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Gold and Silver

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gbirdsbirdThis post begins a series of photos taken from a short cultural trip to Kyoto and Nara that was programmed thanks to my aunt Masako who kindly hosted the worst guest ever (me) for a month.

I rented a room at a cheap but very comfortable hotel at Kyoto. To get there, I traveled by night bus which is cheap and bearable, but avoid holidays (maybe weekends too). The trip is long and if the bus is packed, you won’t be able to move much, especially if you are at the window seat.

Arriving at the station, I quickly stored my luggage at a coin locker, ate a sandwich at the nearest convenience store, and started to look for guided tours. You can’t waste time here. Analyze your options as quick as you can and make a choice. I bought a ticket for a half day tour that took me to Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji, and Kiyomizu Temple. The two photos above are of the ornaments found on top of Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji. I have an inverted version of the one on the right in case someone wanted to see a bit more detailed view.


Wikipedia entries to Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji. According to the latter, this is why Ginkaku-ji isn’t covered in silver: “During the Ōnin War, construction was halted. Despite Yoshimasa’s intention to cover the structure with a distinctive silver-foil overlay, this work was delayed for so long that the plans were never realized before Yoshimasa’s death. The present appearance of the structure is understood to be the same as when Yoshimasa himself last saw it. This “unfinished” appearance illustrates one of the aspects of ‘wabi-sabi’ quality.”

You can’t enter neither of the temples. Both are historic monuments. Ginkaku-ji was under restoration process as can be seen in the photo to the left.

The surroundings of both zen buddhist temples are probably what impressed me the most. Looking at my pictures of the gardens, ponds, etc. individually does not make justice to the real deal. It must have been an amazing experience living in a place like this.


Written by rti9

January 13, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Posted in japan

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