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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Arashiyama Autumn Leaves

嵐山 第二回
A rare two-level pagoda at Nisonin
Arashiyama is finally colouring up as the temperature comes down. It's the right time to explore temples such as Tenryuji (天竜寺) and Nisonin (二村院), pictured, the latter where the poet Teika completed the immortal collection Hyakunin-Isshu(百人一首, One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets).

Below a priest explains Teika's enshrinement at the temple, viewed through the chain that functions as a water down pipe when it rains.

A priest giving his take on Teika
There are also plenty of historic and literary spots that are non-religious, such as Rakushisha (落紫舎), the House of Falling Persimmons, which the haiku poet Basho stayed at three times.

Zabuton for two at Rakushisha
The banana tree on the grounds is said to have provided Basho with his pen name, basho (芭蕉).

Basho's banana palm? At this time of year, after all the season of "mellow fruitfulness" as the Western Romantic poet Keats put it, many plants are putting on exotic displays of fecundity. Anyone who can identify the fecundity below, please let us know! (And no, it's not a persimmon....)

Mystery fruit Given Arashiyama's poetic pedigree, it's little surprise that even haiku are in bloom in the neighbourhood at this time of year!

A haiku hangs outside a local residence

Arashiyama Part 1

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