June 18, 2024

Chokusimon-gate: Ninnaji Temple (Kyoto)

Chokusimon-gate: Ninnaji Temple (Kyoto)

I visited Ninna-ji Temple to enjoy the Omuro-zakura cherry blossoms for the first time in a while year. 

This abnormally warm winter has significantly accelerated the blooming of the Sakura trees. Although they are ordinarily in full bloom during this period, unfortunately a majority of the pale pink blossoms have fallen and gone just before I arrived. 

The Omuro cherry blossoms in their sudden waning stage made me keenly aware of the uncertainty and transience of this floating world.

This elaborate gate is the imperial envoy gate to the south garden of the Shiro-shoin (white reception building) of the Shinden (emperor palace) complex.

This gate indicates the Shikyaku-mon (four-legged gate) style with a gabled gable roof on the side with a cypress bark roof. The walls and doorways are covered with admirable wood carvings of the auspicious designs of water chestnuts, phoenixes, arabesques, and other motifs.

This temple is the prestigious "Monzeki" temple whose head priests were members of the Imperial family through the ages as the head temple of the Omuro school of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism. It was founded by Emperor Uda in the end of 9th century, and was reconstructed in the 17th century.

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