Monday, December 05, 2005

Koto-in Zen Temple

The Daitoku-ji complex - one of the oldest and most important Zen buddhist temples consists of 24 subtemples. It is strongly associated with tea ceremony - and most of the subtemples within the complex have famous tearooms. A good place to visit for a look at the Zen culture. Two weekends ago, I visited Koto-in with a japanese friend.
Koto-in established in 1601 is a subtemple of Daitoku-ji by the famed military leader Hosokawa Tadaoki (1563 - 1645), located within the precincts of the main temple.
The temple has in its possession numerous rare paintings and art objects, both Chinese and Japanese.
And here is the famous tea house, known as Shoko-ken, which stands in the temple, built by Hosokawa.
An example of a japanese family crest (Ka-mon) - Hosokawa's family crest. Each family crest is not only a symbol or an emblem of a family, but it is also the evidence of family blood and roots (tracing a family tree). I wonder how did it all begin ?
The garden of this temple is of elegant simplicity and quite famous for its maple during the autumn season.
Autumn leaves are falling. By the next one or two weeks, many trees likely to bare all for the coming winter.
Charcoal blocks used to absorb and allow better flow of rain water (I guessed).
We also visited the Imamiya Shrine - quite an impressive complex. The place is quite quiet and filled with peace. Shown is the honden (main building).
Outside the shrine compound, there are shops selling sweet scented grilled aburi mochi with miso sauce. It was quite tasty. I like it.
Visitors can enjoy eating the traditional rice cake and sipping hot green tea while enjoying autumn foliage in front of the shrine gate.


Acrix said...

The grilled mochi at first i tot is some sorta grill meat :P This give me an idea, maybe i can grill the normal mochi and spread a layer of satay sauce :)

Sidney said...

It is interesting to see how thr Japanese are keeping their traditions alive.

Eddie said...

post something about winter pls
ah....! momiji no iaya da!

Patrick Leong said...

acrix : normal mochi layered with satay sauce ? yum~ yum~ i think it makes a good combination.

sidney : yes. and i am glad i have the opportunity to experience the many famous festivals and to visit the many ancient temples and shrines during my 3 1/2 years stay in japan.

eddie : winter ? no more time. will leave that job to you.