June 25, 2017

Curtain of the Founder's Hall

Higashi Hongan-ji Temple, Shimogyō-ku, Kyoto
Fujifilm Finepix X100

From the website of the temple: The most important place in the temple complex, where the image of the founder Shinran (親鸞) is enshrined. It is the center of worship for the Shinshū Ōtani-ha (真宗大谷派) branch of Shin Buddhism (浄土真宗, Jōdo Shinshū). This hall is located at the center of the precincts and is one of the largest wooden structures in the world, being 76 m (250 ft.) in length, 58 m (190 ft.) in width, 38 m (125 ft.) in height. Within this hall, on either side of Shinran's image, there are portraits of the previous abbots (門主, monshu) and two scrolls, one with ten Chinese characters and the other with nine, extolling the virtues of taking refuge in Amida Buddha (阿弥陀仏). The most recent construction of this hall began in 1879 with its completion in 1895. The roof tiles, which total about 175,000, were handmade and donated by this denomination's followers in Mikawa, Aichi Prefecture (愛知県三河地方).

June 24, 2017

Old Store's Noren

Ippō-dō Tea Store, Nakagyō-ku, Kyōto
Fujifilm Finepix X100

From the Website of the Store: Located in the heart of Kyōto, Ippō-dō (一保堂) Tea Co. has been providing the highest quality Japanese green tea (緑茶, ryokucha) for nearly 3 centuries. More than just a retailer, Ippō-dō is a multi-faceted tea company directly involved in the procurement and blending of carefully selected tea leaves. Our teas are of the finest class, cultivated in the lush fields of Kyōto and the surrounding area. This region is renowned for producing the highest grade of green tea in Japan, thanks largely to its mild misty climate, mineral-rich soil and near-perfect balance of sunshine and rainfall. (Read more...)

June 23, 2017

Object with Tiger Lilies

Murasakino Daitokuji-chō, Kita-ku, Kyōto
Fujifilm Finepix X100

Tiger Lilies (Lilium tigrinum) command our attention with their bright and showy, orange-colored flowers covered with black or deep crimson spots, giving the appearance of the skin of the tiger, hence their common name. Native of China and Japan, they are robust and easy to grow. Amazingly decorative, Tiger Lilies feature unscented 5 inch blossoms (12 cm), mostly downward facing with gracefully recurved tepals. Prolific, mature bulbs can produce up to 12 blossoms per stem and will multiply to form clumps over the years.

June 21, 2017

Saururus Chinensis

Kajū-ji Temple, Yamashina-ku, Kyōto
Fujifilm Finepix X100

Saururus chinensis (半夏生, hangeshō) is a deciduous, marginal plant with attractive white splotches on top-most leaves. Large drooping catkin-like flowers. Suitable for ponds, streams, lakes and bog-gardens in full sun and partial shade. Height 45-30 cm. Flowering time June-August. Water depth 0-10 cm over the crown.

June 20, 2017

Restored Assembly Hall

Kyōto Prefectural Office, Kamigyō-ku, Kyōto
Fujifilm Finepix X100

Japan's oldest assembly room. For 64 years from 1905 to 1969, Kyōto prefectural assemblies had been held here. In 2015, it was renovated to bring it back into its original state to mark the 110th anniversary. However, all of the photographs used to restore it were in black and white, so the red carpet and the green seats set in a arched shape were chosen by guess. It's a mystery what the actual colors.