Friday, February 10, 2012

Heian-Jinguu (Heian-Shrine)ーKyoto ②Japanese stroll garden

This is the entrance of the famous garden,"Shin-en",
located near "Byakko-rou".

"Shin-en" is typical Japanese stroll garden,designated as a place of scenic beauty.
The Japanese stroll garden places great importance on the path.
Stroll gardens usually are quite large and have a pond in the central area encircled by a path (or several paths),which allows visitors to stroll about.
By traveling about the garden path,visitors could take "excursiions" designed for them by their host.

This garden is famous for its cherry blossoms in spring,
and for azaleas in the early summer,
irises in June,and colored leaves in autumn,
a snowy landscape in winter.
In every season,we can enjoy its beautiful scenery.

The layout of the garden itself was strictly determined according to the principles of traditional Chinese geomancy,or Feng Shui.

I found camellia flowers.
"Sazanka" in Japanese.

This architecture is called "Taihei-kaku".
Everyone is overwhelmed by its breathtaking view.
(Especially April is the best season.)
This large east garden lake recalls the leisurely boating parties of the 8th century.
This landscape gardening was finished in 1916.
We can enjoy fine view of the lake from here.
This tasteful architecture was bestowed by Imperial Parace.
This lake is "Seihou-ike".
And that house is "Shoubi-kan",
kind of cottage or guesthouse in old days.
In April,cherry blossoms are really wonderful here.

This is Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art,
located very next to Heian-Jingu Shrine.

April exhibition plan is not fixed yet,
but I think it is worth visiting.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Heian-Jinguu (Heian-Shrine)ーKyoto

I found a big gateway (to a Shinto shrine).
This is your guide when you visit "Heian Jinguu".
This is one of the largest in Japan.

"Heian-Jinguu" was built in 1895.
It is a restoration of ancient Imperial Palace,"Heian-Kyou",11-12th century.
The shrine is dedicated to Emperor Kanmu and Emperor Koumei.
Kanmu moved the capital to Heian-Kyou,and Koumei was the last before Emperor Meiji,
who moved the capital to Tokyo.

This is "Outen-mon".(応天門)
This is also a restoration of the main gate of ancient Imperial Palace.(5/8 size)
This is really big gate...
This is "Daigokuden".
More than 1000 years ago,this palace served as the imperial residence and the administrative centre of Japan for most of the Heian Period (from 794 to 1185).

The architecture mirrors the style and features of the Ancient Imperial Palace.

Two women are taking a walk in a shrine,having a pleasant chat.
This is "Souryuu-Rou".
"Souryuu" means "Azure Dragon".
In China,"Azure Dragon" is a guardian deity of East direction.
That is why this tall building is located east of the premises.

According to Chinese constellation,
"White tiger" guards West direction,
"Vermilion Bird" guards South direction,
"Black Tortoise" guards North direction.

The Four Symbols are four mythological creatures in the Chinese constellations.
Each one of them represents a direction and a season of the year,and each has its own individual characteristics and origins.

This constellation was brought into Japan from China in ancient times.
And this constellation influenced Emperor Kanmu.
He regarded this Chinese constellation highly when he built this Palace.

This is "Byakko-Rou".
"Byakko" means "White Tiger".
So this building is located west of the premises.

"Souryu-Rou" and "Byakko-Rou" make a pair architecture.
They are stunning.

And this big shrine has a beautiful garden,called "Shin-en".
In April,this garden is covered with a profusion of flowers!
You can't miss it.
I'll show it on my next post.

To be continued...