Thursday, December 01, 2005

Shugakuin Imperial Villa Part 1

Shugakuin Imperial Villa on the slopes of Mount Hiei was built as a retirement retreat for the Imperial family (Emperor Gomizuno-o) in 1659. It is composed of three villas situated at different heights - the lower villa, the middle villa and the upper villa.
To see the Shugakuin Imperial Villa, which is free, one must apply for permission at the Imperial Household Agency Office, located on the grounds of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. The length of the guided tour is approximately 1 - 1.5 hours.
The Shugakuin Imperial Villa is definitely one of the best place in Kyoto for stunning fall foliage. We gathered for a short briefing at the front of the Miyuki-mon - the gate to the lower villa (Jugetsu-kan).
Fallen maple leaves scattered on thick coat of moss.
On the grounds of the lower villa and also elsewhere, some of the fallen maple leaves still brilliant red.
In the lower villa, there is the Jugetsu-kan - a tea pavilion and a place where the retired Emperor Gomizuno-o rested before going up to the upper villas.
Meanwhile, the middle villa consists of two buildings - Rakushi-ken and Kyaku-den (not shown).
The two buildings are not particularly outstanding but supposedly residence fit for a princess (Princess Genyo). A quiet and serene place to enjoy the beautiful garden.
In the garden we saw a classic japanese maple - display of brilliant red leaves and beautiful bark.
Another picture of fallen maple leaves.
Visitors crossed a small stone bridge heading to the exit of the middle villa.
Before visitors enter or exit gates of each villa, the tour guide on duty turn a key to unlock them.
We walked along the pine aisle and enjoyed the breathtaking view of the Mount Hiei as we headed for the upper villa. There is a 40 metre difference in altitude between the lower and upper villas.
Here, the gate leading to the upper villa. The upper villa has an amazing view of a large pond and a beautiful garden (to be continued ...) and more autumn pictures. Not to be missed.


Lrong said...

Beautiful indeed... certainly agree with you about this palace being an excellent place to view the autumn colors...

zbjernak said...

want like tht meh

those red colour trees...
never see before leh..

love the "classic jap mapple tree" pic... very nice.

Eddie said...

i thought u are going to post in black and white again

Amanda Brightwell said...

I agree with zbjernak. Also, the leaves on the moss is prety cool, thought it was grass at first glance.

richy said...

Oh, wonderful colors. It reminds me of my autumn in Nikko.

Eddie said...

PAT, Malaysia has no season right?

Patrick Leong said...

lrong : yes yes. more nice pictures in the next posting. i am glad i have enjoyed the show of autumn colors before leaving japan.

zbjernak : yes. i don't deny that malaysia is less scenic as compared to japan. and it seems easier to take touristical pictures in japan. four seasons definitely cool !

eddie : black or white mode ? gila ?!? malaysia has no four seasons but rainy and dry season. lol. test me issit ?

amanda : i like those pictures too. how is the baby doing ?

richy : nikko is also another good place for autumn viewing. i have been there just once and wish to see nikko again.

Acrix said...

Now i certainly knoe why u like autumn so much :) I like the fallen maple leaves photo very much :P

Ed said...

Wow. There are some terrific autumn colours. I love the reds.

Jean said...

For me which lives in France, it is a great chance to see your so beautiful photographs of Japan!! Large a thank you for these so beautiful images.

Eddie said...

you always told me that black and white can capture more "feeling"...hahaha

Patrick Leong said...

acrix : well to rank my favorites, i like autumn the most, then winter and perhaps summer and the least spring. i like the spring scenery but it is also time that i can get terribly sick (because i am allergic to pollens).

ed : don't you have the same in canada ?

jean : i am lucky to live here in kyoto. the colorful leaves match with the historical architecture of temples and shrines. it is just superb ! but i will be going home soon. i will miss japan.