Brian Butterfield Travel Blog

Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Awaji Island, Himeji, Kanazawa, Naoshima (Setouchi Art Festival), Hiroshima, Fukuoka

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    Job site 3

    Brian Butterfield
    Aug 2, '10 12:00 AM EST

    Chion-in Hotel
    The Takenaka corporation is currently building a new hotel at the Chion-in Gate, the entry gate (San-mon) to a massive park and multiple temple complex in Eastern Kyoto. Many of the temples are owned by private companies (many still the original family that was responsible for temple upkeep) and the hotel client is the ownership group of the temple complex.

    The entrance to Chionin is through the two-story San-mon (main gate) and then up a steep flight of stairs. Standing at 79 feet (24 meters) tall, this is Japan's largest temple gate. It was built in 1619 and has been designated a Japanese National Treasure.

    The gate is a fitting introduction to the expansive temple complex of Chionin, one of the largest in Japan and an important religious headquarters. At one time, the complex had 21 buildings. Because of fires and earthquakes, the oldest standing buildings are the Hon-do (Main Hall, 1633) and the Daihojo (Abbots' Quarters, 1639).

    Chionin's temple bell (cast in 1633) is the heaviest in Japan, at 74 tons. It takes 17 monks to ring it at the New Year ceremony.



    Structures near Chion-in Gate



    Chion-in Gate itself. The massive timber columns come from a forrest in Shiga (I think) known for its forests.


    This a view from the jobsite, these carpenters are actually sifting the excavated soil for all metal remains such as screws and bolts for recycling.


    The 3 american interns, Ayako, our incredibly helpful tour guide, and our Edo Era friend in the poster over Tylers left shoulder.


    I saw this nearby, I believe it is the remains of a traditional building that got engulfed by the concrete monstrosity built above it, what you see in the backstreets often yields archeological curiosities.


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The Takenaka Internship is granted yearly to one student each from the architecture schools of Yale, M.I.T. and the University of Pennsylvania. The Takenaka Corporation traces its history back more than four hundred years and this internship provides American students of architecture with a summer of valuable training at Japan's oldest architecture, engineering and construction firm. Based out of the Osaka design office, interns participate in various aspects of design and also accompany archite

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