アメリカから日本に来ている友人夫妻が日帰りで多賀に来てくれたので 曇り空の午後、一緒に甲良町の西明寺（さいみょうじ）を訪れました。 天台宗の西明寺http://www.saimyouji.com/は湖東三山の一つに数えられ、本堂と三重塔は国宝の指定を受ける堂々とした立派なお寺です。名神高速道路と国道３０７号線が入口付近を通り、その騒音に正直驚きましたが、参道中腹からはうっそうと茂る緑の木立とその下に広がる一面の苔の美しさにいつの間にか騒音は耳に入らなくなっていました。紅葉は少し始まっていましたが、本格的なのは１１月半ばとのこと。さぞかし見事な絵模様であろうと思いつつ、訪れる観光客は私達以外にいない静かなお庭を散策できたのは至福の時間でした。A couple from the US who are my friends and currently in Japan, took a day trip to Taga yesterday, so we visited Saimyouji in Koora in the afternoon although it was not perfect weather. Saimyouji http://www.saimyouji.com/ (temple which belongs to the Japan Tendai sect of Buddhism) is one of the "Kotoo Sanzan (three temples in the east of Lake Biwa) ". The Main Hall and Three-story Pagoda of the temple, built in Kamakura period (1185-1333) are designated National Treasures and they are standing in a massive structure. At first I was bothered by the noise of the highway and Rt 307, but while I was walking along the path towards the temple where thick and dense trees are on both sides and covered with deep green moss under the trees, I was amazed by the beautiful greenish scene and forgot about the noise. Some maple leaves have started to change color, but we have to wait until the middle of November to appreciate the autumn foliage. It must be gorgeous when you visit then. We, however, were able to enjoy walking through the beautiful Japanese garden where there were no tourists around except us.