{travel} November ’16: Rurikouin

[Wrote the majority of this post at the beginning of March and didn’t finish it until today, oh my god, worst blogger of the year award goes to me, meee, MEEEEEE. Oh and I’m still alive, by the way, more or less, life update post coming soon, or next year, who knows anymore]

I feel like not a whole lot of people know of Rurikouin in Kyoto. Which is actually a bit sad, because this temple is located in a beautiful area and so rich in history, and offers its visitors a different experience with every change in seasons. Rurikouin is only open during certain periods of the year, for so-called special exhibitions, and one such special exhibition period is in fall, during the fall leaf season.

Rurikouin temple is easily accessible from central Kyoto. All it takes is a fifteen-minute train ride on the Eizan Electric Railway from Demachiyanagi station to Yase-Hieizanguchi station, and then another short walk from Yase-Hieizanguchi station to the actual temple. An entrance ticket to the temple is quite expensive, 2000 yen for an adult. But, trust me, it’s more than worth it, and that’s coming from me, who usually never pays to enter temples because I’m not cultured enough and because I don’t have money, hah.

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Through the main gate, you first enter into a little garden, with a small pond inhabited by some koi fish, a small bridge crossing said pond and lots of moss and trees in a variety of fall colours. There is a small path which leads you through the garden to the temple building. You take off your shoes and place them in a plastic bag, and then you are allowed to enter the temple house.

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There are lots of rooms to explore inside the building. There’s a little room with an altar where you can watch monks sing and pray, another little room with some journals into which you can write your name with a calligraphy pen (which I didn’t do, but the friend I went with did), a tea room with an amazing view of the garden where you can sit and relax. There is also a room with a large table in its middle, and its surface reflects the fall foliage outside.

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From the windows on the upper floor of the temple building, you can get a pretty nice view of the surrounding mountains and nature. Also, just look at those amazing colours. We don’t get fall foliage this beautiful in Germany, pretty sure.

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The famous table.

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After exploring the temple, there is plenty left to do in the surrounding area – museums, other temples, and so on. But we just went for a nice walk along the river, enjoying some more of those pretty fall leaves.

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Taken close to Yase-Hieizanguchi station.

We took the train back to Demachiyanagi in the late afternoon because we wanted to grab a nice dinner somewhere in the centre.

I think Rurikouin was definitely one of my favourite temples I ever visited in Japan! Although it may seem a little expensive at 2000 yen for an entry ticket, I can say with certainty that it is definitely worth the money, even if you’re like me a poor student and addicted to eating. Sure, it’s going to depend on what time you’re visiting, but if you’re ever in the area in October or November, I definitely recommend paying Rurikouin a visit.

That’s already all that I have to say for this blog post. I know, it’s a little on the shorter side, but I feel like for these kinds of things, it’s better to let the pictures speak … or even better, to go there and experience it yourself! So yah. Thanks again, as always, for reading! I know it’s been a long time since I’ve last posted something, but since university is officially done for now, I’m hoping I’ll have a little more time to catch up a little on all the Japan posts before my next visit (which I’ll talk more about in another post, maybe, heh, because it’s kind of set already). ADIOS, for now.

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