These photos are from our brief time in Kyoto, and mostly from Tenryu-ji, a Buddhist temple founded in 1339. The original botanical garden is still largely intact today. Isn’t that incredible? My mind supplied visions of priests sowing the seeds and raking the ground into the landscape I saw in front of me, as though I were watching a historical montage. I tried to imagine creating something that people would experience in 600 years time and it is mind-boggling!
We travelled to Saga-Arashiyama in Kyoto primarily to visit the Sagano bamboo groves (pictured in the above two photos) only learning about Tenryu-ji when we arrived in Kyoto. The groves were a really beautiful site – very still and calm. Arashiyama itself was a pleasant suburban town – it was a nice change of pace from the bustle of Tokyo and I would have liked to have spent longer there. (I also would have liked to have spent longer in the kimono shop… those beautiful garments aren’t going to wear themselves!).
The walk through the bamboo groves and the quaint village felt very Studio Ghibli – I know I sound like a western fangirl but there was something so surreal and whimsical, particularly when we stumbled across a tiny train crossing in the middle of this epic walk between the bamboos. I always find areas with a rich history to be very comforting – picturing all the thousands of people who have walked the same steps, admired the same groves, the same sakura, the same rolling Kyoto mountains in the distance.