stepping stones of truth

A journey along the path of life - the stones can be rough, smooth or even wobbly!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kyoto Diary : Six

Technically a Free Day, but the offer of a trip on the local bus into the hills near Lake Biwa cant be turned down. Especially to the world famous Miho Museum. (the website is worth a look.)


Designed by the architect I.M. Pei (of Louvre glass pyramid fame) every detail of the place is stylish and stunning. The entrance is up a gentle slope through natural woodland, and then this space age curving tunnel which - only at the end - reveals the bridge over a gorge to the museum.

Everything has been thought of, even free umbrellas to use, exactly the colour of autumn leaves.

The clouds were rolling mysteriously along the hills like smoke, outling the ridges and the hollows. What a view from a museum, deliberately framed by pine trees. Aaaah.


An alcove which always contains an exquisite seasonal arrangement. Currently its persimmons.


In order to get planning permission, they had to take the top off the mountain, build the museum and put the mountain back. So the grass and trees above the windows are all replacements, as the galleries go back into the hillside.

This is called hot coffee and Bavarian style green tea cake. There is a long history of good organic food here (some they grow themselves) unusual in Japan. The cake was heavenly. I sighed a lot!

This huge and alien space was a cavern solely for the purpose of allowing the electric shuttle bus to deliver disabled people right to the door, with no steps to negotiate. Those upright walls must have been nine foot. It had an almost religious feel, and had the sound quality of a cathedral.

A visit would not be complete without a visit to one of the most stylish loos I have seen. Not only does it have top notch all singing all dancing Japanese toilets but the woodwork and craftsmanship is beyond belief.


The museum was built to house an exceptional collection of antiquities from all over the world which are superbly lit and displayed thoughtfully.

I always head for the room containing half a dozen Gandhara pieces. This time I found I had been completely absorbed contemplating this Buddha from Taxila (an ancient site 6th BC, near Peshawar in Pakistan which I visited in the 70s). I realised that I had been standing there for over half and hour, totally happy and content in looking deeply. At one point I am sure that the statue was breathing in time with me. Although its made of stone, it wasnt static and seemed to shift subltely. I eventually moved and thinking restarted, yet the spell wasnt broken. I came out of there a different person. Well they say you can never step in the same river twice.....

3 Comments:

At 1:27 pm, Blogger Tabor said...

I have been away and not had time to read about your trip. This morning I finally took some time and read all about your lovely journey. You can tell that you are so mature and ready for Japan this time. I wish that I had your wisdom and knowledge during the times I have visited Japan. You will indeed come back a different person. isn't life wonderful?

 
At 1:24 am, Anonymous Dave B @ ArkSanctum.Org said...

Stunning photos Val! :)

 
At 2:12 am, Blogger Kerri said...

I've had such a wonderful time reading your Kyoto Diary, Val! Aaaaahhhh...to use your descriptive term :)
Your photos are stunning, and oh, those autumn colors! It's a beautiful place indeed.
It sounds like you're having a wonderful time.
I'm happy for you...being there, and enjoying this time so much. Truly a blessing.

 

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