Kyoto Day 2


As I mentioned in an earlier post, this was my favorite day of the trip.

It all began with a leisurely stroll through the Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion) and its surrounding zen garden.

Do you see Julie?

The actual Silver Pavilion (which isn’t made out of silver) was undergoing some repair.  It didn’t bother us at all on account of the beauty of the zen garden.  Everything we saw had a very specific purpose.  And, once you turned a corner or climbed some stairs and looked at something you just saw a few moments ago, the new perspective made it look completely different.  This can be credited to two things:  the meticulous planning of the people who designed and maintain the garden and the clever use of asymmetry.


On with the pictures. ..

Famous rock garden.

We had been warned by a few people not to overdose on temples while visiting Kyoto.  Each one offers its own unique characteristics and if you look at too many in a day, you became desensitized.  After the Silver Pavilion we decided to scrub our brains of the images of temples by embarking on the Philosopher’s Walk.  The Philosopher’s Walk is basically a path through an old neighborhood in Kyoto.  It runs right by a nice little stream and is lined entirely with cherry trees.  If you were to take this path in spring, the trees would be lined with pink cherry blossoms everywhere you looked.  And, if you timed it right, these blossoms would also float in the air and the stream you walk by over the course of your mile long trek.  Since we were in Kyoto at the end of December, the trees were completely bare, but that’s alright.  It was still beautiful as these pictures hopefully illustrate.

We ate some green tea and sweet potato ice cream before the walk. Delicious.

Philosophying on the Philosopher's Walk.

An example of the old and beautiful architecture.

Next up, Kinkakuji Temple, the Golden Pavilion.  It was the place I looked forward to seeing the most on our trip and it did not disappoint.  Basically Kinkakuji is a temple with an exterior adorned entirely in gold leaf.  We serendipitously arrived just as the sun was setting, creating a nice, warm, low light for picture taking.  Enjoy.

A dream come true.

We capped off the evening with a visit to an onsen across the street from our inn.  A member of the yakuza showed up.  If you haven’t done so already, you can read about the experience here.

Thus concludes our second day in Kyoto.


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