Ohara Sanzen-in & Housen-in

Trip Start Mar 31, 2010
Trip End Mar 31, 2010

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Flag of Japan  , Kyoto,
Thursday, December 27, 2012

I was eager to visit Ohara, but because it is a bit far from the centre of Kyoto, I didn't for a long time. However, I was thinking that if I visit Kyoto in winter, it would be nice to see snow-covered Sanzen-in Temple of Ohara. Sanzen-in Temple is very popular in the autumn-leaf season and it looks tasteful in the snowy season, too. Actually, it was snowing a little bit on the day, but I made up my mind to go to Ohara, expecting it would snow heavilier. It took about one hour to get to Ohara from Kyoto Station. There were many old people reflecting Japanese ageing society.

Anyway, I was relieved to see some tourists in Ohara, because I had been afraid there were no tourists but me. I entered two temples in Ohara: Sanzen-in and Hosen-in. Sanzen-in got popular because of the hit song Onna Hitori (solo female traveller). Most of the visitors to Ohara go to this temple. If you go to this temple in autumn-leaf season, you must be ready for a nightmare of the crowd. The reason I visited the temple was I wanted to see snow-covered Sanzen-in, which is tasteful and much less crowded. When I visited, the temple was slightly snow-covered and barely satisfactory to me. There was a lady transcribing a sutra in the temple and I was a bit fascinated to the transcription, although I was not a devout Buddhist. So I tried a short sutra. I knew that I was not good at calligraphy , but it didn't matter. I tried it for the first time and it was a good experience. The temple gardens were spacious like those of Silver Pvillion. I spent a lot of time strolling and taking pictures in the garden.

The other temple Hosen-in is popular these days. Their attraction is "framed" gardens. When you see the gardens from a room, they look like paintings framed by a beam and pillars. So visitors sit in the room and view the gardens for a while, having matcha tea. Unfortunately, the ticket is a bit expensive, because the tea is included. In other words, you are provided with the tea, even though you don't order it!
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