A Guide to Kyoto’s Wooden and Traditional Architecture
Once you take a short trek through village of Kyoto’s Ohara and up a narrow stone path, you will arrive at Jakko-in (寂光院), a small Buddhist convent sitting at the foothills of the city’s northern mountains. One immediately notices the freshness of the material of the main hall. The original building was said to date as far back as the year 592, but a suspected arson fire damaged a substantial part of the building in 2000. Thanks to the woodworking and carpentry techniques that have been passed on from generations ago, they were able to faithfully reconstruct the building.
Despite Jakko-in being a relatively small structure, there are numerous meticulous wooden details that are present in such a small space. One of the most noticeable elements are the shitomito (蔀戸), of hinged shutters. Shitomoto has a long history as they were widely used before the time of sliding partitions. The large panels are hinged at the top, and not only do they function to weatherproof and ventilate the interior space, they can be lifted and hung to allow for lights to give the interior a sense of openness.
Even though Suikoushya International Craft School is now up and running in France, our Kyoto workshop will still continue to operate and we want to welcome you when you’re in Kyoto!
akko-in (寂光院)~Kyoto Traditional Architecture guide~