Roofs and Rock Gardens at Kyoto’s Sennyuji Temple
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Main Hall Sennyuji Temple (泉涌寺), Kyoto Japan -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/8, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Main Hall
Sennyuji Temple (泉涌寺), Kyoto Japan

As I wrote back in April's “An Amazing Day of Photography at Some Eastern-Kyoto Temples”, I'd spent a wonderful morning wandering around an area of eastern Kyoto that I'd not visited before, with many temples and a bounty of spring blossoms and flowers. I did one followup post a couple of months ago, but much remains that I'd like to share.

Perhaps the largest temple complex I came across was that of the Sennyuji Temple (泉涌寺). It has many buildings separated by large expanses of gravel — a decidedly non-spring feeling not made better by the weather, which was heavy overcast punctuated by periods of harsh sun. Many photos, like the one above, came out flat.

But with many buildings are many roofs, and I love the complex shapes of temple/shrine roofs, especially in views that layer them...

Many Layers of Roofs -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/2000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Many Layers of Roofs

I often try different versions of the same composition by changing the focus distance, and in this case, I can't tell which I prefer, the one above with the focus toward the background, or the one below with the focus at the very front (the roof in the far upper right)...

Layers of Roofs, #2 -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/2000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Layers of Roofs, #2
Depth -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Depth
Main Hall, Etc. -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/800 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Main Hall, Etc.
Small Sign of Spring -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1600 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Small Sign of Spring
Stone Lawn -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/6400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Stone Lawn

One of the smaller buildings was segregated by its own walls and gate, inside of which was a courtyard with a “lawn” of carefully raked stones. I'm not sure whether this counts as a “stone garden”, but I'm not sure what else to call it.

Here are a few views...

Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos

Moving around to other areas of the complex...

Roof Detail -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Roof Detail
Service Path -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Service Path
Cacophony of Roofs -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cacophony of Roofs
Sorta' Cliché but still peaceful -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Sorta' Cliché
but still peaceful

I eventually came across a stone-garden forecourt for some place I could not enter, but the front wall and entry gate was pretty...

desktop background image of an impressive wall and gate at th Sennyuji Temple (泉涌寺) in Kyoto, Japan -- Impressive Wall -- Sennyuji Temple (泉涌寺) -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/6.3, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Impressive Wall
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Better Than a Red Carpet -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Better Than a Red Carpet

Judging from the satellite photo of the location (via the map link under any of these photos), it seems that beyond the gate is a graveyard.

Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/5000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/5000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

from the dead-end corner where I took the photo above, there was a closed gate over which I could just barely see a garden down below on the other side...

Quiet Time -- Sennyuji Temple(泉涌寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/6.3, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Quiet Time

In looking again at the satellite photos, I see a complex of connected buildings with many small gardens of various kinds, but all with rock “lawns”, so these rock lawns must be this temple's thing.

It had cost 500 yen (about US$6.50) just to enter the grounds, with some additional fee to enter the complex of buildings. Knowing now about the many gardens, I'd like to go back and give it a try, but I didn't on that day.

Still, as it was, I was just getting started for the day.

Continued here...


All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

Beautiful photos of a very lovely place. I can almost smell the wind and the temple incense. Beautiful compositions. Thanks so much for sharing the photos!

— comment by Diana O on August 14th, 2011 at 1:07pm JST (6 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Yes indeed. So liked the Impressive Wall that it’s now my desktop background.
Annie

I went ahead and put up desktop-background versions… enjoy! —Jeffrey

— comment by Annie in London on August 15th, 2011 at 5:52pm JST (6 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Hello, I visited Sennyuji in October.
The stone garden is where the Emperor walks to his private compound. No one but he can enter.
The guide says that when his car pulls up, a carpet is rolled out onto the stone pebbles, and he walks upon this.

— comment by Jessica on December 20th, 2012 at 2:22pm JST (5 years ago) comment permalink

Ah, Sennyu-ji. The place you describe as … a stone-garden forecourt for some place I could not enter, but the front wall and entry gate was pretty… is an Imperial misasagi (mausoleum) containing the tombs of 14 Emperors and about 50 remains or partial remains of family members and others.
I went there specifically to find that misasagi. The beautiful stone Tsukubai in front of the misasagi is shaped like the Imperial Chrysanthemum.
Dick H. Portland, Oregon, USA

Hah, I hadn’t noticed the tukubai (stone water basin) shape. You can see only a hint of it in the one photo. I just checked my archives and find no other photos of it, so I’ll have to check it out next time! —Jeffrey

— comment by Dick H. on August 23rd, 2014 at 3:23am JST (3 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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