Arashiyama as Ever
I’ve posted about Arashiyama a few times here, even posted some of these very same vistas before. But every time, every year, is a little different. Sometimes dramatically so. And it’s been too damn long since I dropped by.
Mt. Atago, looming heavy in the summer haze. Not enough time to climb it (soon enough!), but I did hike up the turtle-like mound of Mt. Ogura to the left.
Another angle I always take, from the side of Ogura across the river valley.
After a brisk hike filled with giant bees(!), I rented a bike to ride out to the very northwest corner of town, where Arashiyama narrows down to one mountain pass.
This gate at Toriimoto marks the outermost boundary of Atago. Though still within city limits, it also marks the very end of what can even remotely be called urban Kyoto. From here on, it’s a twisting mountain road to the little village of Kiyotaki on the rapids, where a hike up Atago begins.
Even in well-traveled Arashiyama, there are still ancient sites I’ve only just properly visited. This, for instance, is Seiryoji.
It’s yet another (wow, I can actually use that phrase here!) early Heian-era temple with a ton of cultural properties.
But, being removed from the “famous” part of Arashiyama in a far quieter residential neighborhood, it doesn’t see too many visitors. I try not to take big pictures of strangers and focus on the scenery instead, making even crowded areas look lonely. This here is no trick, though. A few scattered visitors leaving, some monks closing up, and just me.
The central Buddha statue of the temple is rather unique- carved from wood, it was discovered in the 1950s to be hollow and contain stuffed internal organs crafted from silk.
The back door of the great hall opens right into the gardens.
Just me and the sound of gentle wind through the trees, the contemplation of June.
With the evening growing late and rain slowly rolling in over the mountains, time to soak my feet at an open bath and head home.