Mizuka, Zuiko-san and Kaoru
Mizuka, Kaoru and I visted Sanji-Chion-Ji temple today. Zuiko is the lone abbotess who takes care of this temple. I met her through an introduction of a Monk the last time I was in Kyoto. She was once a politician but decided to throw away her career and become an abbotess. She is now 60 years old, but she has a beaming smile and does not look 60. She welcomed us and gave us a tour. The temple was built during the Oei Period 1394-1428 when the Irie Gosho, an area inside the Kyoto Imperial Palace was moved here. Unmarried daughters of the Imperial Family lived here and became abbotesses. It is now in the care of Abbotess Zuiko who has become of a friend. The temple is closed to the public and it's a great honor to be able to visit Zuiko-san and see the wonderful treasures and garden inside. There are around five such Imperial Abbotess temples in Kyoto.
I have some photos in my photo album.