This is an authorized translation in English of a post in French by @japon: Eikan-do, le temples des érables momiji à Kyoto
As my primary language is not English, there are probably some mistakes in my translation.
Remember that the person that speaks here is NOT me, Vincent Celier (@vcelier), but @japon, a French guy.
Since I had some time left after my visits to the Silver Pavilion, the Path of Philosophy, the Nanzen-ji Temple and the Heian-jingu Shrine, I decided to make another visit. In Japan night falls quickly, and most temples close at 5PM. It's just three o'clock, my stomach is empty but I want to make the most of this trip to Kyoto. After a quarter of an hour's walk, I arrive at Eikan-do temple.
The tour begins with a series of tree-lined avenues that gradually lead to the heights. One can admire a superb panorama on the district of Higashiyama.
Eikan-do was founded in the 9th century and owes its name to its main monk. It is since the 12th century considered as the first Buddhist temple of the Seizan branch. It is very popular in the fall to admire the red maple trees, but apart from the excitement of this season it is remarkable for the tranquility it releases. A special atmosphere that we come to look for in a Buddhist place of worship.
Located at the foot of the Higashiyama Mountains, the Eikan-do Temple is quite large, with its fifteen wooden pavilions connected by passageways and staircases. This is reminiscent of what I had already seen at Ninna-ji temple, but the atmosphere is somewhat different. This is certainly due to the hilly appearance of the place. I go up, I go down, and then the atmosphere is also darker, cooler. We feel the air of the mountain nearby.
Note that the place is nice even when it rains because we are well sheltered under these corridors of various heights. The effects of light are fantastic through the foliage of maple trees. And then there are these scents, this humidity, these small gardens nestled between the pavilions. It's really magical.
Then I arrive in the lower part, with its big basin surrounded by maples, and its bridge that crosses it. Many tourists take the opportunity to take souvenir photos. I travel alone and have no one to immortalize this moment with me, but it does not matter. I do not want to live my trip to Japan through a camera. The best memories, I have them in my head.
A little out of the way from its classic tourist trails, the Eikan-do Temple is well worth a visit for its remarkably well maintained gardens and the different landscapes it offers. There are several varieties of maples and some began to take on their reddish colors, a warning sign of "koyo", the hunt for red leaves, so popular with the Japanese.
I leave the temple just before it closes, in this atmosphere "between dog and wolf", full of melancholy, and walk quietly to the center of Kyoto. I do not want to take the bus, I prefer to walk, with the images of this day that parade in my head.
01: Travel diary in Japan, by @japon
02: Tokyo, overcrowded city? Really? by @japon
03: Are the Japanese too disciplined? by @japon
04: Going to Japan without speaking Japanese? by @japon
05: Ueno, more than just a big park in Tokyo, by @japon
06: Asakusa, diving in the heart of Tokyo's historic district, by @japon
07: Ameyoko, Ueno's colorful market, by @japon
08: Tsukiji, the largest fish market in the world, by @japon
09: Climb the steps of Atago Jinja Shrine in Tokyo, by @japon
10: Hama Rikyu, an exceptional park in the heart of Tokyo, by @japon
11: Jimbocho, old books and tempura, by @japon
12: Shinjuku Gyoen Park and the best burger in the world!, by @japon
13: One night in Shibuya, by @japon
14: Takeshita dori : this little street dedicated to fashion (and good crepes), by @japon
15: They lie to you about Kyoto, by @japon
16: The temples and secret garden of Higashi in Kyoto, by @japon
17: Kinkaku-ji, the temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, by @japon
18: Ryoan-ji, the amazing stone garden in Kyoto, by @japon
19: The Ninna-ji Temple and its extraordinary gardens, by @japon
20: Kyoto Gyoen, the Imperial Palace Park, by @japon
21: Nishiki Market: A Must in Kyoto, by @japon
22: Ginkaku-ji, the temple of the silver pavilion in Kyoto, by @japon
23: Meditate on the path of philosophy, by @japon
24: Nanzen-ji, its impressive gate and two gardens, by @japon
25: Heian-jinju: the big shrine and its garden that I almost missed, by @japon