Kisshoin is for when I don’t have time

Kisshoin temple hondo main hall
Kisshoin temple's main hall

Kisshoin is close to my house. It’s on the south side of Takaido Station, and I’m on the north. It’s a small place but worth checking out if you are into temples. While I’m not a regular photographer at this one, I drop in when I am nearby or don’t have much time. It’s perfect for that type of photo shoot.

If you are into wabi-sabi, Kisshion is the place. It certainly is that. It meets the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy of being “subdued, austere beauty.”  The grounds have a certain serenity about them.

Kisshoin Jizo statues
Jizo statues.

There isn’t very much to it. It has a main hall and many Buddhist icons on the grounds. A line of jizo statues fills one corner. Everything is slowly but surely falling into a state of decay. Yep, it is definitely a subdued, austere beauty.

Whenever I go, no one is there. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone praying at the hall or in the cemetery. But there is a rack with omikuji on it, so there are signs people visit it. It is so local.

And that is why I haven’t featured it on this blog. It’s not a major sightseeing or photography spot. But I appreciate it. It has the classic temple architecture and it’s near my house.

And it has that wabi-sabi atmosphere. That makes it a spot for me! There is enough to photograph for fun. So I thought I’d put it here for you. And there is one more reason.

I have been busy lately. You might remember from previous articles that I’ve become a tour guide. Yes, it’s true! After many years, I’ve said goodbye to English teaching.

To learn my new job, I need to visit many places. And as I’m still inexperienced, I spend much time memorizing scripts. I practice it most days of the week. And there are things I’m looking to add. I’m always on the internet learning more about Tokyo. Of course, I need to guide my guests too! I enjoy it, but it’s killing my photography time.

I used to post new blog articles twice a week. On rare occasions, it would be once. Now I wonder if there will be times when I can publish nothing. It worries me, but I will soldier on. For the moment, tour guiding preparation is very time-intensive.

Anyway, let’s get back to Kisshion. In many respects it is a typical Japanese temple. You’ll find many like it in Tokyo. It’s not a Gokokuji or Sensoji, but one for local needs.

When I’m too busy, Kisshoin is something I can fall back on. It’s that place I can photograph when I don’t have time to travel further. I’m very grateful it’s there.

Kisshoin Temple photos camera gear:

Camera Body: Fujifilm X-T3

Lenses: 

  • Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS
  • Fujifilm XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR

For more Suginami Ward articles, look at: