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May 27, 2014 - The Imperial Mausoleum at Kyoto's Sennyuji Temple
Of the previous 124 Japanese Emperors, 69 are buried in Kyoto. Three sites contain 29 tombs, called
Misasagi; 16 at Sennyuji, 10 at Fukakusa (near the Keihan Fujinomori station) and 5 near Ryoanji.
In April, 2014, we visited the main Imperial Mausoleum (Misasagi) at Sennyuji and ten other Misasagi
around the city. For more than 200 years, the Imperial Mausoleum at Sennyuji was the
exclusive burial place for Emperors. The large Misasagi and its unique Chohzuya (wash basin)
there is well worth seeing.
On April 1 we left our Osaka hotel, the Tennoji Miyako, and rode the Midosuji subway to Yodoyabashi station where we took a Keihan railway Limited Express train.
I settled into the front seat that has a great froward view, but the conductor told us that car was for "Ladies Only" so we had to forgo the view.
At Tambabashi station we changed to a local train for Tofukuji station in Kyoto. The trip took just over one hour.
Leaving Tofukuji we turned left and walked along the main street. We asked a lady which street led to Sennyu-ji and she pointed across the street. As we walked up the long hill a Japanese gentleman spoke to us in English. As we continued walking together he told us he was retired but taught English at the local High School. He paused at some barrels on the side of the street and said it was scrap from a small factory down the alley. My wife, Etsuko, picked up a nice piece of Bamboo for a souvenir.
Then the English teacher left us to go down some stairs to his home nearby.
We continued up the hill and through the Sennyuji gate.
Along the way we took a quick look at a small sub-temple, Kaikoji and made a few more detours.
Then we went downhill to the main temple building.
Around to the right we finally found the Imperial
Mausoleum and the unique Chiohzuya (literally Hand Washing Place).
The list of Emperors and others buried here.
The Chiohzuya is in the shape of the Imperial Chrysanthemum symbol.
Back near the main street we saw a small restaurant in a Japanese house so we decided to eat lunch. It turned out to be a memorable lunch. A small doorway and corridor led to the back door that was the restaurant's entrance.
It was a tiny but cozy place with friendly workers. I had a very nice individual pizza and Etsuko had Udon.
When we finished lunch, the owner/chef and his daughter escorted us out front. We were so glad our morning at Sennyuji had such a happy ending.
List of Posts:
2014/07/03 - Jonangu - Gardens and Graves
2014/05/27 - The Imperial Mausoleum at Kyoto's Sennyuji Temple