Saturday, February 21, 2015

Kyoto 京都市, Japan

Hello, thanks for coming. This post shows photos from two evening walks in the city of Kyoto and an afternoon walk in one of the beautiful Imperial Villas' gardens. I hope you enjoy the photos. They were taken in October 2014
Kyoto Tower. The first thing you see when you come out of Kyoto station

Grey against grey

Tall and proud

Evening stretches
there were a lot of cranes around the temples near the station. Great to see them

Singular building near the station

Beautiful at night

Giant mushroom

More than three centuries ago, when Kyoto was the capital of Japan, three magnificent gardens were created there for the imperial court

Today these three gardens - those of the Sento Imperial Palace (Sento Gosho), the Katsura Imperial Villa (Katsura Rikyu), and the Shugakuin Imperial Villa (Shugakuin Rikyu) - are among the most celebrated in Japanese garden art

This garden is Shugakuin Rikyu. Shugaku-in Imperial Villa (修学院離宮 Shugaku-in Rikyū), or Shugaku-in Detached Palace, is a set of gardens and outbuildings (mostly tea-houses) in the hills of the eastern suburbs of Kyoto

Beautiful sliding panels

So lovely you have to see it twice! 
The Upper Garden contained a large artificial pond, created by building an earthen dam across a ravine; the pond contains a number of small islands. Unlike the typical Japanese garden, it is a very large stroll garden, making extensive use of the technique of "borrowed scenery"

We were there a bit early for the full autumn colours, but it still didn't disappoint

A simple pavilion of several rooms and wooden porch provides an excellent vantage point, with superb views of the pond, its islands, and the surrounding Kyoto hills

The pond is ornamented with Chitose-bashi, a relatively ornate bridge of two large, stone piers connected by a central walkway, each capped with a wooden pavilion, one of which sports a Chinese phoenix of gilt copper

On fire!

Walking around the lake

Paradise must be something like this....

It woudn't be complete without a bridge


Later that evening in the centre of Kyoto....

....the sunset was simply....


On the way to our hotel, walking to the metro, these lovely young women, dressed in traditional Maiko style, were happy to give me a final photo of the day. A beautiful finale!