On Sunday, 12th of November, the MSA Kansai Team organised an outing to enjoy the autumn colours of Kyoto. The location we chose was Mt. Hiei, a popular destination to enjoy the changing colours.
In the afternoon, 20 people assembled at Demachiyanagi station in Kyoto. It was a good mix of scholars from Osaka and Kyoto. We started our journey with a train ride to Yase-Hiezanguchi station. Right outside the station, we could already see the red and yellow colours welcoming us.
The next step of the journey involved using the Eizan Cable Car and ropeway all the way to the top of Mt. Hiei. The view on the way was simply mesmerising.
Once we reached the top, it was now time for a small hike to the temple complex. The main attraction in Mt. Hiei is Enryaku-ji, one of the most important monasteries in Japanese history and headquarters of the Tendai sect of Japanese Buddhism. On the way, there were many viewing spots. We were lucky to witness a clear view of the beautiful valley. We did stop for a group photo.
When we reached the entrance of the Enryaku-ji temple, it was already close to closing time and so we were actually allowed to go in without paying any entry fees. We utilised the short time we had and tried to absorb the atmosphere as much as we can. We took many photos of the beautiful temple complexes. However, the main temple was actually inaccessible due to ongoing repair works.
On the way back, it was quite chilly and started to get dark. However, we did see some illumination that made us feel happy and somehow compensated our struggle with the chilly weather. The outing ended with a lovely middle-eastern dinner and smiles on our faces with a hope to meet again soon.
Photographs by Fabian Hia and Anirban Chakraborty