Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #京都

Most recents (24)

through the smoke
a glimpse of olden times...
fallen leaves
-Kobayashi Issa (小林一茶), 1807.
Trans. David G. Lanoue.

#Kyoto #京都 #Japan #銀杏 #ginkgo #autumn
The Great Yellowing is not yet upon us (ginkgo leaves will reach their golden peak around November 23rd), but you've probably already smelt autumn in the air.
When the fruit from female ginkgo trees falls & begins to rot, the butyric acid in the skin gives off a vomit-like odor🤢

Nishi Hongan-ji's (西本願寺) famed 400 year old 'sakasa-ichō' (逆さ銀杏 'upside down ginkgo') is so-named because when the leaves have fallen it looks surprisingly like roots reaching up to the sky.
#Kyoto #ginkgo #京都 #西本願寺 #folklore #逆さ銀杏
Read 6 tweets

In 1611, during excavation of the Takase Canal (高瀬川), Suminokura Ryōi (角倉了以) discovered a stone pagoda. Further investigation revealed that he had unearthed the tomb of the 'traitor' Toyotomi Hidetsugu (豊臣秀次 1568-95).
#folklore #Kyoto #京都
Hidetsugu was the nephew and heir of Japan's de facto ruler, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣秀吉), but in 1595 he dramatically fell from grace and was forced to commit seppuku at Mt Kōya.

His grave became known by many names, including the "Beast's Mound" (畜生塚 "Chikushō-zuka").
It is unclear why Hidetsugu was so abruptly put to death, but the most likely explanation is the unexpected birth of Hideyoshi's son in 1593.
When Hideyori (秀頼) survived his first years, Hideyoshi no longer needed an adopted heir & Hidetsugu may well have thought about a coup.
Read 24 tweets

The great leaf change is almost upon us, and the countdown to 'momijigari' (紅葉狩り 'autumn-leaf viewing') has begun.

back window-
the deer strikes a pose
the dog sleeps
-Kobayashi Issa (小林一茶), 1820.
Trans. David G. Lanoue. ImageImageImageImage
Fall colours arrive at a different time each year, but the Japan Meteorological Agency has a handy tracker...

It seems that ginkgo will be at their peak around November 23rd & maple leaves around December 2nd (a bit later than last year) in Kyōto. ImageImageImageImage
One annual event we eagerly await is Yūhisai Kōdō-kan's (有斐斎弘道館) competition to find the best 'kyōgashi' (京菓子 - traditional Kyōto-style confectionery) on a given theme...which this year is Sei Shōnagon's (清少納言 966-1025?) 'The Pillow Book' (枕草子 'Makura-no-sōshi'). ImageImageImageImage
Read 6 tweets

even in Kyoto-
hearing the cuckoo's cry-
I long for Kyoto
京にても 京なつかしや ほととぎす
-Matsuo Bashō (松尾芭蕉 1644–1694).

Around the New Year I like to complete a small pilgrimage, not particularly well known, on a mountain close to my house.
Are you interested in undertaking the Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国遍路), but find yourself without any real time to do so?🤔

Not to worry...close to our Camellia Garden Teahouse there is a way to complete the pilgrimage without ever leaving Kyōto🙌
#Kyoto #Japan #京都 #四国遍路
Snaking up and down the slopes of Jyōju-san (成就山), a mountain that rises behind Ninna-ji (仁和寺), is a tiny version of the Shikoku Pilgrimage.

Kūkai (空海 774-835), founder of Shingon Buddhism (真言宗), is alleged to have first created the circuit of 88 temples on Shikoku👣
Read 10 tweets
Every now and then, when wandering around the city, you can actually see historical moments captured in time.
A good example of this are the sword marks on Sanjō Bridge's balustrade caps. These were from the 'Noticeboard Incident' of September 12th 1866.
In the summer of 1866 an official signboard was erected by Sanjō Bridge, calling Chōshū Domain (長州藩) an enemy of the imperial court.
On September 10th, after anti-shōgunate rebels tore the sign down for a second time, the government ordered the Shinsengumi to guard the bridge.
At midnight on September 12th (October 20th - modern calendar), 8 men from Tosa Domain (土佐藩) arrived to destroy the noticeboard but were surprised by 34 Shinsengumi soldiers!
The Tosa ringleader, Fujisaki Kichigorō (藤崎吉五郎 1845-66), was killed, but 5 of his men escaped.
Read 21 tweets
When the Harvest Moon (お月見) and Feast of Chrysanthemums (菊の節句) arrive together, you know plates will be groaning and bellies will be full🙌

one for the dog
one for the crow...
rice cakes
-Issa (小林一茶).
Trans. Lanoue.
#京都 ImageImageImageImage
Nao-san tucks in to Kameya Yoshinaga's (亀屋良長 @yoshimura0303) 'hane-usagi' (はねうさぎ).
Break open the cute moon rabbit and add hot water to create delicious oshiruko (お汁粉), a sweet bean soup.

#お月見 #moonviewing #moonrabbit #月の兎 #wagashi #和菓子 #Kyoto #京都 #お汁粉
Each rabbit comes with a random kohaku (琥珀) moon. The phase of the moon-sweet determines your fortune...a full moon represents the best luck you can have.

Nao-san got...🥁...a full moon!🎉

A thread all about kohaku and other types of sweets⬇️

#亀屋良長 ImageImageImageImage
Read 9 tweets

Just beside our Camellia Garden teahouse runs Kinukake-no-michi (きぬかけの路 the 'Silk-draped Path'), a 2km stretch of road that joins the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺 The Golden Pavilion), Ryōan-ji (龍安寺) and Ninnai-ji (仁和寺).
An iconic golden pavilion (restored after a novice burnt the original down in 1950), the world's most famous Zen garden, & a former imperial palace are just some of the most well-known attractions to be enjoyed along Kinukake-no-michi.

But always venture off the beaten track!😉
But what does the road have to do with draped silk?
Well, Kinukake-no-michi (きぬかけの路) winds through the foothills of Mt. Kinugasa (衣笠山), known also as Mt. Kinukake (絹笠山).

The mountain is named after an incident involving Emperor Uda (宇多天皇).
#Kyoto #Japan #衣笠山
Read 6 tweets
Today is the beginning of a three-day period celebrating mitarashi dango (みたらし団子)!🎉

Actually, this happens every month from the 3rd-5th because...
3= 'MI' (み)
4= 'taraSHI' (たらし)
5= 'danGO' (だんご)

Tenuous wordplay? Yes.
Fun? Also, yes.
In its traditional form, mitarashi dango is made up of 5 small rice dumplings...skewered, grilled, and served with a sweet soy sauce glaze.

Legend has it that the inspiration for the snack came from a miraculous incident involving Emperor Go-Daigo (後醍醐天皇 1288-1339).
During one of Go-Daigo's outings to Shimogamo-jinja, 5 bubbles appeared in the water as he purified his hands.
Interpreted as the human body (五体 - head, arms and legs), it was taken as a fortuitous sign.
The emperor offered 5 rice dumplings (4 big & 1 small) to the shrine gods.
Read 12 tweets
For 25 years Kurita Kōichi (栗田宏一) has walked the length and breadth of Japan, gathering small samples of soil from each settlement (whether hamlet, village, town or city) he passes through.
At Hōnen-in (法然院) he made a dedication of his life's work. ImageImageImageImage
Kurita's dedication was inspired by the temple's 'sange' (散華), a ritual offering of flowers made early each morning. 25 flowers (usually camellia) are dedicated to a statue of Amida. The flowers represent the 25 bodhisattva who help Amida take the souls of the dead to paradise.
Hōnen-in is no stranger to using earth and sand as a form of offering.

Upon entering the temple visitors pass through the 'Byakusadan' (白砂壇), 2 terraces of white sand (roughly 7m long, 3m wide and 10cm high).
Said to symbolize water, the sand purifies the body and soul.
#京都 ImageImageImageImage
Read 13 tweets

Wibbly-wobbly warabimochi (わらび餅)☺️

A popular summer snack in Kansai, the melt-in-your-mouth warabimochi is a jelly-like sweet traditionally made from bracken starch (わらび粉 'warabiko').
It's covered with sweet, toasted soybean flour (黄粉).
There is a legend that Emperor Daigo (醍醐天皇 885-930) loved a particular type of warabimochi so much that he bestowed on it the rank of 'dayū' (大夫 -5th court rank). Over time 'Oka-tayū' (岡大夫) came to be used for warabimochi in general.
#Kyoto #Japan #わらび餅 #warabimochi
As real bracken starch (warabi) can be very expensive, many stores nowadays substitute it with potato, tapioca or kudzu (Japanese arrowroot) starch.

Today's delicious warabimochi is from Sagano's 'Chikuji-an' (嵯峨野/竹路庵). It's absolutely buried in kinako!🙌
#Japan #Kyoto
Read 13 tweets

Between July 10-14th the floats that will participate in the Gion Matsuri's first parade (the 'Saki Matsuri' 先祭り - July 17th) are constructed. The parts are laid out, slotted together, and then meticulously bound in rope.
#Kyoto #祇園祭
The 'hoko' (鉾) take around 3 days to complete, the smaller 'yama' (山) only 1. Float decorations are displayed in the 'kaisho' (会所), the meeting place of each 'float neighbourhood'.
Using only rope to bind the float skeletons allows for much more flexibility during the parade. ImageImageImageImage
Float frames are known as 'yagura-gumi' (やぐら組み 'turret style'), and the method of binding is called 'nawa-garami' (縄がらみ 'rope construction').

Ropes are held in place by a series of intricate knots, such as the 'prawn knot' (海老結び) & 'female butterfly bow' (雌蝶結び). ImageImageImageImage
Read 11 tweets
July, consumed as it is with the Gion Matsuri, always passes in the blink of an eye, so I thought I'd compile a list of the 34 individual floats ('yamaboko' 山鉾) that you'll be able to see at this month's festival.

#GionMatsuri #祇園祭 #Kyoto ImageImageImageImage
1) NAGINATA-HOKO (長刀鉾)⚔️

The Naginata-hoko always leads the Gion Matsuri's first parade, the 'Saki Matsuri' (先祭り). As it is exempt from the lottery to determine the position of the floats, it was known in the past as 'Kuji-torazu' (くじ取らず 'Lot-drawing Not Necessary'). ImageImageImageImage
The float's name comes from the long halberd (鉾 'hoko') that rises from its roof to drive away evil. It is said the original was made by famed swordsmith Sanjō Munechika (三條宗近) in the 10thC to thank the gods after his daughter was spared from a terrible plague.
#Japan #Kyoto ImageImageImageImage
Read 86 tweets
Asukai-no-Masatsune (飛鳥井雅経 1170-1221) was founder of the Asukai school of kemari.
A skilled poet (134 of his poems appeared in imperial anthologies), he served in the 'Poetry Bureau' (和歌所), helped compile the 'Shin Kokin Wakashū', and authored 'Kemari Ryakki' (蹴鞠略記).
Long before Shiramine-jingū, the principle shrine to occupy this land belonged to the 'god of sports' (精大明神). It was paid for by the retired Emperor Go-Toba (後鳥羽上皇 1180-1239) when he visited the mansion of the Asukai (繁乃井殿 'Shigenoi-dono') for a religious festival.
Go-Toba constructed the shrine beside the 'Shige-no-i' (繁乃井), 1 of 7 famed wells in the capital during the Heian period.
Because of its connection to the Asukai clan & Fujiwara-no-Narimichi (藤原成通 1097-1162), the shrine eventually became home to 'Sei Daimyōjin' (精大明神).
Read 21 tweets

chirr-chirr! insects also
work their looms...
stars of Tanabata

Tanabata (七夕), also known as 'Hoshi-matsuri' (星祭り 'Star Festival'), celebrates the reunion of Orihime & Hikoboshi on the 7th day of the 7th month. ImageImageImageImage
Tanabata (七夕) evolved from 1 of the 'Go-sekku' (五節句), 5 events held on auspicious days throughout the year. Imported by the imperial court from China, these festivals now coincide with the 1st January, 3rd March, 5th May, 7th July and 9th September.
#Kyoto #Japan #七夕 #京都 ImageImageImageImage
Some of the year's most arresting sweets appear at Tanabata🥰

🌟Kameya Kiyonaga's (亀屋清永) 'ama-no-gawa' (天の川) and 'hoshizukuyo' (星づく夜)
🌟Tsuruya Yoshinobu's (鶴屋吉信) 'hoshi-matsuri' (星まつり) and 'tanabata' (七夕)
#七夕 #和菓子 #京都 ImageImageImageImage
Read 30 tweets

In 1903 the head priest of Nenbutsu-ji (念仏寺) and neighbouring Fukuden-ji (福田寺) began to gather up stone Buddhist statues from all around the local area.
By the time he was finished they numbered 8000!

#Kyoto #Japan #化野念仏寺 #京都 #Obon
From ancient times the poor (and not so poor) abandoned the dead in Adashino (化野), an area that now equates with the stretch of land between Nison-in (二尊院) & Nenbutsu-ji (念仏寺).
By the Heian period it had become 1 of Heian-kyō's 3 Great Crematory Grounds (三大葬地).
Come for the statues, stay for the bamboo🎋

young bamboo
and old bamboo...
full of pluck
-Kobayashi Issa (小林一茶), 1824.
Trans. David G. Lanoue.

#Kyoto #京都 #Japan #bamboo #化野念仏寺 #嵯峨野 #AdashinoNenbutsuji #竹 #haiku
Read 22 tweets

Nishiki Tenmangū (錦天満宮) stands on Shinkyōgoku (新京極), at the east end of Nishiki Market (錦市場). Enshrining Tenjin (天満天神/Sugawara-no-Michizane 菅原道真 845-903), people pray here for wisdom, scholarship & prosperous business.
The shrine also goes by the names Nishiki Tenjin-sha (錦天神社), Nishiki Tenman-jinja (錦天満神社) and Nishiki-no-Tenjin-san (錦の天神さん).

The grounds preserve one of the wells so pivotal in the development of Nishiki Market (錦市場).
#Kyoto #Japan #京都 #錦市場 #NishikiMarket
In early Heian times it was discovered that the area's natural spring water (known as Nishiki Water '錦の水') acted as a preservative for fish, fowl & fresh produce, and as a result countless shops congregated in the vicinity.

This is the origin of Nishiki Market.
#京都 #Kyoto
Read 18 tweets

Each year Shimogamo-jinja (下鴨神社) holds a special tea gathering called 'Hotarubi-no-Chakai' (蛍火の茶会). Over 600 fireflies are released beside the Mitarashi-gawa (御手洗川) as evening falls, bringing an otherworldly feel to the tea ceremony.
What better way to celebrate firefly season than with Kameya Yoshinaga's (亀屋良長) cooling 'hotaru-no-yoru' (蛍の夜 'evening fireflies').
The sweet is a type of 'kingyoku' (錦玉), a jelly made from boiling agar and sugar...particularly popular in summer.

In the traditional calendar June 11th-15th is known as 'kusaretaru kusa hotaru to naru' (腐草為螢), 'rotten grass becomes fireflies'. There was a belief, imported from the mainland, that fireflies were born from grass decaying in the humid early summer heat.
#Japan #fireflies
Read 13 tweets
In Kyōto 'kanrensetsu' (観蓮節), 'lotus flower viewing', coincides with the culmination of the Gion Matsuri, when the gods of Yasaka-jinja arrive at their temporary holiday abode in the city.
Temple ponds offer a welcome distraction from the sweltering summer days. ImageImageImageImage
this world
bristles with thorns...
yet there are lotuses
-Kobayashi Issa (小林一茶), 1815.

The mesmerizing, ultrahydrophobic surface of lotus leaves😵‍💫👏😊
#Japan #Kyoto #京都 #Yakushiji #薬師寺 #Nara #奈良 #lotus #蓮
Lotus flowers in many ways perfectly compliment spring's cherry blossoms: sakura (桜) have become a symbol of life's impermanence in Japan, whereas the lotus (蓮 'hasu') offers a more hopeful message of enlightenment and rebirth.

#Kyoto #京都 #Japan #lotus #蓮 #ハス #観蓮節 ImageImageImageImage
Read 21 tweets

Happy "Ice Cream Day" (アイスクリームの日)!🥳

The celebration was created by the Tōkyō Ice Cream Association (now Japan Ice Cream Association) in 1964, to remember the day in 1869 that ice cream was first sold in Japan (in Yokohama)🙌
In 1860 Machida Fusazō (町田房造) was part of an official delegation sent to the United States from Japan aboard the Kanrin Maru (咸臨丸).
Whilst in San Francisco the group tasted ice cream for the first time & Fusazō determined to recreate this delicious dessert back home.
Back in Yokohama, Fusazō marketed his creation as 'aisu kurin' (アイスクリン). Containing milk, eggs and sugar, it was more like frozen custard than the ice cream we’re now familiar with.
On May 9th 1869 he began selling 'aisu kurin' from his store "Hyōsuiten" (氷水店).
Read 7 tweets

Like many holy sites in Kyōto, Eikan-dō (永観堂) once proudly boasted of its '7 Wonders' (七不思議). This list of miraculous spots and objects acted as an early form of promotion to attract pilgrims (and their money).
#Kyoto #京都 #Japan #永観堂 ImageImageImageImage
A little while ago I talked about the '7 Wonders of Kitano Tenman-gū' (北野天満宮)🐂⬇️

As you will see with both Kitano Tenman-gū and Eikan-dō, the number is more than just 7 (I guess 7 has a nice ring to it)🤔
#Kyoto #7Wonders #京都 #北野天満宮 #永観堂
Eikan-dō is perhaps best known for its 77cm tall statue of Amida looking back over his shoulder ('Mikaeri-Amida' 見返り阿弥陀).
Having been locked away from the public in Tōdai-ji's treasure house, when he left the temple Yōkan took the image with him. ImageImageImageImage
Read 10 tweets

cherry blossoms-
over there an edge
of Old Japan
-Issa (小林一茶), 1798.

This weekend marks the start of sakura season here in Kyōto, and the crisp weather suggests the trees will be putting on a special show this year.
#Japan #桜
It's often difficult to gauge when to start celebrating the various blossoms...but this isn't a problem inside the teahouse😋🌸

a bevy of teahouses
cherry blossoms
-Kobayashi Issa (小林一茶), 1819.
#wagashi #和菓子 #Kyoto #Japan #blossoms
Incredibly it's been 2 years since Miho-san performed tea ceremony beneath the (now gone!) weeping cherry tree😱

Nodate (野点)⬇️
🌸 (overhead)

Introducing 'Chabako' (茶箱)⬇️
Read 16 tweets

On 8th October 1594 the 'bandit' Ishikawa Goemon (石川五右衛門) and his young son were thrown into a boiling vat of oil beside the Kamo River.
As a warning to others the giant cauldron remained in place until a flood swept it away.
#Kyoto #folklore
The story goes that Goemon, in revenge for the murder of his wife Otaki and son Gobei, crept into Fushimi Castle (伏見城) to assassinate the despot ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣秀吉). As he drew close to the sleeping Toyotomi he knocked over a small bell and was caught.
Like England's 'Robin Hood', so many legends surround Goemon and his band of outlaws that it's difficult to unpick fact from fiction.
It seems that a man was executed by being boiled alive in oil by the banks of the Kamo-gawa, but beyond that we know very little.
#Japan #folklore
Read 24 tweets
Food plays an important roll at Higan (彼岸).

On the first and last day of the equinoctial week, rice dumplings (団子 'dango') are offered at the family altar. Rice cakes covered in bean jam (botamochi in spring and ohagi in fall) are presented mid-week.
Botamochi and ohagi are popular during the equinoctial weeks, when they are made as sacred offerings & enjoyed as tasty snacks.
Glutinous rice is soaked, cooked and formed into a ball. Around this ball a thick sweet bean paste is packed on.

Read 15 tweets

Happy 'Shunbun-no-hi' (春分の日)🥳🌞

a straight line
all the way to Kyōto...
umbrella-hatted blossom viewers
-Issa (小林一茶), 1822.
Transl. David G. Lanoue.

'Vernal Equinox Day' has been a national holiday since 1948.
#Kyoto #Japan
Originally the spring equinox was taken up by a Shintō festival called 'Shunki kōrei-sai' (春季皇霊祭), created in 1878 and centered around imperial ancestor worship. In 1948 this was repackaged as a day for admiring nature and all living things.
#Kyoto #Japan #Nara #sakura #桜
In the past 'Higan-no-Nakaba' (彼岸の半ば 'Middle of the Equinoctial Week') was a time for visiting graves to honour ancestors. It was also a time for spring cleaning and for making important changes (such as beginning a new hobby or finishing an important project).
#Kyoto #Japan
Read 13 tweets

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