Archive for the 'Temples and Shrines' Category

Posts about various temples and shrines

Heian Shrine Setsubun Burn, 2017: Lackluster Photos of a Visually-Exciting Event

Today was the Setsubun festival at the Heian Shrine (and many shrines around Japan). I've written about the overall festival earlier, such as "Setsubun and Mamemaki: Driving out the Demons" nine years ago, and "Attack (and Repulsion) of the Evil Spirits" five years ago.

Today I went only to watch the final bonfire event. I explain it in some detail in "Intense Burn: Shinto Rite at the Heian Shrine" from nine years ago, and so like this post from five years ago, this time are just some photos.

I wandered over to the shrine about half an hour before the [...]

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Snowy Ride With Lots of New-Expressway Construction

Two weeks ago we had a fair bit of snow in Kyoto (a rarity, since many years we have none), so that probably meant that the mountains in the north (which get lots of snow) were impassable, so I took a bicycle ride south-west towards Kobe. I still found snow.

Here's the 100km ride:

The first climb was the eastern Yanagidani climb, which I had descended before but never ridden up. I took my time, stopping for photos like the above when I ascended above the snow line, and at one point to help a group of elderly hikers find [...]

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Cycling Through Bamboo Groves and Up Steep Mountain Slopes

I had a long and interesting bicycle ride down to Osaka last weekend that I've been wanting to write about, and I thought I might finally get around to it yesterday, but I went on a ride instead. Today, I'll just share some pictures from yesterday's shorter (76km/48mi) ride (view at Strava).

First I visited a bump of a hill covered in bamboo and bamboo farming, with quaint roads running here and there through it.

I didn't know what to expect when I got to the bamboo-grove hill ("mountain" is too much for this), but the road I happen to [...]

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A Deeply-Red “Wisdom King” at the Ushio Kannon Temple

I made another visit to the hard-to-reach Ushio Kannon Temple, which I wrote about a couple of months ago, but this time I went by car and took my nice camera. The beautiful, rich matte red of this dimly-lit statue caught my eye...

I don't know anything about Buddhism, but this statue is apparently of a Wisdom King named "Ragaraja", a "dharmapala deity" that is "known to transform worldly lust into spiritual awakening", according to Wikipedia.

Visually it's quite interesting, and was one of many in a small, dimly-lit hall.

To be continued...

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Rear Courtyard at the Eigenji Temple

Continuing on from "The Back Entrance to Shiga’s Eigenji Temple" the other day, about a trip last week to the Eigenji Temple (永源寺) about an hour's drive from Kyoto, after entering via the rear gate, you find a closed-off courtyard to one side...

You're not allowed inside, but it's still pretty from the gate.

To give a better sense of the space, here's a wigglegram:

To be continued...

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