Monday, November 28, 2005

Eikando Zenrin-ji Temple

Zenrin-ji Temple has more than twelve hundred years of history. The temple has produced a number of high priests of great ability and one of particular importance was Eikan (1033 - 1111) under whom Zenrin-ji Temple flourished. Eikando (永観堂) therefore derives from Eikan who was highly respected and honored by the people of that time.
The temple is famous for the statue of the Amida Buddha looking back over His shoulder. According to the story, one early morning on February 15th, 1082, when Eikan was walking around the altar chanting nembutsu (chanting by repeating Amida Buddha's name), suddenly Amida Buddha came down the altar and began to walk ahead of Eikan. So antonished Eikan could not move, then the Amida Buddha turned back over His left shoulder to look at him and admonished, 'Eikan, you are dawdling'.
Now, it is the best season to enjoy autumn leaves (momiji) in Kyoto. One can now enjoy the beautiful show of colors in gardens, temples or even during mountain drives - usually a daytime event. Momiji lovers not only flock to temples on a warm sunny day, but also when temples are illuminated as maple leaves color the night sky.
A look at the red momiji highlighted by artfully-placed lamp against the surrounding darkness. Six hundred and fifty lights shone upon approximately 3000 maple trees in and around the temple precinct of Eikando.
Illuminated by soft lights, it created a feel (aura) that is different when viewed under sunlight.
Transquil and peaceful atmosphere throughout. When I felt the light - I somehow felt Zen.
My ex-dorm mate friends and I enjoyed the light up that night. Zhang Tao (China) and Yacchan (Japan).
The love birds - Yacchan and Roeun (Cambodia).
Menaka (Sri Lanka) and Tomo-chan (Japan) like good buddies.
The walking path leading to the temple beautifully lighted with cylindrical lamps
After the temple visit, we went to Zac Baran, a jazz bar cum restaurant. They gave me a farewell treat. From left to right; Menaka (Sri Lanka), Agnaek (Holland), Constantine (Germany), Renato (Peru), Yacchan (Japan), Zhang Tao (China), Yumi-chan and Tomo-chan (Japan).


Ed said...

Looks like everyone had a fun time. Are you all part of an international program?

fotographix said...

Nice photos. Japan is a beautiful place!

zbjernak said...
i love this

very nice

Lee Ai Ling said...

You know, since I was so busy chasing the sunlight in Eikan-do tht very day, I forgot all about the Buddha statue!!!! Must have glanced at it in a hurry. And they were chasing us out since they were about to close for the the night light up.

Patrick Leong said...

ed : i used to live in an international dorm for a year and a half. i still participate dorm activities from time to time despite i am staying now in my own apartment.

fotographix : hi hi. thanks for message.

zbjernak : yup. some of my friends like that picture too. calm and allow some self-reflective moments.

ai ling : i too was amazed with the design of the statue of the amida buddha. at first i thought the buddha has three heads but looking closely, i was wrong. i must say that eikando has more impressive light up for autumn viewing compared to the kiyomizu-dera temple.

Sidney said...

A very international crowd!

Amanda Brightwell said...

Very cool, love the leaves against the dark...

Lene said...

autumn leaves are beautiful...and Yacchan is pretty! =)

Anonymous said...

Hilo: Today i learnt a new word.
Momiji.... hehe..
Never though of autumn leaves can be so beautiful that shot on nite time... stay cool n continue ur nice pics.

Anonymous said...

what is the difference between Koyoo and Momiji?