Wednesday, March 4, 2009


March 4th at Sanjusangendo003

I spent my birthday (and accidental day off) at Sanjusangendo, which I had somehow managed to never visit even though I studied it in college, lived close enough to it that I passed it every day and have had it strongly recommended to me on numerous occasions. I had been meaning to go for a while and always not making it. It was an overcast, windy, overslept day when I finally set out.

March 4th at Sanjusangendo005

It is hard to communicate the scale of the place. It is monstrous. I believe it is at least 120 meters long.

March 4th at Sanjusangendo004

The white door you see in the background would have to be twice the height of a person. Probably more.

March 4th at Sanjusangendo006

Unfortunately, the grounds are the only place where you can take photos. Fortunately, the grounds are lovely.

March 4th at Sanjusangendo010

The name of the building in English means, "The Thirty-Three Bays." So there are thrity-three of these spaces between the beams. It is truly massive.

March 4th at Sanjusangendo020

The site also has a natural spring which is heralded for its delicious taste and has a sign above it that says, "Not Potable."

March 4th at Sanjusangendo037

A cold wind was coming in from the north.

March 4th at Sanjusangendo042

This is the the west side of the building where they used to have archery contests. Competitors fired arrows from one end to the other. They could go for most out of 100, most out of 1,000 or most in 24 hours.

March 4th at Sanjusangendo050

One of my favorite things about this location, as well as others in Kyoto, is that thye are surrounded by normal neighborhoods. So, if you have a third floor apartment around the grounds you have an amazing view all day, every day.

March 4th at Sanjusangendo060

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attempting to silence the voices in my head.