My friends and I visited so many temples...Todai-ji, To-ji, Koufuku-ji. And one more my friends and I visited was Ninna-ji. The architecture is different from temple to temple, different sects, different nobility supplying funds. The Ninna-ji temple was originally a villa for Heian nobility (this was in the 800's years!) and later was turned into a temple with sections being added.
The rooms we passed through were connected by gleaming wooden outdoor corridors and the whole complex surrounded numerous indoor gardens.
I found this rock garden fascinating with the carefully groomed pebbles laid out in a check pattern. How do they do that? And someone must re-do it daily because not a leaf was anywhere... It's not like you could just walk across the pebbles and pick up fallen twigs along the way.
I had trouble catching the shadows just right to photograph the pebble pattern, but you get the idea.
This temple must have had connections with the cherry blossoms as everywhere I looked there were blossoms carved into the wood work or painted on the room screens. I discovered a demure cherry blossom pattern along the eaves of the thatched roof.
And another one hidden away between the slats of the gardens. Searching for the cherry blossom patterns was great fun while I wandered through this temple!
Cherry blossoms painted on the gold leaf screens.
Cherry blossoms on the roof tiles.
Fading cherry blossoms carved into the wooden doors.
Of course the real beauty is in nature. I can see how some architect would be inspired!
There was rebuilding going on in some places. I thought it interesting how the wooden poles were erected to make a climbing area for the traditional carpenters.
Oh dear... I don't know where this was... but the orange building and the pink cherry blossoms were very striking.
Back at the bullet train. Time to go back home. No cherry blossoms here...
But wait! What's that I see on the cap of a bullet train janitor? Cherry blossoms!
Kyoto and Nara is a trip to remember. Back to normal life!