October 15, 2013

Kyoto : Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Pavilion)

So after buying the Kyoto City Bus One-day pass , I quickly looked at the map to get an idea on where to go sightseeing.

The queues were long at all the Raku Bus stops. So I just waited, watching from aside the hustle and bustle of the city.

Not long after, Raku Bus #101 arrived and I joined the queue to board the bus.

My first stop of the day took about 35 minutes as the place I visited was located in the northwest area of the city. I headed there first since I read that this place is always crowded with visitors.



Kinkaku-ji is one of the most famous sights in Kyoto. Overlooking a large pond, the beautiful structure is popularly known as the Golden Pavilion cos its top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf.



Built in 1397 as a retirement villa for the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, it was later converted to be a Zen Buddhist temple after his death in 1408. The structure has been burnt down a few times; twice during a war, and once again by a young disgruntled monk in 1950. This present structure was rebuilt in 1955.





Visitors can't enter the pavilion so after I was done admiring it, I just followed the path that leads to the temple's garden. It passed by the head priest's former living quarters.




Land Boat Pine Tree, which is originally a bonsai of Yoshimitsu

Did you notice those small whitish spots on the pictures? It was snowing that day!! But it wasn't too heavy so I guess I should return again one day to see this place and the pavilion in winter colors.

The garden is very serene and you feel very calm when walking around. Quite romantic too. Felt a bit jealous seeing all the couples walking together here. Haihhh...
 

Ryumon-baku (Ryumon-no-taki) waterfall
 






The garden also has a few spots of interest including a Buddha statue that people throw coins at for luck and Sekka-tei Tea House. 


 Jizo Buddhist statue and coins that visitors tossed


Sekka-tei tea house

Outside the paid temple area, there are souvenir shops, tea garden and a small temple, Fudo-do.
 
 Fudo-do

cauldron of incense, the smoke from it is believed to bestow good health

The whole area of Kinkaku-ji is not too big. I spent around an hour here before making a move to the nearby attraction.

Recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1994, Kinkaku-ji is one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that can be found in Kyoto.

Kinkaku-ji is open all year round, from 9 am to 5 pm
Entrance fee is 400 yen (16 years old ~ ), 300 yen (7~15 years old), free (0~6 years old) 
Access : From Kyoto Station, take Kyoto City Bus #205 or Raku Bus #101 to Kinkaku-ji-michi
  

1 comment:

adamo lussana said...

This temple is wonderful. Omamori of kinkaku-ji can be found on www.omamori.com