A Few Temples in Kyoto
Silver and Golden Pavillions and Ryoan-ji
, Mark and I had visited a number of temples in Kyoto.
This was Andrea and David's first time to Kyoto so we set aside a day to
see some of the highlights of the city.
The Silver Pavilion (Ginkaku-ji)
From our hotel we walked up Path of Philosophy (no fall colours yet)
and up to Ginkaku-ji. This temple has two claims to fame -
first, its large sand sculptures, and second, its moss gardens.
The large sand sculptures give the Silver name to this temple - they are
designed to mimic the sea and the pile (Kogetsudai) is designed for moon
viewing. It was softly raining while we were there so I was
surprised to see how crisp the sculptures were.
The Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji)
We took the bus to the eastern side of
town, picked up lunch and then visited the Golden Pavilion. The
Golden Pavilion is one of the most famous sites in Kyoto. Everyone
knows it - there is a large viewing area where people gather to take
photos of their friends, themselves, and the Temple.
There are also gardens behind the Golden Pavilion, but they aren't as
good as the Silver Pavilion and they are very crowded, with tour groups
pushing through every few minutes.
The Golden Pavilion is well worth seeing, but be prepared for the
I think my favorite attraction
in Kyoto is the gardens of Ryoan-ji. It's believed that this
garden was designed in the 1400's, but it wasn't an attraction until the
1930's. The stones are laid out in such a way that only 14 (or
fewer) of the 15 stones are visible, regardless of where you stand or
sit on the viewing platform.
The far wall isn't even close to level and gives you a sense of depth
from the forced perspective. The trees behind the back wall all have
seasonal versions (Cherry blossoms, or fall colors, evergreen or
deciduous.). The garden runs roughly east to west and the viewing
platform is on the north side so the shadows change over the course of
On the backside of the viewing platform is a stone
water basin. On the top is inscribed "I learn only to be
contented." On the way out is another extensive moss garden and a
The day was running out and we wanted to do some errands around the bus
terminal, so we caught the bus and returned to the world of the normal.
Tags: Japan(10), garden(8), gold(5), moss(3), temple(3), sand(2)
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > A Second Trip to Japan > Kyoto Temples
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > A Fourth Trip to Japan > Kyoto > Kyoto Temples
From: John Harvey Photo > A Fourth Trip to Japan > Kyoto > Kyoto Temples
the golden pavilion is so beautiful. Japan must be a beautiful place to go and visit.
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 at 18:47:18
Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 00:43:43 Edit
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