Connoisseur's Guide


Architectural Tourism Handbook by Andis Sīlis

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Connoisseur's Guide · Asia · japan · Kyoto · Architectural Tourism Handbook by Andis Sīlis


Author: Andis Sīlis0 COMMENTS


Tokyo is diametrically opposite to our knowledge about ancient Japanese culture - most of youths do not know literary hieroglyphs, read Manga picture books, listen to MTV and sing karaoke in evenings on specially adapted for this purpose balconies of their multistory lodgings. What's even more regrettable, they do their utmost, trying to bleach their coal-black hair, turning them into rust-colored mops. Yet, with Kyoto it is different story.

Foto: KyotoFoto: Kyoto

Life flows slower there and architecture, too, is slightly toned-down - lower structures, many historic buildings and their typical miniature gardens.
Being in Japan, aside from chaotic Tokyo madness, do not miss an opportunity to visit Kyoto temples, each one having its own story.

Foto: KyotoFoto: Kyoto

Ryoan-ji. Zen Buddhists temple is famous with its rock garden with 15 boulders. Try to count them, yet however hard you try, and from any angle, only 14 of them are visible. You can unravel this puzzle, walking slowly over a terrace, watching closely, which stone starts hiding behind another one. As for me, I felt more impressed by the building itself, with its wooden architecture and perfection of its junctions and details.
Golden temple is located in an incredibly scenic park, while Silver one is considered to be a perfection of an architectural harmony - because it is unfinished, consider some experts of traditional Japanese architecture.

Foto: Kyoto

Everyone, who has ever craved to turn their little plot of land into a "Japanese style" garden, please note that it is hardly possible. Only being there, you can fully embrace the amount of time and knowledge and positive energy, that is required for creating a Japanese garden.

My most impressive experience in Japan, regardless of a harmony of ancient temples and gardens, developed in the course of centuries, was creations of the world renowned architect Tadao Ando. Most often it is not possible to take photos of his designed buildings. Yet, being in there, a habitual notion of space, as a simple rectangle enclosed by walls, in the mind of a viewer turns into something physically perceptible...It's hard to put it into words even - air, part of cosmos or substance with its elementary particles, organized in a totally amazing structure, gave me more clarity then the knowledge acquired during the studies or my own former experiments in this field.

Foto: KyotoFoto: KyotoFoto: Kyoto

Ando is a genius. His designed Open air museum and Time's building are sited in Kyoto, while in Tokyo you may visit Collezione, Omote Sando and a whole Ando Street. It features an art museum and his variations on a living house theme. Several outstanding Ando's projects are located in rural areas or small towns, and visiting those places is my unfulfilled dream.

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