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Travel Reports by Chashitsu view profile of Chashitsu

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October 30, 2014 - Tale of the Genji

We took the train to Uji and made straight for Byodo-in temple. A lovely temple with a dash of late spring colour in the form of azaleas. Byodo-in dates from the Heian period and was built by the Fujiwara's and was a favourite retreat of the Heian court.

The phoenix hall - Byodo-in temple

From Byodo-in we called in at the Tourist Information Centre and the adjacent Taiho-an tea house and participated in a 30 minute tea ceremony (not the usual 2 minute shinkansen version).

Taiho-an teahouse and garden

Crossing the river Uji, which is fast flowing and reasonably shallow, we called in at Kosho-ji temple, a Zen temple with a white Chinese style gate and quiet pleasant grounds.

Chinese style gateway to Kosho-ji temple

We bypassed the Uji shrines and headed for the modern building of the Tale of Genji Museum. The glass fronted building was nicely integrated with the garden and accessed via a bridge over a pond. A film acts out the last section of the Tale which was based in and around Uji a favoured retreat for the Heian aristocracy.

Spring palace at the Tale of the Genji Museum

We skirted along the foothills and followed the road to Mimurodo-ji temple, known as the flower temple for both it's azaleas and hydrangeas - it was ablaze with colour. The path-side banks were covered in flowering shrubs of several kinds and the hillside opposite covered with several acres of azaleas in pink, white and mauve. It is reputed to have planted 20,000 azaleas. There was an excellent dry garden and pond garden with this colourful backdrop. The temple was high on the hillside and had many tubs of lotus plants flowering later in the season.

Main hall of Mimurodo-ji temple

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List of Posts:
2017/07/25 - Japan's tectonic landscape reflected in the gardens
2017/07/15 - Flora of Japan
2016/04/27 - Time in Asakusa
2016/04/25 - Kakunodate
2016/04/23 - A Thousand Cranes
2016/04/22 - Castle in the Clouds
2016/04/21 - The beauty of Koraku-en
2016/04/20 - Far from the Madding Kyoto Crowds - Part 1
2016/04/20 - Far from the Madding Kyoto Crowds - Part 2
2016/04/18 - A Day in the Mountains
2016/04/17 - Delights of Hikone
2016/04/16 - Nara Revisited
2015/01/03 - Kamakura temples and gardens
2015/01/01 - Takayama Temple Trail
2014/12/29 - Kurama - Kibune hiking trail
2014/11/10 - A visit to Himeji
2014/11/05 - Shigemori Mirei - The Rebel in the Garden
2014/11/04 - Arashiyama and nearby sights
2014/11/03 - The less visited sites of Nara
2014/11/03 - The gems of Matsue
2014/10/31 - Agon-shu Monastery
2014/10/30 - In the footsteps of the Shogun
2014/10/30 - Tale of the Genji