Saturday, April 01, 2006

Chion-in

Today I visited Chion-in Temple, in the east Kyoto. This temple was established by Honen, a famous monk in the 12th century who founded the Jodo Sect of Buddhism.

The main gate of the temple. Can you see how huge it is?
It is said to be one of the biggest wooden gate in the world!












In the precincts there are a lot of green and sakura(cherry) trees, buildings including tea-ceremony houses and a bell tower. (sakura were not in well bloom, though)


Oh look! A bride with attendants taking pictures!!
(the bottom of the photo; the bride is the white one in the middle)
How lucky I am to encounter such a scene, because in Japan it is very rare to hold a wedding ceremony at a Buddhist temple, contrary to Shinto shrines, very common wedding venues.

The reason is, I think, that people are so familiar with temples as where they hold funerals that they may not think of holding a happy ceremony like wedding there.
That bride and her family probably are devout Buddhists.


Near the main gate there is a beautiful Japanese-style garden named Yuzen-an.


It has a weeping sakura tree (left) , so brightly bloomed.










At the back of the precincts I heard a Japanese nightingale singing; How sweet a spring tidings!
The cherry blossoms are about to bloom. Can't wait! :)

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