Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Autumn Leaves are Coming!

It's time for payback! Back in March, I was depressed at the weather forecasts from England that were announcing glorious warm weather, while we were still shivering and dipping below freezing. However, good things come to those who wait, and whilst England has been having it's first snow flurries of the year, here in Japan I am getting ready to glory in Momiji, the autumn leaves colour change. Whilst they're being shy this year (not to rub it in, but as a result of the gorgeous gorgeous autumn weather we've been having recently), the mountains around my house are getting more orange by the day. Hopefully it won't be too long before they burst into colour, and the trees higher up the mountains are already looking lovely. 

I got to see the first of these lovely colours when my Japanese tutor took me on a quick car trip today to Johgi Nyorai Saihoji Temple, a Buddhist temple in the mountains North West of Sendai. 

The temple is home to a painted scroll of Amida Buddha which was donated to a 12th Century government official, Shigemori Taira. He donated gold to the Chinese temple that held the scroll to pray for peace in Japan, and in return they sent him the scroll. When he died, he gave the scroll to his servant and asked him to pray for his family and peace in Japan. Following the Battle of Dannoura, the Taira clan were defeated, and the servant fled to the temple's current location, hidden in the mountains. After his death, a small temple was built, and much later, in 1706, a local leader formed Saihoji Temple. 

These days, the temple is fairly modern; most of the buildings were built in the 1900's, and the main hall was only built in 1999. It's believed to bring good luck to those who pray for their families happiness, such as weddings, childbirth and business success. 

The main gate, built in 1931

Apparently, if you pray to this tree, you'll get married soon. That's one powerful tree.

Lots of elderly Japanese admiring the carp in the pond, and apparently ignoring the gorgeous pagoda behind them!

Enough of this temple rubbish, look at the gorgeous colour of this Japanese Maple!

Pretty leaves and pagoda. Lovely! 

But a little further down, the trees are only just starting to change. Hopefully only a week or two more!


  1. These look far more prettier than all our trees here, and its all horrible and rainy too :(

    1. It's been raining here the last few days too, it's rubbish!

      At least your trees are giving you tasty chestnuts!

  2. The big question is ... did YOU pray to the tree?????

    On the rare occasions that the sun decides to shine, we have got a bit of tree colour here. Having been out driving around with Grandad recently, I have been on the lookout for colour and we did see some - but not the glorious reds that the maples go. Here it is mostly yellow and orange. But in the mist and rain it all just looks gloomy :-(

    1. Haha, no I did not.

      Oh dear, I hope the weather cheers up soon! It's been a bit stormy the last few days, but it's set to cheer up this weekend in time for a trip to Mount Izumi :)

  3. May I echo your mother's question? As much as I adore arcane historical facts, you're leaving out fairly important relevant bits. :D

    Isn't Japan's autumn weather the most gorgeous weather in all of creation? We had another crystal-clear cobalt-blue slightly breezy day today, so I also spent it chasing temples in forests.

    I never did get this carp thing. I had the same experience today: people ignoring an awesome Zen temple and a delightful little Benten shrine on an island in the pond, and staring at the carp instead. Hmph.

    PS: Gorgeous tree!

    1. I'm very sorry, but I did not pray to the tree. Perhaps I should have done, just to prove it doesn't work!

      The weather here is currently really windy and threatening rain, so right now it isn't the best, but we have had some gorgeous weather. I prefer spring though, I don't like the impending doom (winter) that autumn signals!

      Carp are cool, as far as fish go, but they are definitely not the best thing about any temples/shrines!

    2. Jaaa, but spring signals the imminent soggy humid draining ghastly horrid hell otherwise known as August! (+_+)