Friday, December 02, 2005

Shugakuin Imperial Villa Part 2

After entering the upper villa gate, we climbed up a steep flight of stone stairs.
When we reached the top, many of us were definitely amazed by the beauty of the pond and its surrounding garden. The island in this pond is said to resemble a swimming dragon.
In the garden of the upper villa, there are three bridges - a wooden bridge, an earthen bridge and a stone bridge called Chitose-bashi (shown above), which means thousand-year-old bridge.
The Kaede-bashi is just a simple wooden bridge with railings but maple leaves seen from this bridge were gorgeous. I like this picture alot.
Another picture of fall foliage - mix of striking yellow and brilliant red.
The Yokuryu-chi - a large pond where courtiers enjoyed music and poetry gatherings, sitting in boat and going around the different islets of the Miho-ga-shima and Banshou.
It was a little hazy on that day as we walked the garden pathways encircling the pond.
One of the three bridges - Do-bashi, the earthen bridge.
On the left side of the Chitose-bashi bridge, you can see the highest point of the islet where a Kyusui-tei tea pavilion is located.
Reflection of the Banshou islet and the backdrop mountain. So serene.
After the visit, now I see why the Shugakuin Imperial Villa is considered so magnificent - a harmonization of the surrounding mountains, the garden vista and the beauty of fall foliage.
A worthwhile experience. Better than the ones I saw in Arashiyama and Tokufuji Temple three years back.
The imperial villa is approximately 133 acres. In 1964, the Imperial Household Agency has arranged buyovers of paddy fields and farmland surrounding the complex in order to preserve the villa's scenic beauty, which remains intact today (not shown).

The Shugakuin Imperial Villa is a must go and I am sure the natural scenery during other seasons is as fascinating as during fall. Remember - to visit the villa (free admission), you need to apply at the Imperial Household Agency Office and don't forget to bring along your passport.


Lene said...

I am really awed! The place itself is breathtaking, waiting to be captured. I can feel the solemnity and serenity of the place, I can only imagine how very calming to be just looking and exploring the Villa. Thanks so much Pat for sharing every bit of it! Kudos to you and your remarkable photography! =)

Lee Ai Ling said...

Love Shugakuin Imperial Villa. Gorgeous piece of land.

noomai said...

I went there last year when the leafs were truly red yet. But even with that, it was still beautiful. AL's right. It's a gorgeous piece of land!

月姫 (Tsuki Hime) said...

ิbeautiful picture Pattrick....I went there 1 hour before your group started. For me it was the most perfect place to visit for Red leaves.

ROB said...

What an awsome display of colour. Excellent series. It had me looking up and down them quite a few times.

Sidney said...

Those leaves have incredible colors! This is truly beautiful!

Jean said...

The colors of the autumn in Japan are really fantastic! I admire the talent extraordinary of the gardeners who can harmonize forms so well, lines, colors. They give birth to in us from soft emotions, so calm!

Amber Amethryne said...

These are beautiful photos, Patrick. Keep up the good work and hope to see many more postings! :)

Patrick Leong said...

thank you everyone for nice comments. yep. i have enjoyed the show of colors as well at the shugakuin imperial villa. i hope there'd be opportunity to visit this place again in the future.