Around the Kyoto’s Daitokuji Temple Complex
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I had the pleasure on Wednesday to spend the day exploring temples with Stéphane Barbery, who introduced me to an area of Kyoto that I'd never visited: the environs of the Daitokuji Temple, an area with dozens of independent temples, often 400+ years old and related to the violent and tumultuous history of Japanese civil wars in the 1500s that eventually lead to the 250 years of peace that was the Tokugawa Shogunate. It's a sad badge of shame that I've lived in Kyoto for so long but had never been here. My only defense is that the Kyoto area is so rich in history and photogenic delights that one could spend a lifetime here and not take it all in.

“Barbery Blind Photography” spinning the wheel of photographic luck at the Oubai'in Temple, Kyoto Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/4, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
“Barbery Blind Photography”
spinning the wheel of photographic luck at the Oubai'in Temple, Kyoto Japan

These temples have wonderful gardens, but not all of them are open to the public, so when we were walking by the Oubai'in Temple and Stéphane saw it was for some reason open, it was his first opportunity to visit in all the many times he'd come to this area, so he jumped on the chance. (I'd never been to any of them, so I just followed along for the ride). This temple was built in 1562 by powerful general Nobunaga Oda in memory of his father.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos

It has a small but tasteful entrance garden filled with maples and moss that will certainly be positively stunning when the leaves turn in a few weeks. Photography was prohibited everywhere else in this temple, which was unfortunate because it was quite pretty inside, with beautiful landscaping and very old buildings.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos

We wandered around a bit, and I came across a flower of some kind whose name I don't know, but it seemed dreamy with the Voigtländer...

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos

More wandering meant passing more paths and entrances, which always made for nice shots...

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Souken Temple -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 50 mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

This last one was inside the Souken'in Temple, which is also normally closed to the public. It was founded in 1583 as a memorial to, and burial site of, Nobunaga Oda (who himself was mentioned at the start of this post as founding the first temple we visited) by the vile but powerful Hideyoshi Toyotomi, mentioned a month ago in my “Underwhelmed With Northern Kyoto's Jakkoin Temple” post.

The little roof over the entrance way seen in the picture above was a full biological ecosystem unto itself... here's a closeup of the edge:

Souken Temple -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos

It was in this same temple that I found the deep well that I posed about the other day.

We wandered around further, including a temple that Stéphane introduced me to that quickly became my favorite in all of Japan. I'll write about that another day (here).

We also came across some extravagant preparations for a funeral that was to be held the next day, for someone high up in one of the main tea-ceremony schools. Dozens of workers scurrying about, setting things up. Passers by were clearly impressed...

Photo Op Outside The Jukouin Temple in front of the sign announcing the funeral -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35 mm — 1/320 sec, f/3.5, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Op Outside The Jukouin Temple
in front of the sign announcing the funeral

There were lots of chairs lined up everywhere, and this entire huge wall brought in and lined with live flowers...

Wall of Flowers -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 26 mm — 1/320 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Wall of Flowers
Reverse Angle -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 27 mm — 1/320 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Reverse Angle

I asked one of the workers why the wall was brought in, and he gestured to a man at a table in front of many small placards...

Writing Condolence Placards -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Writing Condolence Placards

They were then to be displayed by fitting them into slots on the wall...

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35 mm — 1/320 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos

The seating we could see outside was almost certainly spill-over seating for those who couldn't fit inside the temple, and around the corner were more areas of seating shoved in where they could fit...

Satellite Seating “C” -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/320 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Satellite Seating “C”

Continued here...


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