Frozen moments from the infinity that is time


Sanjusangendo (Kyoto)

Sanjusangendo is, at 120 metres), Japan’s longest wooden structure, with the name literally translating to “33 intervals” to denote the number of intervals between the building’s support columns. The temple’s other major claim to fame is for the 1001 statues of Kannon (the goddess of mercy), which are housed within the temple hall. Originally built in 1164 and destroyed by fire in 1249, the current structure dates from 1266.

Unfortunately my photographs are restricted to external views given that photography is banned inside the temple hall. This is always disappointing, particularly when it seems to be motivated by a desire to increase souvenir sales and when a blind eye is turned to those taking “selfies” on phone cameras.

Nevertheless, there is a “silver lining” and by focusing on exterior shots, one has the opportunity to highlight the quiet beauty and strength of traditional wooden structures, not to mention the wonderful hues that result as wood ages. My personal favourite is the final shot, simply because it is a timeless view that may have been shared by many over the centuries.

(Please click on any of the following images for an enlarged view.)