“ただ静かに、空を仰いだ”

12/5/11   –   22:29

申し訳ない… I think this is the longest I’ve gone without posting since I left. Bah. Sorry, I really have no excuse.

This entry is going to be more photoblog-ish because the pictures can speak for themselves. But before I bombard you, here’s a little background information to provide some context for these shots.

When you think about Japan, most likely at some point within the first minute, you’ll conjure up an image of 桜 [sakura], the pink and white cherry blossoms that burst into life during the spring and just as quickly fade away. Well, sakura has a lesser known but equally as beautiful natural phenomenon cousin called 紅葉 [momiji / kouyou] that similarly appears all over Japan and then slowly disappears. Momiji refers to the turning of leaves in autumn from green to brilliant orange, yellow, and red. There are many temples and natural areas in Japan famous specifically for spectacular momiji viewing opportunities. One such site is 醍醐寺 near Kyoto.

Host-mom was supposed to go to the 箕面 waterfall with me to go see the leaves there but she got sick and the leaves were past their peak already so she handed me some money and suggested I go to Daigoji. Daigoji is head temple of the Daigo sect of Shingon BuddhismIt occupies an entire mountainside and is split into Shimo-Daigoji [Lower Daigo Temple] and Kami-Daigoji [Upper Daigo Temple]. I chose to climb all the way up to the top because why the hell not. I regret nothing. :D

On my way up the mountain, I got super winded and stopped to take a few minutes’ worth of labored breaths at a couple of benches. Nearby was a family and the little girl told me 「後もうちょっとだよ!頑張ってお兄さん!」= “It’s just a little bit further! Hang in there, big brother!” = Why are Japanese children the cutest ever?

The picture on the right is the sign at the top of each mountain that marks the 山頂 or “peak” [although there are probably higher points… I don’t really know how they mean by the term.] I live for the 山頂.

On the left is the crowning structure of Daigoji, the Bentendo. It’s a shrine to one of the seven lucky gods and probably one of the most photographed buildings at Daigoji. The vermilion paint reflects into the pond and the colors are supposed to complement that of the trees. When compared to sakura, momiji’s beauty may be more subdued, but it’s surely no less spectacular.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: