Some pictures of the Gateway of the Imperial Messenger at Kew Gardens

Continuing with the photos we took at Kew Gardens the other month and this time it is Chokushi-Mon or the Gateway of the Imperial Messenger which is a fourth-fifths actual size replica of the Karamon of Nishi Hongan-ji Temple in Kyoto created for the Japan-British Exhibition held in London in 1910.

The gateway is made of hinoki wood (Japanese cypress), has a traditional copper roof, and some absolutely stunning carvings on the wooden panels.

If you are wondering how I know all this, I took photographs of the various signs talking about the exhibits at the garden because I knew I would forget.

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Again it’s another lovely walk up to an exhibit with yet another helpful tree in place to obstruct part of the view, although it does allow for a nice revealing effect as you get closer to the exhibit and the view becomes unobscured.

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Here is the same shot but a little closer. The tree is blocking less of the view here.

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This is the view of the Gateway from the other side to the ones above, when you approach from this direction you walk up a curved path on a gentle hill surrounded by flowers.

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And again the Gateway from the same side when we were a little closer and had walked along more of the path. No colourful flowers this time either.

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A closeup of the door, or I suppose gate technically, and the carvings on it. On the floor is loads of pennies that people have thrown down, I’m guessing for good luck, doesn’t work but whatever makes people happy. Maybe they get swept up now and then and help pay for upkeep, that said there probably wouldn’t be enough money for that, maybe it goes to paying for ice creams for the people who maintain the Gateway?

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And finally a photo of the carvings and panels on the side of the Gateway. The more I look at this photo, the more of the carvings I notice. You have the carvings on the panels, above the panels, the parts that stick out at the top on the sides, actually on the frame itself. Just think how long that must have taken to do. Imagine getting close to finish and making a mistake, I would not have the patience to start over.

Remember to go back and check the photos of the pagoda and peacock if you haven’t seen them already. I’ll post some pictures of actual flowers tomorrow.

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