Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto: Daigoji Temple & Nijo Castle

As the cherry blossom season or "sakura" season as we call it here in Japan is short-lived, I traveled to Daigoji Temple located in Fushimi, Kyoto for the first time to take in the picturesque landscape of blooming cherry blossoms.

After so many years being in the Kansai region, there are still so many cultural and historical places that I have yet to visit.  At least now I can mark Daigoji Temple with the adjacent Daigoji Reihokan and Sanboin Temple off of my list spots to visit.  

Nestled outside of the city center of Kyoto in Fushimi, Daigoji Temple, which is regarded as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO, was the location of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's cherry blossom viewing parties.  For those of you unfamiliar with Toyotomi Hideyoshi, he was the creator of Osaka Castle and is known as one of the most influential Japanese in the country's long history.

Relating to the pictures above, the first four were taken while at Daigoji Temple while the last picture of the three Japanese koto musicians with the massive ikebana (flower arrangement as most of you would call it) in the background was taken while attending the cherry blossom night viewing illumination at Nijo Castle in downtown Kyoto.

Even if you are unable to make the trek to Daigoji Temple this year to view the cherry blossoms, there is always the fall for the tree foliage among the many events that are held there throughout the year.  As it is off of the beaten path from the major tourist sites, I am sure that I will be visiting this temple again to explore the rest of its treasures in the mountains of Daigo.  

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