Thursday, 21 February 2013

Myoumanji and Kamigamo Jinja Photoglut

As I move about the Internet, I occasionally find bouts of elitism aimed at perceived Japan newbies, particularly in regards to a certain class of content they supposedly have a tendency to churn out. Some people seem to believe that posting pictures of a temple is the pinnacle of weak-kneed FOBishness. Well, fuck those people. Here's a temple and a shrine in northern Kyouto that I trekked out to this week.


The entrance to Myoumanji (妙満寺).



The photo above this line is a little more visually interesting, but the one below has slightly better composition.





I haven't seen all that many temples in my day, but I have a pretty good sampling, and I've never seen a tower like this. I'm far from an expert, but it looks directly influenced by Indian Buddhism to me.

Yeah, all the little alcoves in that tower are occupied by a miniature Buddha like this. The level of detail would be incredibly impressive, were the temple not set on this site in 1968. Which always makes me wonder, why this thing where they move temples instead of building new ones? Tradition? Conservation? Laziness?




Now for Kamigamo Jinja (上賀茂神社).


Young lovers!



Should've positioned the camera closer to the surface of the water.


Notice how this is later in the day, so the snow's melted and people have started to turn out.


There was a wedding going on inside, hence the two mounds of gravel. I would've loved to have watched for a while, but I didn't want to gawk. Also, if you look carefully you can see the miko conducting the ceremony. There sure are a lot of them. I've always wanted to get a picture of a miko in the garb of her craft, but that's somehow always felt a little crass, even if she is most likely a university student working a part-time job who doesn't care one way or the other about Shintou. Luckily, this time I came across one who was kind enough to pose for me:

 Totally legit.

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