Posts Tagged ‘ Nanzen-ji ’

Two Views from the Westin Miyako, Kyoto

The two photos below were snapped with a little “smartphone.”  The first on July 31 and the one below it on August 3, 2011.  They were both taken from my little balcony, attached to my room at the Westin Miyako Hotel in Kyoto.  I’ve posted them, or versions of them, before, last year near the times I took them.  I offer them again because they’re somewhat peaceful and calm-making, I think.

Looking towards Nanzen-ji Temple, Kyoto. 31 July 2011.

Looking east, towards Nanzen-ji Temple, Kyoto. 31 July 2011.

I took this in the afternoon, after arriving at the hotel.  The sun’s behind where the camera’s pointing, beginning to go down in the west.  You can see large main gate (yes, that’s a “gate” — the Sanmon, completed in 1628) of Nanzen-ji Temple on the left.


Looking north towards Okazaki District. Kyoto, 3 August 11.

I took this in the morning.  The sun’s to my right.  The green roof on the left, towards the foreground, is the International Community House.  Lots of memories there.  In the background, against the last green hills, you can see several of Kurodani-dera’s buildings (Kurodani Temple).

I hope you like these photos. . .



From my little balcony, facing north, towards Kurodani Temple. July 31.

As I’m here on business, I made a point not to bring a “nice camera” along, so all shots from this trip come from my little Droid phone.  Those buildings (roofs) to the left of the photo are the gate, main worship hall and lecture hall of Kurodani Temple.  (which this site’s regulars know I have something of an obsession with).  If you look closely on the extreme right-hand side of the photo you can see the very top of the pagoda that sits atop Kurodani’s eastern hill.

View from my little balcony if I look to my right:  Nanzen-ji Temple ( This photo, in my Rain Gallery, was taken about three years ago, just at Nanzen-ji’s entrance):

Just after the rain. View looking east, from Westin Miyako room. July 31, 2011.

Several things motivate me to post these pieces on Japan, especially regarding Kyoto-related experiences. Obviously, I just enjoy share with others places that I’ve found special over the years.  I want for people who will never come here to feel at least a bit, if only a slight bit, of what I do.  For those who’ve been to Kyoto, it’s a gift to remind you of places that I know have moved you, too, to reignite memories.  A few residents, or people who are within hours of Kyoto, stop by this website, too.  Not that you need any reminding of what a unique place this is, but I hope that my perspective — the perspective of someone who stops by once or twice a year, as it’s been the past dozen years; someone who himself once lived nearby (close to Hirakata-shi, down the Keihan Line) — helps reinforce your affection for this singular place.

Morning gloaming, from my hotel room  . . .

About 10-til-5:00 a.m. East mountains, facing north. Kyoto. August 1.

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Later on this morning the semi (pron. “seh-mee” / セミ・ cicadas) are making a wonderful, powerful racket here:

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雨 . . . “rain”

Returning to my native village after many years’ absence,
I’ll, I put up at a country inn and listen to the rain.
One robe, one bowl is all I have.
I light incense and strain to sit in meditation.
All night a steady drizzle outside the dark window —
Inside, poignant memories of these long years of pilgrimage.

By Ryokan(1758-1831).

New gallery, Rain,  is up.   Please look for the kanji (Chinese character) for “ah.may“, rain, above —  atop this Front Page.  Also, please see and enjoy  Shapes & Shadows,  also a new gallery.

In front of Sutton Place hotel.  Tokyo.  2008.

In front of Sutton Place hotel. Tokyo. 2008.


Re:  a couple of emails received today concerning the Japanese Election.  In sum, it is a watershed event as turning out the (which was never “liberal” nor that “democratic”) in favor of the LDP.   The pressure’s now on for the DPJ (“Democratic Party of Japan”) as it has a lot to deliver and if it doesn’t begin delivering  —  on issues like unemployment, elder care, child care, farm issues — and delivering soon, the LDP would be poised to sweep right back in.  A friend of mine, a former U.S. Bureau Chief for a Japanese economic news wire service, wrote to me two days ago saying, in part:

“. . . but that doesn`t mean we trust 100 %  Mr. Hatoyama and DPJ led by him because their platform is too vague. . .”   They are promising to introduce new child benefit for all Japanese parents regardless of their income by just cutting waste of the central government budget.  They are also promising to abolish toll fee of expressway.   But they are going to finance it [by] cutting the waste. . .   They are promising many but are against tax increases.  In Tokyo, the DPJ will easily win the election.  I am not surprised at it.  In rural area like my hometown [  ], the LDP is likely to lose the election.  It is unbelievable because Japanese farmers had supported LDP for several decades.  DPJ pledges to gurantee farmers income and it is working.  You may have read a story  from Tokyo that Japanese people are hoping change and supporting DPJ.  That is overstated to some extent.  [Hatoyama] is no charismatic political leader . . .”

Otherwise, this site will steer mostly clear of politics.