Friday, July 18, 2014

Japan Day 4: Western Kyoto (Kinkakuji)

The afternoon sun was high in the sky when we left Arashiyama in the Western part of Kyoto.  We took the train for our next stop, Kinkakuji at Northern Kyoto. Kinkakuji or Golden Pavilion is one of Japan’s must-visit tourist destinations. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, you can be sure it is worth the venture.

Kinkakuji is a Zen temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. The temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will it became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408. Kinkakuji was the inspiration for the similarly named Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), built by Yoshimitsu's grandson, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, on the other side of the city a few decades later.

Though the pavilion is not that big, it is still impressive because of its brilliant golden walls.  The pavilion and its golden reflection shimmering on the rippled water of the pond water create a beautiful and peaceful atmosphere.

But in reality, this temple was packed on the day of our visit, and is the case for almost any day of the year. I recommend to visit early in the day or just before closing to avoid the huge crowd of tourist.  But personally, I scheduled our visit during sunset because the place is best viewed when the amber tinge of the sky sets off the golden temple. Notice how my photos take on a more golden hue as our stay in Kinkakuji progress.

The rear view of Kinkakuji.
The small structure attached to the pavilion is actually a fishing deck that is called Sosei. They say that a small boat can be moored under it.

Another view of the rear of the pavilion

The place closes at 5pm sharp so it's best to get there around 4pm or earlier.
With people slowly trickling out towards the exit, we headed out the place ourselves, even if I wanted to stay a little bit longer to enjoy the scenery.

We found a secluded spot by the exit... and of course we stopped for some picture taking.  The place was too beautiful to not stop.:)
 This time borrowing the aviators of J kase ang taas pa ng araw

Here's my Big Girl!  Grabbed this from her IG account.  She is so cute!

Do not ride the city bus during the rush hour of 5-6pm as you will get stuck in traffic for my sisters soon found out for themselves.  After we exited Kinkakuji, C decided to ride a taxi to go back to the Kyoto train station to go back to Osaka; he computed it would be more economical for our family of 5 to do so. Had my sisters wanted to take a cab also, we would've split our group into two cabs and let J ride with my sisters, but my sisters decided to ride on a bus instead.

It wasn't a long ride to the station but my Li'l Man was tired and took a short nap in the cab.

We got to the station, and we expected my sisters to follow after around 25-20 minutes, so we checked out the nearby grocery, and bought some food for my hungry bunch.
 Since we were there already, mag shop na din for my kitchen pantry.
When it was time to pay, extra charge daw for plastic bags.  Of course, I didn't want to pay for plastic bags, so ayan... It's good his backpack is adjustable. hahaha!
After 20 more minutes, we got a text message from them saying they were stuck in traffic because the bus took so many stops along the way.  So we went in the bookstore where he freeloaded, and she bought several Japanese drawing books.  Can you just look at his overstuffed backpack full of Japanese chocolates and potato chips?

After another 15 minutes, another text, "kita na lang bukas!"  Tee-hee! it took them that long. We went ahead to Osaka and had dinner at KYK, a tonkatsu place located at Namba Parks.

When my sisters finally got to the Kyoto station, they decided to indulge and went to ride a Shinkansen back to Osaka.  It wasn't really worth it to ride a Shinkansen for such a short journey, because a ticket for the Shinkansen is so expensive. But my sisters did it for the experience or riding a Shinkansen, so that makes it worth it for them.

I've updated this post to provide a link to ALL MY JAPAN POSTS!











Click here to read ALL my JAPAN posts.