Kyōto and Hieizan in early spring

(English below.) Fotografie z začátku jara (tedy konce února) 2016 z Kjóta (slivoň v císařských zahradách, kvetoucí rostliny v zahradě chrámu Rjóandži) a blízké hory Hiei, na které je chrám Enrjakudži. Pokud nevládnete angličtinou, žádná škoda, užijte si obrázky!

Sakuras are now in full bloom, spring break is almost over and Katka and I have a tons of photographs to share. (Katka actually took most of the good ones, I just stole them and put them online.) I’m going leave most of the famous sights and focus on the unimportant and ephemeral. So here goes our first spring trip: Kyoto and Hieizan (late February 2016).

Plum (梅 ume) trees are forerunners of the more famous 桜 sakura. The one above is in the Kyōto imperial palace garden (if we can trust my plant-recognition skills).

The 龍安寺 Ryōanji zen temple is most famous for its rock garden (枯山水 kare-sansui), but that’s not the only garden it has. Can you tell these blooming plants? (I can’t.)

We also went by foot from Kyōto to Mt. Hiei (比叡山 Hieizan), up the slopes and staircases to 延暦寺 Enryakuji, the oldest monastery of Tendai sect. Neither snow nor rain nor heat stayed us (we had a bit of all three), and we had most of the temple complex for ourselves. (I’m going to keep all the pictures of it secret. Go see for yourself!)

There’s actually a network of trails around Kyōto with signposts, maps and everything, which we didn’t know until about halfway into our journey. You may want to grab one of the maps before your trip if you don’t like getting lost as much as we do;).

For the way down we took a lovely cable car to the opposite side of the mountain, where lake Biwa (琵琶湖 Biwako) is.

That’s it. More springtime pictures coming soon!