Fall foliage in Kyoto starts around mid of November and peaked toward the end of the month.
Eikan-do Zenrin-ji is famous for it’s light up illumination during foliage period.
Eikando is 15 to 20 minutes walk from nearest Keage Subway station on the Tozai line, or about 5
minutes walk from the nearest bus top, Nanzenji-Eikando-Michi bus stop, which is about 35 minutes
from Kyoto Station.
You can also join Japanese tour by Kyoto Teiki-kanko Bus. It will visit Eikan-do and Chion-in Sanmon.
It costs only 3,600 yen. Guide speaks only Japanese but Omotenashi sprit is very high.
Zenrin-ji is the head temple of Jodo-Shu Seizn Zenrin-ji sect. The temple has more than 1,100 years
of history and is decicated to Amica.
Due to a merciful pose of Mikaeri Amida(Amida looking back), the temple attracts may believers and
people throughout the world.
There is an interesting story behind Eikando’s unique Mikaeri-Amida image and why Mikaeri-Amida
is looking back over his left shoulder. In the early morning on Feb. 15, 1082, Yokan was walking
around the altar praising “Nembutsu”. All of a sudden, the Amida came down the altar and began
to lead Yokan.
Yokan was stunned and stopped walking, then the Amica looked back over the left shoulder and
said ”yokan, youare slow”. Yokan awoke and was deeply impressed the merciful pose of the Amida.
He pleaded with the Amida to keep the pose forever. Since then, the Amida has been keeping the
pose of ”Mikaeri(looking back)”. The pose is a symbol of the Amida’s mercy to lead people and
wait for people who are late in coming to the faith. (from www.eikando.or.jp)
The temple is also well-known as “Eikan-do in Maple Leaves”, because of its beautiful garden filled
with many maple trees. In late November, many people visit the temple to worship the amida
and enjoy the scenery.
［posted by seki］
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