Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Japan Trip Day 7 - Japanese Dandelions

Day 7
I was glad to get up and out of the hotel - i had a night of vivid disturbing dreams that left me feeling unsettled...

I bought a bus pass and caught the bus up to Ginkaku-ji (the Silver Pavilion) - the most wonderfully peaceful gardens, the smell was heavenly sweet and the moss a fresh green - a couple of chaps were sweeping the moss of leaves. Needless to say there wasn't a blade of grass out of place and so i didn't find any dandelions.

The excitement came as i strolled along the Philosopher's Walk that leads from near the Pavilion along the cherry-tree-lined canal* along the Higashiyama (Eastern Mountains) leading to Nanzen-ji.
As I walked along some dandelions caught me eye - they were growing on the steep walled edges leading down to the canal water - and they looked quite delicate and the leaves were a bit different. So, I clung to a tree and reached down to pick a couple of leaves and a flower. I also took shots too. As it goes I reckon they are Japanese dandelions - how exciting! There were quite a few along the walk from then on - so I collected a number of specimens.

I stopped for lunch beside the canal and was rained upon by a shower of cherry blossom petals - beautiful.

It was a hot sunny day and after visits to the Jodo-sect temple at Honen-in and the massive gateway of the Nanzen-ji Temple and the western style Meji-period aqueduct I caught the bus back into the city.

I walked through parts of the Gion District - with its winding streets, people, shadows, shrines, shops and i caught sight of a couple of maiko (apprentice geisha) with their tall koppori clogs, beautiful arranged hair and costumes with embroidered collar.

I walked for 9 hours and was totally exhausted by the evening, but so very happy with my day in Kyoto: dandelions, temples, blossom, people and sunshine. Perfect.

*clear the image of a British canal from your mind : the water was clear, shallow, fast running with a sprinkling of cherry blossom petals floating on the top (not a dead dog in sight)

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