Saionji in Kyoto

Unusual dry garden, painted statues and brooms

By Cathy Cawood    - 1 min read

There were three striking things about this temple in northern Kyoto. The first was the piles of stones arranged in the garden. I suppose it was a kind of dry garden (kare san sui). Another interesting thing was a number of brush brooms lying on the verandah. It was the end of autumn, yet they looked new. Perhaps the monks were making them. The final thing was the exquisite little painted statues on display behind a wooden lattice. They looked old and valuable, the sort of thing that should be hidden away and protected from bright sunshine and cameras. I was grateful for the opportunity to see them!

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Cathy Cawood

Cathy Cawood @cathy.cawood

 I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for one year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for nine years, then moved to Machida, Tokyo in 2014 after meeting my Japanese partner. I love to take photos, and my Japan in Pictures Facebook page has some 40,000 followers. I have been the Regional Partner for Yamanashi Prefecture since 2014. I am enjoying exploring the prefectures around Tokyo (I like to get off the beaten track), and I hope the photos and stories I share will encourage more people to discover this wonderful country.