Kisshoin is for when I don’t have time

Kisshoin temple gate and main hall
Kisshoin temple gate with the main hall behind.

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.

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.

Jizo statues
Jizo statues.

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.

Kisshoin temple main hall
Kisshoin's main hall.

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.

Kisshoin temple entrance
The entrance to Kisshoin.

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.

small buddhist stone statue

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.

small Shinto Shrine
A small shinto shrine outside the main gate.

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.

Komainu statue head
A Komainu (lion-dog guardian) statue.

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 is a typical Japanese temple. You’ll find many like it throughout Tokyo. It’s not a Gokokuji, Zojoji or Sensoji. This one is for local needs.

Kisshoin temple

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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *