Wednesday, November 26, 2008

aokomyoji & yoshimine-dera

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day. We got up early and headed to Nagaoka-tenjin. For the past several years, we have gone to Aokomyoji to see their fall colors. This year, the leaves weren't as red as the very first time we visited in 2002, but they were still beautiful. I noticed that only the tops of the trees, the parts that were touched by the sun, were the leaves that changed to reddish-orange.

We also saw their rock garden for the first time. It was beautiful and there weren't many people in the garden area.
From Hankyu Nagaoka-tenjin, we went two stations and got off at Higashi-mukoo. From the Higashi-mukoo station, it was about a 30 minute ride up a skinny winding road into the mountains of West Kyoto to Yoshimine-dera. At times the bus had to pull on the side to let cars go up and vice versa.

Yoshimine-dera is also called Matsu no dera because they have Japan's greatest pine branch. 54 meters (about 177 feet)...and it is 600 years old! (though they had to trim 15 meters of it due to bugs eating it..so it is now only 39 meters)

The bus dropped everyone off on a slope and we had to continue walking trudging up another steep 300 meters to the temple. Talk about heaving and huffing! Memories of climbing Mount Fuji came rushing back.

But, it was all worth it. The views were spectacular and the property huge! Lots of beautiful maple trees. They don't allow bentos (boxed lunches) or smoking on the property--(when you see the size of the property you will understand why, it is too big for them to pick up after irresponsible litterings.)

The fall colors should be around for the next week or so. Hopefully we'll be able to check out a few more places before the leaves fall off the trees.

Aokomyoji (sometimes called Komyoji)
Bus number 20 or 22 from Hankyu Nagaoka-tenjin
Bus fare: 170 yen one way
Temple entrance: 500 yen per person
Phone: 075.955.0002

Yoshimine-dera (Matsu no dera)
Bus number 66 from Hankyu Higashi-mukoo
Bus fare: 340 yen one way
Temple entrance: 500 yen per person
Phone: 075.331.0020
Open 8:00-17:00

15 comments:

KirkK said...

Hi Kat - Such lovely photos....that's one thing we don't have here in SoCal, a real changing of the seasons.

jalna said...

I'm enjoying Autumn through your eyes. Your photography is just awesome.

Phoebe said...

きれい!本当に!Thank you for the spectacular photo shots!

K and S said...

Thanks Kirkk & Jalna :) I hope you are enjoying the season.

Take care you two.
Kat

Anonymous said...

Hi Kat! You have climbed my fuji? How was it? Would you recommend it, have any tips for a beginner climber?

rowena said...

The fall colors are something else. Certainly missing out on that while I'm here!

K and S said...

Thanks Phoebe :)

Yes Anon in 2006 :) worth it, bring lots of water.

Yes, but you can still wear a mini-skirt, Rowena :)

Take care everyone.
Kat

the rude kawliflawa said...

aki colors are so beautiful! love your entries and looking forward to reading about your adventures always.

K and S said...

Glad you enjoyed them Rude Kawliflawa :)

Take care.
Kat

Lori said...

Your fall pics are SO beautiful!!

K and S said...

Thank you Lori :)

Take care.
Kat

M said...

Hi Kat,

I'm going to Kyoto in November and I stumbled on your blog while searching for access to Yoshimine-dera. I was wondering if you know where I can find the timetable for the Hankyu #66 bus? I was told that the bus only runs 3-4 times a day, and I'd like to plan ahead. Thanks for the info and photos! ~M

K and S said...

Hi M,
I hope you can read Japanese because all I have is the link in Japanese. Hankyu#66, if you click on the link, they list 2 bus boarding areas, #1 and #2, #1 is the bus for Yoshimine-dera. You would need to click on weekday, weekend or holiday depending on when you will be going, to see what time you need to catch the bus.

Hope this helps. Take care.
Kat

M said...

Hi Kat,

Thank you so much for the info!

cheers,
M

K and S said...

Hope it works out for you M!

Take care.
Kat