Japan day 10

Before I start going on about photos, I’d like to share my first experience of witnessing street crime in Japan…

I was walking through Shinsaibashi earlier when I noticed a policeman running towards me. The guy must have covered 100m at full sprint before he caught up the culprit who was casually standing still just behind me, a shady fellow if ever ive seen one, just having a cigarette.  The officer quickly pointed out he was smoking in a no smoking zone… Honestly. The policeman was so concerned for the rest of us breathing in second hand smoke he was prepared to run full speed for 100m to stop it! Back in Glasgow I’m sure some of our finest would turn a blind eye to murder if it was happening during their coffee break!! 

The best thing was the reaction of this criminal… After the error of his ways had been pointed out, the hoodlum immediately put out the cigarette and bowed respectfully to the officer!! Again, I’m fairly confident that wouldn’t be the reaction back in the west!  

It just summed up for me the attitude of the Japanese when it comes to following the rules and respecting others. I’ve never experienced anything but honesty and friendliness here and never felt threatened in any way.

Anyway, about the photos! Today was my last full day in Japan so after the series of blunders yesterday I was determined to make the most of the day. 

Thankfully the weather had improved; high cloud with the occasional burst of bright sunlight – perfect for photography.

As per my plan, I headed off to Umeda again, onto the train towards Kyoto but got off at Karasuma then a short walk to Shijo underground station for the underground to Keage, changing trains at Karasuma Oike.

A brief walk from the station and I was at Konchi-in a temple and garden complex dating back to around 1400. The temple has elaborate paintings on sliding doors (but no photos allowed) and boasts an eight window traditional tea room dating back to 1628 

 I managed to grab a few shots in the traditional garden (example above) so look out for them when I get back home!

After Konchi-in it was just along the road to my next stop, Nanzen-ji, a former palace made into a temple in 1291, which houses another stunning temple and garden complex. The Nanzen-in garden was beautiful and with no limitations on photography I managed to grab quite a lot here!

 Just beyond Nanzen-ji lies the Philosphers Walk, according to Wikipedia a “pedestrian path that follows a cherry-tree-lined canal” between Nanzen-Ji and Ginkaku-ji 

Ginkaku-ji or as it’s better known “Temple of the silver pavilion” or by its more poetic and official name, Jisho-ji “Temple of Shining Mercy” is a Zen temple approximately 2 miles further along the Philosphers path. 

 The Zen garden was incredible at Ginkaku-ji but the whole site, as its a famous world heritage site, was very very busy. I’m sure there will be people in all of my shots, so a fair bit of editing required to make the images useable. 

After the return walk back to Keage I was back on the underground to Kyoto where I took the brief walk to Gion Shijo station and onto another train, this time bound for Fushimi Inari, the Shinto shrine I visited last year, made famous by the film “memoirs of a geisha”  

 For some reason, the forests around the Fushimi Anari shrine aren’t showing a lot of signs of autumn just yet. 

After a wander around the shrines it was back on the train to Kyoto and then onwards to Osaka. I reckon I’ve walked between 60 and 70 miles over the last 8 days, all the time carrying my camera gear which weighs 10kg. My feet feel like it’s been more though! 

I’ll leave you with my favourite overheard tourist quote of today from the Philosphers walk…

Two guys, mid 20s, one English and one Australian, nearing the end of the cherry-tree lined path, just in front of me..

English guy: “it’s not very interesting, there’s not much to do”

Australian: “I know. I was expecting more leaves. We should complain”

Sorry autumn started before you got here guys! 

Final day tomorrow. Some last minute shopping planned (possibly involving a new camera!) and a few more hours of photography in and around Osaka 🙂

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