Monday, April 23, 2018

室生寺 Muro-ji Temple in harmony with Rhododendron

Muro-ji Temple is located halfway up Mount Muro in the city of Uda 
near the boundary of Nara and Mie Prefectures.

It is known as “女人高野 Koya-san for Women.”
It was opened to both males and females, while Mount Koya was only to males.

Its Five-story Pagoda (late 8th century) is the tiniest among the national treasures 
standing outdoors in Japan
and the second oldest next to that of Horyu-ji Temple.
It stands elegant and magnificent,
looks much taller when being looked up from the below.

Rhododendrons display their colorful blooms about three weeks from mid-April.
At the peak of Rhododendron season, the temple precinct is awash 
with glorious pink blooms. 
Under the canopies of the flowers and green foliage,
the stone steps lead you up to the inner sanctuary.

In light and shadow
Many Stone Buddhist images here and there are adorned with the flowers.

The stone steps connect about a dozen of buildings,
leading through a dense forest up to the inner sanctuary.
The old wooden temple structures blend in with the surrounding nature.

Kondo Hall

 Cercis chinensis

Miroku-do Hall
Muro-ji Temple has drawn the devoted for a long, long time
in spite of its remote location with limited access.
Spring is so beautiful in the harmony of pink and green
but each and every season is also enchantingly fascinating
to take in natural beauty in the solemn atmosphere.

(All the photos were taken on May 3 last year.)

Linked to Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday


  1. A treasure, indeed....
    And gorgeous pictures !
    Have a shinny week !

  2. To be in nature and to truly listen is a rare experience in modern life. In some ways, a forest is a temple. Yet the buildings and statues you’ve photographed that are so in harmony with the trees, flowers and shrubbery are a doorway to an even deeper experience. Thanks as always for sharing your world, stardust.

  3. Nature and spirituality have always been intimately interwoven. Here, people have given exactly this expression. It is not surprising that people are so attracted to it. A wonderful example in just such photos. Thanks for this post here.

  4. A truly wonderful temple in wonderful surroundings, your story telling enhanced by the beautiful photographs took me there immediately and I didn't want to leave. Thank you for sharing the Muro-ji Temple with us today at Mosaic Monday.

  5. What a beautiful country you live in. Thank you for sharing als this beauty.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Rosehugs Marijke

  6. Oh, how beautiful there is! Have a nice day;-)

  7. The green leaves and the beautiful blooms are perfect in your photos! I so love to take my time reading your blog! Thanks for sharing.

  8. I love Rhododendron blossom! I wish I could see that now!

  9. What a delightful temple surrounded by so many gorgeous rhododendron flowers! Your posts and photos are always filled with a certain warmth and charm that speaks highly of not only your photographic ability but of the wonderful area in which you live! And thank you for taking the time to stop by my Ocala blog and offer your generous comments!

  10. A splendid little temple in a delightful setting. In this country rhododendrons have escaped from gardens and grow wild. They take over whole hillsides if left unchecked - very beautiful when in flower but not in harmony with anything.

  11. You are really an expert when holding your camera to capture the best shots with the perfect angles! I love all your photos and the way you "framed" the subjects with pretty flowers & branches at the sides. It is like an Ikebana Photography to me and that's very beautiful. I believe Spring is the best season to snap pretty photos in Japan.

  12. Dear Yoko - Muro-ji Temple looks a delightful little national treasure complete with its perfect surroundings of soft pink blossom and freshly emerging leaves in shades of chartreuse.
    From the appearance of those steep stone steps it looks as if a pair of good strong legs are needed to negotiate all of those stairways, and what a lovely scene photo number five is.

  13. Hello, Yoko.
    You know, what is incredible about the Temple? It stands amidst a dense forest and it looks totally natural, as natural as trees and grass. I had a similar feeling in Venice, on Grand Canal, where wonderful buildings rise from the water, as if they had always been there together with air and water.
    Your last phrase sounds as if it was addressed to me. You know I think the same. Coincidentally, we published new posts on 23 April. Can you guess what inspired me?
    All the best, Yoko, to you and your family.

  14. It is nice to see the temple. It looks beautiful. Nice to know about them...

  15. Once again I enter your magical world!

  16. Hello much beauty! I love the pink and green....a stunning combination.
    Lovely photos...thank you.
    Best wishes

  17. Such a beautiful place! I can feel the peace of it just looking at the photos.

  18. The Muro-ji Temple looks beautiful and elegant, especially in your first photograph taken from below. What a great angle. Pink blossoms in spring are the loveliest things - our city is awash with them these days, too. I never tire of the cherry blossoms and pink rhododendrons. Thank you for sharing this lovely temple in the forest with us.

  19. From the first picture, I felt serenity wash over me. How else can you feel when experiencing such beauty? Clearly, someone took their time many years ago to plan the building placement and the gardens very carefully, and the hard work paid off in the perfect harmony of the stone steps, wooden buildings and the plants! Thanks for sharing this piece of heaven with us!

  20. こんばんは。素敵な写真ですね。石楠花はまだ咲いていますか、28日にツアーで行く予定です。花は待って居て呉れないですね。

  21. Hello, Dear Yoko!
    A wonderful temple, wonderful photos and beautiful pink azaleas.
    Yoko, thank you very much for admiring your wonderful country.
    Blessed days.
    Hugs and kisses.

  22. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos.
    Many greetings
    Maria de
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

  23. This looks like a wonderful place to wander, relax, take photos and feel peace and joy.
    Thank you for sharing your time there. The flowers are so lovely.

  24. what beautiful and stunning temple surrounded by glorious nature!!!

    how magnificently captured by you my friend!

    i hold my breath to each image !
    thank you for sharing the beauty of you part of land

  25. I would love to see this beautiful temple for myself. Your photographs are lovely. I have always liked rhododendrons, the colour and the shape of the blossoms.

  26. GOODNESS!! what gorgeous photographs!

  27. What a wonderful place to visit, and in rhododendron season! So beautiful. I may be wrong, but I thought felt some similarities between this ancient place and the places of the Mayans in Mexican jungles, perhaps my imagination!
    Thank you for sharing!
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  28. Those pictures are absolutely amazing. I love how the architecture fits with the natural beauty of the land.

  29. The softness of the blooms contrasts beautifully with the stone. I feel a quieting of my spirit as I look at your photos. This is a beautiful temple immersed in Nature.

  30. 山奥にひっそりと佇んでいる。 という雰囲気です。



  31. Undoubtedly you have captured marvelously the harmony that gives title to this post. Your images give very good testimony of the connection between the buildings, stone steps... and the nature in which this ones insert. Undoubtedly you have got that every detail, setting... speaks to us in an excellent way about this great agreement.

  32. Dear Yoko, I appreciate so much your wonderful comments! They always are positive and make me feel good. Re the bike: It is my bike. I wanted to set it up to see if anyone would come to that conclusion. I'm rather sneaky! :)

  33. 昨年行かれたのですね。一度は行ったみたいと思いながら、山深くそして階段も沢山ありそうでためらいながら、月日が経ってしまいます。春にはこんなに色とりどりの花に囲まれることは始めて知りました。


  34. So many beautiful pink flowers around elegant buildings! To me pagodas have always looked really exotic. There was a fashion for them in the 18th century as ornamental buildings in certain rich peoples' gardens.

    I was wondering if the pink rhododendrons are wild or cultivated? Here, the colour of wild rhododendron is purple. Because rhododendron is an introduced species, it can be invasive if left unchecked, so the plants are often cleared from woodland. Sometimes, though, a decision is made to leave them to flourish, and that always makes me happy. I used to live near a place called "Rhododendron Mile" where nearly a mile of these beautiful plants lined a country road, and they grew to a towering height.

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