Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

Momijigari: Hunting for Autumn Colors

Date Published: Last Update:2014/12/09 Traditional Culture, Travel & View point , , , , ,

I have never been to any form of hunting trip till my friends and I head out to Kyoto this year to experience Momijigari which literally translates to maple leaf (momiji) hunting (gari). Just like Hanami (sakura viewing) in spring, Momijigari in autumn is well rooted in the Japanese culture and recently has also gained popularity among foreign visitors.

Our hunt for autumn colored leaves led us to the northwest part of Kyoto near the famous Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji). We first visited the Genko-an Temple famous for two windows found in its main hall – The Window of Enlightenment (Satori no Mado) which represent zen awakening (enlightenment) – symbolized by its round shaped window and The Window of Uncertainty (Mayoi no Mado) which represent human suffering – symbolized by its square shaped window. These two windows are best viewed in autumn where it perfectly frames the autumn scenery of the outside garden. Besides being famous for these two windows, the temple is also famous for its blood ceilings. Found on its main hall the wood used to be floor boards from Fushimi Momoyama Castle which were blood stained/soaked when a group of samurai soldiers who either fought and died or committed seppuku (suicide) during a battle which led to the fall of the castle in 1600. Apparently the blood stained floor boards where bought to several temples in order to console the spirits of the dead soldiers. So when you visit this temple don’t forget to look up and search for the famous footprint. Though pictures were strictly prohibited during my visit to the temple here are a few images from Flickr that I wish to share (visitors are only allowed to take pictures of the garden and of the windows when its off season).

Genko-an Temple The Window of Enlightenment – Satori no Mado (left side) and The Window of Uncertainty – Mayoi no Mado left side (Photo by Agustin Rafael Reyes on Flickr)

6451180637_c3fc2002d9_zGarden (Photo by かがみ~ on Flickr)

6451367887_56d5417107_oFoot Print (Photo by Motohiro Sunouchi)

Admission Tickets to Genko-an Temple usually sells for 400 yen per person but on peak season per ticket is 500 yen. If your wondering if I enjoyed my visit to Genko-an Temple and if it was worth a visit, no doubt it is one of those temples that you must see during momiji season just find a day and or time where there are less visitors because during my visit the temple guests really came in numbers like several bus tours and given the small space of the temple and the limited view of both windows you can’t enjoy them long. And since we did not have the luxury of spending more time to enjoy the garden inside the temple, we took time to enjoy the foliage surrounding it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After visiting the temple, we decided to hike around the neighboring hill side – this marked the start of our hunt for momiji leaves. We decided to head to the nearby Buddhist temple – Ginshoji. Along the way we stopped by a shop selling the best dango I ever tasted – it was not too sweet and its crust had a crunch to it, maybe because it was fresh off the grill. The long narrow slopes of the Kagamiishi Dori prove to be a best place to enjoy momijigari though watch out for the cars that frequent this narrow path.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But have you ever wondered why Kyoto is so famous for autumn leaves when it could be found anywhere in Japan? I often wondered about it during this trip and set out to find answers for myself and if you ask me only one thing comes to mind – Charisma. This city really has so much charisma that perfectly captures the heart of every visitor that has ever visited this place.

The following two tabs change content below.

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:

Japanese tally five

Counting: Japanese tally and gesture

The “Correct” counting method in Japan How do you write when you count numbers of items? I know tally marks which are used in many countries, but Japanese people don’t use them. Instead, a certain Kanji character is used. The character means “correct”. As you can see, this consists of five lines. On counting, it […]

Read Article

Peeling mikan

New Year Holidays in Japan : Mikan

Mikan is one of the typical fruits in Japanese winter. When my siblings and I were ever-hungry children, my mother always bought a box with 15 kg (approx. 530 oz, 33 lb) of mikan in winter. We could easily eat up 15 mikan each at one sitting. I suppose the Engel’s coefficient of my family […]

Read Article

Moomin companion

Go west : Moomin Cafe in Hakata, Fukuoka

There are several famous things with the name of Hakata: Hakata Dontaku (a big festival), Hakata ningyou (“ningyou” means “doll”), Hakata ramen (ramen noodle with pork bone broth) and Hakata mentai (“mentai” is a short version of “mentai-ko”, “seasoned cod roe”). “Mentai-ko” is often used for pizza or pasta throughout Japan. They have got local […]

Read Article


Kyoto: Night Illumination Kiyomizudera

After that nice city stroll, the hunt was on again – the hunt for autumn foliage that is. Earlier that day we started our hunt at northwest part of Kyoto (Kagamiishi Dori) where we found beautiful concentrations of momiji foliage. This time we were set to see one of the best night illuminations in one […]

Read Article


The Fukiya village in Okayama, Japan -Part 1-

I’ve been posting Momotarou-related articles so far, and to be honest, I’m getting a bit tired of recalling, researching and translating old stories. This time, I write about the Fukiya village in Okayama as an interval. Actually, I didn’t even know the name of the village until several years ago. I don’t remember how I […]

Read Article


Go west : Dazaifu Tenman-guu – Main area

Dazaifu Tenman-guu : Main area and around The main shrine area – Rou-mon – The main gate to the main shrine area. “Rou-mon” means “two-story gate”. Now the word is used for a gate which has no roof for the bottom story. A gate with roofs for both stories are called “nijyuu-mon” (“Doubled gate”). This […]

Read Article


Washiki : Japanese Squat-type Toilet

It was the summer of 2006 when I and my classmates at AOTS Training Center went on a study tour as a part of our Japanese training.  We went to Miyajima Island and stayed at one of their traditional Japanese hotels. We were having some fun that night, eating Japanese foods and drinking sake (Japanese wine). […]

Read Article

Zentsuu-ji 02

Due South : Zentsuu-ji, Kagawa – General Info and Kuukai

Zentsuu-ji : General Info Zentsuu-ji is a name of the temple which was built by the well-known monk Kuukai a.k.a. “Koubou-daishi” (The Grand Master Koubou) *. (The French fashion label “Kookai” is named after the priest.) Then, the location where the temple is also began to be called as “Zentsuu-ji”. *About the title “Daishi” It […]

Read Article


Naoshima Art House Project – Part 1

After visiting the port of Miyanoura on the west coast of the island of Naoshima. We decided to visit the port of Honmura located on the islands east coast. Home to the Art House Project. To get around the island tourist could take various forms of transportation such as the bus or rental bikes. Rental […]

Read Article


Starting the Day Right with Rajio Taisō

If you ever seen a scene in a Japanese movie or TV show where people are doing some morning exercise, have you noticed that they are using similar exercise music or similar exercise routine? The exercise routine is actually called the Rajio Taisō (ラジオ体操 ) or Radio Calisthenics. It is an exercise routine done to the tune by a piano. It has an upbeat melody and makes the routine fun and enjoyable (or so I think).

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+