This year, cherry blossom season went very quickly. It was not only cherry blossoms that ended soon. Due to the extraordinary warm weather, all spring flowers bloomed very early and finished in a blink of an eye.
So, now is the time to see fresh greenery. The sunshine reflecting on the young green leaves are profoundly pleasing. Especially, the scenery around the Hou-oh-doh (鳳凰堂, Phoenix Hall) within the Byodoin temple (平等院) in Uji (宇治) city, is my favorite.
Because of it's beautiful scenery, Byodoin temple has been referred to as Gokurakujyodo (極楽浄土, Buddhism Pure Land) ever since the Heian (平安) period. A national treasure ”Amida-zou(阿弥陀像, statue of Amitabha)" is enshrined here in the Hou-oh-doh, and thesurrounding atmosphere is just mystic. On its roof, there are statues of Hou-oh (鳳凰, Phoenix) which seem to fly away to the sky at any moment.
Now is the perfect season to enjoy a heavenly view of fresh greenery here. It is a nice way to spend an afternoon visiting the re-emergence of Gokurakujyodo.