Thursday, 20 December 2007

Temples No.6 Buku'un-ji + No.7 Hōchō-ji

A little 11km round trip took me to Yokoze this afternoon in the lovely sun. Although the temperature was less than 10 degrees the radiance was enticing and many people were out for a walk with their hounds. As my photos might reveal (garden, bamboo, forest), Temple No.6 Buku'un-ji itself proved elusive even after I climbed up a steep hill in the overgrown pine forest. Because dusk was closing in I chose not to search further for the building of temple no.6 and really I shouldn't yet cross it off my list (that would be cheating!). But the surrounding fruit gardens, decorative fountain, decking traversing the hillside were picturesque enough and the summit provided a different angle on the mountain and the small neighbouring town of Yokoze, dominated by the steaming limestone mill making cement and fruit/vegetable gardens. The many rows of fruit houses were cased in plastic for winter. Temple no.7 Hōchō-ji was more forthcoming and it is the elegant large copper roof you can see as you drive down the main road towards Tokyo from Chichibu, as we do on Saturday mornings for shakuhachi lessons. The contours of the temple roof and juxtaposition against the factory profile formed a bizarre contrast of pragmatism and traditional aesthetics.