Beyond The Staircase Ruins at the Kuuya-taki Waterfall
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Looking Back on the road less taken  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back
on the road less taken

Picking up the story of last month's visit to the Kuuya-taki Waterfall in western Kyoto, where the story started with “Discovery On The Way to The Waterfall” and, after intermediate posts about bugs and bark, was most recently addressed in “Finally Reaching the Kuuya-taki Waterfall”.

At one point in the approach to the waterfall you pass under the stone shrine gate seen earlier, and from there off to one side are the ruins of an old stone staircase being reclaimed by the mountain. We decided to see where it went.

The staircase is very steep, and barely there. The first third or so ascends one direction at an angle up the mountain, then it bends to go straight up for the rest. The photo above is at the bend, looking back.

Looking Up from the bend  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Up
from the bend
Context Nicolas caught me blinking (cringing?), but it shows the context well photo by Nicolas Joannin  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Nicolas Joannin, http://regex.info/blog/
E-P2 + LUMIX G VARIO 14-45/F3.5-5.6 at an effective 28mm — 1/15 sec, f/4, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Context
Nicolas caught me blinking (cringing?), but it shows the context well
photo by Nicolas Joannin
Half Way Up  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Half Way Up

At some point on the way up the side of the mountain becomes reinforced by a traditional Japanese stone wall, suggesting something substantial at the top....

Edge  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Edge

Looking beyond the edge to the steep face and its current tangle of vines gives a good feeling of the vibe of the place...

Vibe steep and spooky  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Vibe
steep and spooky

When we got to the top, we discovered...... nothing. It was an area that appears to have been abandoned for decades, mostly devoid of man-made objects, but strewn with overgrown rubble of old tiles and stones, as if they had been discarded here long ago.

Rubble  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 3600 — map & image datanearby photos
Rubble

Most fragments were nondescript, but the broken tile above was one of two bigger ones that had some character.

photo by Nicolas Joannin  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Nicolas Joannin, http://regex.info/blog/
E-P2 + LUMIX G VARIO 14-45/F3.5-5.6 at an effective 28mm — 1/15 sec, f/4, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
photo by Nicolas Joannin
Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Detail  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Detail

It had two inscriptions on the sides...

Clearly a Date but I can't make heads or tails of what that date is  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Clearly a Date
but I can't make heads or tails of what that date is

As best I can tell this says 「大乙五年八月之新調」 or maybe 「七乙五年八月之新調」, which means “newly made in August of the fifth year of ______”, but I can't tell what the era is. Anyone have any ideas?

Update: According to this helpful comment left below, the date is 1916, and the inscription on the following photo includes the name of the artisan who created the title.

On the other side we find an inscription that I have no clue how to read or what it means...

Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking for Bugs the tile was mostly hollow  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking for Bugs
the tile was mostly hollow

Looking over the edge of the flat area, back down the mountain, revealed more spooky vines...

Looking Down  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Down
Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

The other tile fragment of note was quite elaborate...

Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/2.2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 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
Heading Back  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Back
Green-Painted Rock Lichen?  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Green-Painted Rock
Lichen?
More Vines  --  Kuuya-taki Waterfall (空也滝)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
More Vines

Continued here...


All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

Hi,Jeffrey-san

You really love ‘kuuya-taki’!
Todays posts were so intereting for me.
I could read inscriptions on the tile.
It says…「大正五年 八月之新調」 and 「京都洛西片木年 岩見治三郎製」.
I don’t know what 「片木年」 is.
I want to know why this tile was discarded here.
I’m waiting for your next report.

from detective Y 🙂

So, the date is 1916, and the other includes the signature of the the artisan who made the tile, Jisaburo Iwami. I never would have gotten that, so thanks! Yes, I like the waterfall… I never realized one was so close to Kyoto. I hope to go back many times. —Jeffrey

— comment by usamaru on July 23rd, 2012 at 12:29am JST (5 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

What is intriguing for me is why did this place fall to such ruin? The stairs with handrail would seem to indicate it enjoyed a bit of popularity back in the day.

— comment by Bob Barlow on July 23rd, 2012 at 10:41am JST (5 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink
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