Day 1 – Texture

Japanese work days start early – very early. By 7:15 usually all the trucks have left the company and are on the way to the genba (現場 – another word that is not easily translated – it means scene, site, the place where stuff happens – in other terms: construction site for gardens). I arrived at 8 and missed Oyakata (親方 – the master), but his wife welcomed me and begged me in for tea. After introducing myself and answering questions about my life, I was told that one of the company’s employees would pick me up around noon. Oyakata’s wife recommended that I visit the nearby Toji-in. I had been to this garden before, and it is one of the gardens that have a special place in my heart. I took one of my favorite shots there, which became the title image of my first PechaKucha presentation in 2012.

I will write more about Toji-in later, but wanted to share this one picture of the temple’s wooden structure with you. It probably is the wooden structure of aged cedar that made me fall in love with Japanese architecture and gardens. And I remember taking this picture and thinking: I am happy to be back.

Charred wood (焼杉板Yakisugi-ita) at Toji-in temple in Kyoto (等持院)

Charred wood (焼杉板Yakisugi-ita) at Toji-in temple in Kyoto (等持院)


See what else I did on my first weekend in Kyoto: Day 1-3 Sakura paradise Kyoto

 

Day 30 – When the crowds are gone – After hours in Kodai-ji

The spring season special opening (春特別拝観) with extended hours and a beautiful light-up of the garden is ended yesterday at the last day of the official Golden Week. I experienced the garden today for the first time without visitors and was amazed by the atmosphere. Even the staff was gone while I did my last round of the day. I was tired after some days of long long working hours and all I wanted to do is sit on the wooden veranda (engawa – 縁側) of the temple, enjoy the garden and fall asleep.

I didn’t, but I took this picture:

Kaisan-do, the Hall of the Fouding Priest of the temple after hours

 

Kaisan-do, the Hall of the Fouding Priest of the temple after hours