Saturday, November 21, 2015

Kyoto trip: Jakko-in Temple and scenic nature walk

On our second trip to Kyoto, we wanted to target a temple with red leaves so we shortlisted temples in the North that turn cold earlier than those in the city area. Jakko-in was chosen because my friend thought the other nearby temple: Sanzen-in did not have enough red leaves.

You have to take a 45min bus ride from Kyoto city area upwards as this place is not accessible by any train. Many people visit both temples if they have the time.

The walk to the temple takes around 15-20min and absolutely gorgeous~

It is actually part of a scenic walking route. The red line is the recommended nature trail and the blue dots are the nature and historic sites of interest. I think one can spend the entire day on this trail and it seems rather comfortable to walk without climbing a mountain.

Many houses at the village of Ohara has a garden or farm to grow local vegetables.

There were also many interesting shops selling souvenirs!

If only it didn't rain so much there could be more leaves on the trees...

Even small pathways to homes were beautiful.

We finally reached Jakko-in Temple. Admission is 600yen that includes access to a small gallery with a collection of original scrolls and paintings.

The stone walkway leading up to the temple was beautifully decorated with trees at the side. It is said that the temple was originally set up more than a thousand years ago with another name. Unfortunately the main temple was lost in an arson fire in 2000 and took 5 years to reconstruct. It's terrible!!!

There is a small hut at a corner for people to rest on the way.

The main gate is humble and blended well with surrounding nature.

You are welcome to take off your shoes to enter into the main hall to listen to a brief history about the temple. Unfortunately the guide is only in Japanese. More history about the temple and the nun can be found here.

More red leaves would be nice :)

Wish it didn't have rained so much washing the red leaves away!

This is the 1,000 year-old pine tree that could not survive the fire in 2000 and withered :(


It wasn't a big temple so we finished walking around and viewed the gallery in less than 1.5 hours. We returned the same path to find lunch and chose this restaurant that serves Miso Nabe (hot pot).

Everything around the temple serves a lot of vegetables and this hot pot seems to have the most of it!

There was konnyaku and chicken at the bottom too! 2,200yen was quite reasonable.

They also serve this special Miso ice-cream that tasted like salty caramel, very special!

When we walked out the rain was heavier and mist started to set in at the foot of the mountain.

There was a poetic feel to it different from late morning when we arrive.

It's really beautiful. I wish we could have stayed in Kyoto but hotel rates here are expensive during November. If the weather is better and we had more time, I would love to complete the nature trail to explore the entire area.

Official website (Japanese only): http://www.jakkoin.jp/

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