Nervously, a pair of girls in matching plaid skirts and white shirts came up to me with a piece of crumpled paper in one hand and a pencil in another. They expressed they were at Ginkaku-ji, The Silver Pavillion, for a school project to interview tourists about Japan. I now understood why the gaggle of children had been starring at me since my arrival. They had been working up the courage to interview me. When I responded to their first question in Japanese their faces lit up. After they finished their questions we posed for the photo below.
After the photo Sejan and I made our way out of the pavillion grounds and headed off to get some food. Satisfied and exhausted from our final day of exploration around Kyoto. After returning from Nara we only had one full day before we caught the night bus back to Tokyo. We decided to check out the sibling pavillions of Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji.
Turned into a Zen temple after the death of the wealthy Shogun that bought it, Kinkaku-ji ( The Gold Pavillion) might be one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. It stands solitary on a lake. A reminder that pure beauty is sometimes best presented without distraction. The top two floors of this pavillion are covered in gold leaf and when the midday sun illuminates this pavillion the entire grounds take on a warm golden glow. Despite not arriving till after noon the crowds of tourists didn't impede our photographic pursuits. Kinkaku-ji does not take a long time to explore, the pavillion on the lake is the main attraction so afterward we caught the bus to Ginkaku-ji.
Ginkaku-ji (The Silver Pavillion), was built by the grandson of the Shogun who created Kinkaku-ji. The architecture of the former was used as inspiration when creating Ginkaku-ji. The grounds of The Silver Pavillion are a lot grander than the Gold. Perhaps because the pavillion itself is unremarkable. My favorite part of this complex was the Sea of Silver Sand a gorgeous dry sand garden. The photo above is of the Moon Viewing Platform the main attraction of the sand garden.
The rest of Ginkaku-ji has been beautifully landscaped to take advantage of the rocky terrain and sharp changes in elevation of the grounds. With large trees and rocks placed around pools populated by fish. This pavillion could double as a garden. After hiking up Fushimi Inari and dashing across the city this was the perfect peaceful end to our trip to Kyoto.
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