Japan – Kyoto’s Temple of the Golden Pavilion (5 of 10)

While in Osaka, students from the lab hosting me took me to see Kyoto. I have separated my photos into two sections: the Temple of the Golden Pavilion which I will talk about in this post, and the Kiyomizu Temple in my next post.

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This is downtown Kyoto. This is about as tall as the buildings get, because although the city is very large, it has laws regulating the height of its buildings. Osaka, which I’ll talk about in later posts, has no such laws, so building height is a free-for-all there.

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In this area, you can find many buildings constructed in the old style. It is expensive to build them like this now, so the style is preserved in the older architecture.

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Here is the Golden Pavilion itself. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Kyoto. Its shingles on the second and third floors are entirely gilded with gold leaf.

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The pavillion was originally built as a retirement villa by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in the 14th century. This explains the beautiful gardens and scenery surrounding the area. It was later converted into a temple by Yoshimitsu’s son.

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Ahh finally, a use for those small Japanese coins that don’t actually buy anything unless you have a truckload of them. If you manage to get a coin in the cup, it’s good luck. Judging by the sight here, lots of unlucky people had walked by before me!

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I bought my fortune, in Japanese, at a machine similar to these. Although I couldn’t read it myself, I was told it said “very good” luck, which is the best you can get!

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It is best to arrive early, to have any chance at beating the crowds of school children. Virtually all of the elementary school children in the nearby cities go on field trips to this area at some point.

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After a morning at the Golden Pavilion, it was time for lunch. We went to a restaurant that specializes in creating these pancakes which are cooked right on the table where you sit. The ingredients are mixed right in front of you!

That’s all for now. Check my gallery for the rest of the photos from my first part of Kyoto.

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