Created 12-Sep-12
40 photos

It is a little difficult to get to this temple, but the extra effort is well worth it. As you enter the mountain during the autumn season you can see the splendid colours of the maple trees. Entering the temple through the massive Sun-mon gate a few steps up and you are in front of the Kannon-do or main hall. From there you can walk through the various paths and see the Tsurigane-do or bell tower, the Goma-do, these are flanked by the famous Yuryu no Matsu pine tree or the “Pine of the Playing Dragon”. As you go up the slope of the mountain you can take a rest at the Keisho Den pavilion and enjoy the scenery below. Further up you come across a stone lantern called Kenka Hi, there is a poem written by Kenshoin inscribed on a stone slab. A little more up is a 13 store stone pagoda before you reach the Shoren no Taki (waterfall), the stones along the pond are brought here from Shorenin tempe in Kyoto. Now its time to take a break and enjoy the Rengejuin no Miwa (garden). There are some koi swimming in the pond. Koi or more specifically nishikigoi, are ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens and they become quite large. By now you have almost reached the top and the path is a small and leads through the pine trees. Some majestic white lion statues are protecting this area which is a grave site called “Shorenin no Miya gobyo (graves). It is the resting place for the Shorenin no Miya family who are connected to the Chrysanthemum throne. This is the last point on your journey up Mount Nishiyama and now its time to descent and take a last look at all the marvellous buildings and scenery. If you like to take pictures and enjoy the view it will probably take you about 1 1/2 hours. There is another smaller temple a bit further down the mountain that is worthwhile to visit. Its much smaller and boasts of a rich history, the temple is called Jurinji and it's the residence of the famous Poet Narihira!
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