Field Snapshot: Kōdai-ji, Kyōto, Japan (25 November 2016)

Following my customary walking route through Kyōto’s Higashiyama district, I began with Kiyomizu-dera and gradually worked my way north, pausing for the usual refreshment break at my favourite tea house. Further on into the stroll, I entered a well-known landmark for the first time in years, having skipped it a couple of times after my initial visit. This place is famous not merely for the splendid examples of classical Japanese architecture within its walls, but also for its beautiful traditional gardens.

I haven’t got much to say about Kōdai-ji (高台寺) – not because it isn’t worthy of note, but because it’s the sort of place that’s best appreciated with the eyes. If you’re after more information, Wikipedia can start things off in terms of background details, and the ever-helpful Japan Guide can fill in the blanks where location and access are concerned.

I first visited this place several years ago, during one of my earliest trips to Japan. It’s not particularly large as temples go – although the grounds may seem quite sprawling, due to the varied terrain and the layout of the walking paths – so I didn’t bother returning on any of my subsequent stays in Kyōto. With my memories of the initial experience having faded sufficiently to make another visit seem worthwhile, I popped in for a look during my November 2016 holiday in Japan.

Now then, enough chit-chat. Let’s bring in the pictures.


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