Kinkaku-ji and vicinity
There are three members of the world cultural heritage of Kyoto in this area. These three are Kinkaku-ji temple that has the Golden Pavilion, Ryoan-ji temple that has the most famous Karesansui (a dry landscape garden) in the world and Nin'na-ji temple where the head priest had always been a member of the imperial family from late 9th century to late 19th century.
I walked on the approach of about 100 meters. There were many maple trees on the both sides of the pass. The leaves of those trees would change color and be beautiful in late fall.
I paid an admission fee of 400 yen at the box office. They gave me a big ticket in return. It was actually a Buddhist charm. I showed it to the person at the gate as a ticket.
It also brings you safety and happiness, if you believe, as a Buddhist charm. You can keep it, but if you do not want to, do not just throw it away. They would appreciate it if you returned it into a box in front of the Golden Pavilion. You know why? Because it is a holy charm, I assume.
After less than a minute of walk, I saw Kinkaku. The golden pavilion stood beyond a pond. There were many visitors looking at or taking pictures of Kinkaku. I walked along the pond and noticed a reflection of the building. It was beautiful, though some people might think that this building was too flamboyant, if their tastes were inclined toward sober refinements.
A tourist asked his tour guide what the thing on the roof was. The guide answered that it was a Chinese phoenix. The next question by the tourist was why they had put a Chinese phoenix on the rooftop. The guide could not answer. I did not know the answer either.
I went on through the garden of Kinkaku-ji. I saw small water falls, another pond and a teahouse and left the temple.
It was early September and was still hot and humid. So, I took a bus from Kinkaku-ji to Ryoan-ji. It took only five minutes.
I paid an admission fee of 400 yen at the box office and went into the garden of Ryoan-ji. I walked on a path in the garden toward Sekitei, or the Rock Garden that is Karesansui.
In a couple of minutes I arrived at the root of a stone stairway that led up to Kuri, main building of the temple. There was a canopy of maple leaves, which were being green yet above the stairway. I climbed the stairway and handed the ticket to the person at the entrance hall. I took off my shoes and left them on the shelf for shoes. I stepped on to the wooden floor that gave forth a black luster. There was a hint of incense in the air.
I stepped toward the rock garden and saw white gravel, which had been carefully raked. Several rocks were positioned in the rather small rectangular garden.
I sat on the wooden veranda between a young couple and a couple of visitors whom I assumed from Europe. I was thinking what medieval Buddhist priests thought in front of this garden. I thought I might be able to have same kind of feeling as that priest might have had.
Then I heard the young couple talking gossip and my thought was disturbed:
What kind of inspiration those... "A friend of mine is dating what's-his-name..." "Oh, yeah?" priests got. I might be able to feel like... "I know him. He is a..." those priests felt...
...... sigh ......
I believe that this is the last place for gossip.
Then a man started to explain to the other couple what the garden means. He said that the gravel represented the waters and those rocks were tigers crossing the waters.
I was not interested in what people interpret the intent of the ancient designer of the garden. I would rather have a silent moment in front of it.
I stood up and took some pictures for this web site and left the garden.
They say that Nin'na-ji (Ninna-ji) is famous for its cherry blossoms. Does Nin'na-ji have anything good besides the cherry blossoms? I did not know. I knew the cherry blossoms bloom in spring and it was late summer then. You might go there only if you have time... I had time...
I decided to walk to Nin'na-ji from Ryoan-ji without any reason. It took about 15 minutes to get to the east gate of Nin'na-ji. I got soaked with perspiration. I regretted my decision to walk.
There was a box office and I paid an admission fee of 500 yen. It was an admission fee for the Nin'na-ji Goten, or Nin'na-ji Palatial Residence which was a part of Nin'na-ji complex. They gave me a leaflet in return as well as a ticket. I cast a glance over the leaflet. There was a phrase "THE WORLD HERITAGE" on it. Oh, my! I had not known it. What a shame!
Anyway, I walked around in huge Nin'na-ji complex and took several pictures for this web site. Then, I went in to the Goten. The Goten consists of several buildings that are connected by corridors. The garden view from Shinden building was excellent. Please see the picture here.
I saw a tourist sleeping on the wooden veranda of Shinden. What kind of dream did he dream of? Whatever it was, he seemed to be happy... Good. I might come here again and dream a happy dream.