are taken inside when the cold night air hits, so with tickets in hand we enter – the roller bag guys have to check in their bags as they are not allowed – it’s not turning into a good day for them.
HISTORY LESSON : Enkoji is a zen temple founded by Todugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate and one of the most important figures in Japanese history. Enkoji is away from the standard tourist trail (something to do with the hilly streets I would presume) and much more peaceful as a result. It features beautiful Autumn colours and a modern dry garden design not seen in many traditional temples.
The light is not the best – the sun is in the wrong place but I can always try again when we make our way out. Even though there looks to be a large crowd in the background – most of them were on the way out so I start to make a move for the famous windows.
The grounds are lovely – and of course there are the customary Autumn colours – – I love the way the leaves have fallen onto the ground –
When I arrive at ‘The Windows’ I am astounded that all the crowds have gone- I have a clear shot so to speak – – how great is that – and only one or two people on the pathway in front of the windows –
What do you reckon so far? How lucky am I? Of course it had to do with patience as well as every now and again someone would walk in –
Wandering through the shaded areas – the air is so fresh – and it is so peaceful. Every now and again there are lovely little features and enchanted shady nooks –
There is even a little cemetery tucked away among the trees –
Time for me to head back down – maybe even the light will be right when I get back to the stone gardens –
The gardeners who do this work must be so patient and precise to get every little pebble in the right place.
I decide to wait for the rest of the group outside the temple entrance – where I run into RL. I am so excited about my ‘money shot’ photos of the windows and apparently when a few more people arrive I am the only one who managed to get the photo – well apart from RL of course. Some were whinging that it was too crowded, not enough time but I didn’t seem to have a problem. Photography is all about patience. If you haven’t got any of that then just give up and get out of my way.
We are a tired little group as we head to our hotel – Daiwa Roynet Hotel in Osaka. While we wait for a taxi – it is nice to see the buildings light up –
We check in – the usual small room but it is clean and the bed is comfortable and I have little tweeting birds in the bathroom!
Once we are settled we decide to head for dinner. There is an Irish Pub across the street called The Man in the Moon – sounds good to me. The atmosphere is great and I order Fish and Chips.
The fish was delicious and of course proper chipees – needless to say my tummy is now full and I am ready for a nice sleep – we have a late-ish start tomorrow – meeting at 8am.