Blog: Destination – Japan (Kyoto Part 2) by Leon Matigian
Kyoto is like a gift that keeps on giving. So much to see and do. We visited Ginkaku-ji Temple (the Silver Pavilion), which contrary to its name, is not silver at all. It was intended to be coated in silver but never got completed. It is however an outstanding structure to visit and enjoy, the surrounding gardens, pathways, streams, mounds and view points and the fascinating rippled sand and rock sections including the sand-hill representing Mt Fuji.
We then walked the well-shaded Philosopher’s pathway heading towards the Eikando Temple. After visiting the site of the Buddha with his head turned we followed the pathway to this most beautiful garden setting with a bridge and a pond surrounded with rocks and maple trees. After taking several photos of this astonishing place we sat and reflected upon how nice and glorious this area would look in autumn.
We very much enjoyed visiting the gardens at the Heian Shrine. We loved the walk through the irises and water lilies and admired the weeping cherry trees (not flowering though). A young Japanese couple attired in their native clothes were taking photos of themselves walking through irises as happy as newly weds could be.
We never thought we would spend 2 hours at the Nijo Castle but we did. To better appreciate the world heritage site we hired audio guides which gave us an insight and an explanation of the various woodcarvings and paintings throughout the castle. The various entrance gates were beautifully decorated. The extensive gardens with ponds, rocks and shrubs surrounding the palace is well worth the visit.
All images by Leon Matigian. All rights reserved.
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