Yesterday I spent the afternoon in my favourite spot at Shinniyodo temple. There are lots of trees, often a cool breeze, and benches and tables where I can write and work. Unless they are working in the large area with attached cemetery with their leaf blowers and grass cutters, the place is very quiet and peaceful. As it is a bit off the beaten tracks, not many people are coming there, except during Hanami and Koyo season.
Every now and then, a hapless tourist stumbles onto the temple ground. Yesterday was such a day, and I watched a tourist – possibly a Japanese from outside of Kyoto – running around the temple taking photos. The man also took a picture of the front of the main hall, which struck me as particularly odd. Don’t get me wrong, the buildings are nice, there is a lovely three-storied pagoda, and for a special fee you can go and see the Japanese garden, but, right now, the main hall front view is this:
So, why on earth would you want to take a picture of scaffolding with a roof on top? Even if the man was a builder, this is very strange. It may have been simply for documentation purposes, something along the lines of Been here, Done that. I have seen many people taking odd snapshots. The most stunning experience, however, was a man in Heian shrine garden, who walked through it with his ipad raised to the side of his head, obviously making a movie. However, neither did he look at the screen, nor at the scenery at large, the only thing he saw was the path in front of him. To me, this type of tour documentation is useless. Even if you see the pictures half a year later – would you still remember actually having been there?