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!