Hi Hi sisters ..... thank you for taking interest in my little Kyoto trip. After a good night sleep, we were recharged again on the 2nd day to continue our quest for historic temples and gardens. The city of Kyoto is surrounded by mountains and hundreds of temples were built in almost every street corner. All of the large temples are recognized as World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO - meaning that they have to be preserved and protected. Of course the rich and famous will be pampered in chauffeured limousines and by their own private guides, like our handsome prince in Kamakura.
1st stop – Kinkaku-ji 金閣寺 (or better known as the Golden Pavilion)
It was constructed in 1397 for Shogun Yoshimitsu as a retirement villa and later converted to a Zen temple. It is famous for its pure gold-leafed pavilion and its clear reflection with the surrounding landscapes in the mirror pond. Hehe, as cloudnine puts it so eloquently – a Kodak moment. Isn’t it breathtakingly beautiful?
A hint of fall colour
Surrounding structures with its artsy horticulture
Stairways leading down
2nd stop - Ryoan-ji 龍安寺 (Temple of Peaceful Dragon)
This was originally the Fujiwara family estate and later willed as a Zen temple. It is the burial place of 7 imperial emperors. The huge lotus pond behind the main entrance :
This temple is synonymous with its famous dry landscape rock garden. This rock garden is thought to have been built in the late 1400s, consisting of raked gravel and fifteen moss-covered boulders. The boulder formation are placed so that when looking from any angle (of course other than from above), only fourteen of the boulders are visible at one time. The tradition said that only through attaining enlightenment would one be able to view the fifteenth boulder.
Now it all makes sense why these people's eyes were all frozen on these mossed rocks for so long. For a moment, this 'Mr. Dumb & Mrs. Dumber' were wondering if these people were hypnotized or their minds have been kidnapped to Mars or something??
I'd better retreat to my own little palace and sob :(
3rd stop - Ninna-ji 仁和寺
A Buddhist temple founded in AS 888 by Emperor Uda. This is by far the most enjoyable temple moment in Kyoto I had because of its beautiful rooms, winding corridors and serene gardens.
The impressive grand entrance
The stunning architecture of the 5-tier pagoda
this red temple structure is quite cute, huh? Resembles the arcitecture of the 'destroyed' Namdaemun in Seoul
Maybe because Ninanji is less well-known than Kinkaku-ji and others, there were much less traffic so we were able to truly enjoy the serenity and spirit of the temple.
We could sit on the corridor looking out to the garden and listened to the blowing sound of soft wind
Looking at these empty tatami rooms, my mind couldn't help but transported to old times when life was a lot more simpler, purer and disciplined.
Tea ceremonial room
You know these temples all close their doors at 4pm, so we have to start our sightseeing quite early. But it doesn’t mean the city closes down at night. While looking for the Nishiki Fish market (hehe, have craving for sushi again) in downtown Kyoto, we discovered this covered shopping arcade called Shinkyogoku. It spans several long streets and is filled with shops, pachinkos, restaurants and temples. There are young hip shops selling anime models & games (which in my son's eyes is the only sightseeing worthy place in Kyoto :) and traditional shops selling kimonos, crafts, old scrolls and prints. A real find!
Doesn't this place look like when Yujin saw MinHyung walking in 'choum' snow on her engagement night. A few nights later she was frantically looking for him in the same area, then sat on a stone ledge and cried? (boy, I think I am missing him too much?) Well, I blame this handsome guy kept popping up everywhere and reminded me of him. Hehe, my fatigue was all gone when I saw his smile :)