A First Visit To Kyoto’s Koutou-in Temple
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Exiting the Koutou-in Temple Kyoto, Japan -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/4, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Exiting the Koutou-in Temple
Kyoto, Japan

Two weeks ago, in “Around the Kyoto's Daitokuji Temple Complex”, I mentioned that Stéphane had introduced me to a temple I really liked (something he's done two more times since, the Kongourinji Temple a couple of days ago, and the Yoshiminedera Temple yesterday). The temple two weeks ago was the Koutou-in Temple, one of the many in the Daitokuji Temple complex.

The entrance from the road is simple but tasteful...

Outer Entrance -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/400 sec, f/3.2, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Outer Entrance

The short path turns to the left, under the roof you can see at the left side of the frame.

That's the main entrance gate, which is fairly small and simple by many standards...

At the Main Gate -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 31 mm — 1/80 sec, f/3.2, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
At the Main Gate

Through the gate, the path turns again, this time to the right, and you're greeted by...

Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 @ 24 mm — 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
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This long path in a small but densely wooded area, and is engulfed from above by a canopy of maples. It's jaw-dropping pretty, and will be even more so when the leaves turn color.

I tried a wide-angle shot to try to capture a sense of the canopy of leaves, but the extreme dynamic range (very bright brights in the leaves, and very dark shadows at ground level) made it difficult. I don't really care for the result, but this highly-processed picture perhaps gives a sense of things...

Canopy -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 @ 24 mm — 1/400 sec, f/13, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Canopy

There were so many ways to view the simple path and entrance, it was a bit of a creative-possibilities overload...

Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos

The main building seems to resemble a house more than a temple. It has a wide moss garden and a long veranda from which you can enjoy it...

Enjoying the Moss Garden -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/320 sec, f/5, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Enjoying the Moss Garden

Inside is very dark, with only minimal electric lighting added in modern times. One such light was over the tokonoma, in which a simple scroll and flower arrangement are displayed. It was very dark, so I had to really up the camera sensitivity to get this...

Simple Tokonoma -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Simple Tokonoma
Perimeter Hallway Very dark in the shadows, very bright where open to the garden -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/60 sec, f/4.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Perimeter Hallway
Very dark in the shadows, very bright where open to the garden

In addition to the moss garden, there's a more traditional garden in the back...

Part of the Traditional Garden -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/320 sec, f/5, ISO 3600 — map & image datanearby photos
Part of the Traditional Garden
Garden and Tea House -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/320 sec, f/4.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Garden and Tea House
Garden Gate -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm — 1/320 sec, f/4.5, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Garden Gate
Large Wash Basin built from a stone plundered from the Imperial Palace in Korea, in the late 1500s ( which bothers me; I'd think it should be returned ) -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Large Wash Basin
built from a stone plundered from the Imperial Palace in Korea, in the late 1500s
( which bothers me; I'd think it should be returned )

The temple was founded in 1601 by the great warrior Tadaoki Hosokawa, and behind the traditional garden is a grave area for him and his wife, and for 12 subsequent generations of his family.

His wife, Gracia Hosokawa, was killed the year before Hosokawa created the temple, during the politically turbulent era leading up to the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate and its 250 years of ensuing peace. She's noted also for being the most prominent Japanese Catholic of the era. (The character of “Mariko” in James Clavel's Shogun is based upon her.)

Grave of Tadaoki and Gratia Hosokawa -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/320 sec, f/6.3, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Grave of Tadaoki and Gratia Hosokawa
Returning from the Traditional Garden with the moss garden visible in the background through the open partitions -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/320 sec, f/5, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Returning from the Traditional Garden
with the moss garden visible in the background through the open partitions

I don't know the lady in kimono (who graces the lead photo as well), but she was a lot more photogenic than Stéphane, so I was happy to have her in my shots.

On the way out I noticed a few leaves had actually started turning...

First Taste of Autumn in Kyoto's late October -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
First Taste of Autumn
in Kyoto's late October
Exit Path and Maples this will be stunning in mid November -- Koutou-in Temple (高桐院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Exit Path and Maples
this will be stunning in mid November

I didn't post these photos at the time because I wanted to surprise Fumie with this discovery first, and today we could finally enjoy a date there. The colors indeed were more advanced, but still nowhere near peak. The same could be said for the crowds... it was much more crowded than two weeks ago, but still not too bad, but it will certainly be oppressively crowded next week. I'm sure I'll be drawn there to find out...


All 7 comments so far, oldest first...

Having worked with Moss gardens before, I can hardly imagine the amount of upkeep necessary to keep the falling leaves, and anything else, off the moss. Is there staff who comes in at night to vacuum or hand-pick the moss, and all the paths, clean? Could be a pleasant task if not under pressure.
And in the first photo, was a large part of the top of the entrance gate missing?

People are there (likely the family that owns it now) during the day, but the moss garden is bordered mostly by bamboo, so leaves are less of a problem. A few leaves would be pretty, I think…. as moss gardens go, it was not particularly good. The gate in the background of the lead photo is not the entrance gate… it’s a sub-gate seen after passing through the big entrance gate and turning right, looking down a long path. The sub-gate is not open to the public; to actually enter the temple, you turn a couple of more times before finally reaching the building. —Jeffy

— comment by Grandma Friedl on November 12th, 2010 at 12:41am JST (7 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Amazing location, so lucky !

— comment by luc on November 12th, 2010 at 3:12am JST (7 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

I so envy your freedom to visit these temples… and so thankful for your skill, time and patience in bringing us these experiences. Thanks.

— comment by AdelaideBen on November 12th, 2010 at 7:05am JST (7 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Thanks for sharing these great photos. I particularly liked the one of a woman walking on the path (http://regex.info/i/JF7_041028.jpg) Regards, Tom. San Francisco

— comment by Tom on November 12th, 2010 at 9:48am JST (7 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your photos. They’re stunning! Thank you for sharing them!

— comment by cathy on December 15th, 2010 at 9:08pm JST (7 years ago) comment permalink

Very good collection. thanks for sharing…

Have a great day to all.

— comment by Mar on March 19th, 2011 at 4:08pm JST (6 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Beautiful photographs. My friend in Japan recommended Koutou-in last time I was in Japan. Unfortunately I ran out of time. But the next trip, it is at the top of my list. Thank you for the inspiring photos!

Patricia

— comment by Patricia on February 16th, 2015 at 4:43pm JST (2 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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