Two old haunts, seen in a new light (one in a new dark).
Here’s some pics from yesterday’s excursion to Higashiyama. I’ve been to both these places on many an occasion – Kiyomizudera is among my favorite places in Japan, in fact – but because Hanatoro is still going on, it was a good opportunity to see Kiyomizudera by night for the first time. And at Nanzenji, I wanted to check out the Okunoin – the mystical, serene grotto on the hillside behind the temple complex, and one of the subtemples.
This is Tenju-an, which I’d been pointed towards as an “Anaba” – a secret sightseeing place. It seemed odd to me that there could be such a thing in busy Nanzenji, but it’s true in this sense – despite being just across from the main gate, there was practically no one in Tenju-an when I was there, despite the good weather. And it didn’t disappoint – the gardens are yet another sublime example of Kyoto perfection.
The last night pics are of a group of kids who marched up to Kiyomizudera parade fashion, singing a song about being careful with fire. They then proceeded to put on quite a display (see video) which culminated in some sort of ritual game of Janken, which saw them split into two teams, with one member at a time going to the center to challenge the other. The loser had to join the side of the winner. What the purpose or meaning behind this is I have absolutely no clue, but it’s certainly fun to watch kids play Janken.