Beating the Crowds at the Middle-of-Nowhere Sokushouji Temple
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Admiring the View it's something you earn after the climb to get there -- Sokushouji Temple (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 @ 24 mm — 1/2500 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Admiring the View
it's something you earn after the climb to get there

Two weeks ago, in the “Bridges Across a Small Valley in Konan” post about an impromptu far-flung photogenically-inquisitive scooter ride, I noted that the trip had produced some delights to post about. One was an out-of-the-way temple not far from the bridges that I discovered at dusk, but it turns out that I wasn't able to get around to posting about it because I've had a really busy time since, with photographically productive visits to the Kongourinji, Konzou, Koutouin, Eikando, Sanzen'in, and Yoshiminedera Temples.

But despite not having had time to post about it, I went back to visit again today, hoping find more daylight than I had the first time. My friend Shimada-san joined me. Even though we got there at 1:30pm, it was already mostly bathed in shade. It's nestled deep in a niche of a steep mountain. Still, it was gorgeous.

Today's Autumn-Festooned Temple Sokushouji Temple (息障寺) in-the-middle-of-nowhere, Japan -- Sokushouji Temple (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 @ 24 mm — 1/250 sec, f/1.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Today's Autumn-Festooned Temple
Sokushouji Temple (息障寺)
in-the-middle-of-nowhere, Japan

As with all my recent trips, I've got tons of great photos, but no energy to even look through them yet. I guess I'll be posting foliage shots through to next spring.

Today was an absolute madhouse in this part of Kyoto, because of all the beautiful temples and shrines. I'm walking distance from some of the most famous in all Japan (Heian Shrine, Nanzen Temple, Eikando Temple, Kiyomizu Temple, and many more), but I was not interested in the oppressive weekend crowds, so thought to revisit the 1,000-year-old middle-of-nowhere temple I'd discovered two weeks ago.

I knew the drive there would be easy once I got out of the craziness that is this part of Kyoto during this time of year, so I mapped out a smart but convoluted route that would put me on the easiest path out of town, and it was going smoothly for me — the opposite direction was always a parking lot, but I had planned well — until I simply forgot to make a turn, and that few-seconds slip cost me 25 minutes because to do a U-turn I now needed to drive in the parking-lot-lane direction. Sigh.

But it was worth it. In the short hour and a half that we were at the Sokushouji Temple, we saw only two other people, a couple with a kid my age who, like us, had walked all the way up the path above the temple (and above the shade, into the sun) to enjoy the view...

Shimada-san and The Teeming Masses we four had the mountain to ourselves -- Sokushouji Temple (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 @ 24 mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Shimada-san and The Teeming Masses
we four had the mountain to ourselves

It was actually a little more crowded than that.... later I noticed two mountain bikes down at the parking lot below the temple, but we never did see their riders.


All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

What is it that appears to a rope net holding the rocks onto the mountain? Is it to warn one away from the edge?

We were on the edge, so as a warning it wasn’t working. 🙂 It’s a huge netting over a large outcropping of rock to prevent large chunks from rolling down onto the temple far below. It’s fairly ugly, and won’t do much if the entire outcrop decides to slide down, but I suppose it would stop car-sized chunks. —Jeffy

— comment by Grandma Friedl on November 22nd, 2010 at 1:24am JST (7 years ago) comment permalink

Nice photo (http://regex.info/i/JF7_047286.jpg). I particularly like the leaves collected on the tile roof. Tom (San Francisco)

— comment by Tom on November 22nd, 2010 at 8:13am JST (7 years ago) comment permalink
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