Yuyuan Garden

Yu Garden

This is just one of the endless scenic little areas in Yuyuan Garden. Don’t get me wrong this place is a tourist trap! It’s not so much that it is expensive or people are trying to sell you something (well there is the tea house), but it’s the throngs of tourists. SO MANY TOURISTS. I luckily got there very early in the day and they were really starting to arrive just as I was preparing to leave.

It Confuses Ghosts

In ancient Chinese mythology, evil spirits can only travel in a straight line. As such much of the design of this Ming Dynasty era temple winds around in some crazy ways. I literally got lost multiple times trying to find one of the more popular areas! I walked by the Grand Rockery with the intent to come back, but after wandering around for 40 minutes I was never able to find it again. I briefly considered I might be myself an evil spirit, but then discounted that notion since I am so sweet!

Byodo-In Temple Offering

Peaceful Offering

Honolulu is a city of hustle and bustle. I hope to ho back and explore some more next year, but in a big city, sometimes you want to get away from all the movement. You want some peace from all the go. You drive to The Valley of the Temples and visit Byodo-In Temple. This is a replica of a Buddhist Temple in Kyoto Japan. This particular temple is non-denominational and everyone is invited to visit. I sat quietly for some time beneath the 9 foot tall wooden Buddha. People came and went. It is a lovely location.

Tiny Buddha

This little Buddha statue was collecting offerings in the gardens in front of Byodo-In Temple. I almost missed him if not for another photographer lying on the ground to take his picture. Sir, I say thank you.

Entering the Temple of Love

It’s Almost Valentine’s Day

Not that I am oblivious or anything, but Pamela asked me what HDR photo I was working on and I said one of the shots of The Temple of Love. “Oh,” she said, “for Valentine’s Day!” Right! Valentine’s Day! In retrospect, it was probably some sort of subconscious observation that put the holiday together with the temple at Versailles dedicated to love.

History of Love

The Temple of Love was commissioned by Marie Antoinette to be part of her Hameau (place, often a rural area). It is made of marble and contains a dozen Corinthian columns that support the structure. In the center is a statue of Cupid, (the Roman god of love, desire, and erotic love) fashioning his bow from the club of Hercules. Marie Antoinette fancied the life of the peasants. Well, she rather fancied some aristocratic washing over of how wonderfully simple it must be to be a peasant. She didn’t actually fancy being poor or doing manual labor… that was far beneath her. She built a fantasy playground at the Trianon Palaces this temple is but one of the amusements of the Domaine de Marie-Antoinette.