Weekend in Kyoto

We recently spent a very busy weekend in Kyoto, we visited a number of spectacular temples.  We began the weekend by visiting Tenryu-ji temple.  The weather wasn’t very kind to us and by the time we arrived we were fairly wet through.  Luckily for us the temple was a lot more pleasant than the weather.  So quiet and peaceful, there is just something about Japanese gardens and temples that helps you relax.

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Next we got back on the train and headed for Katsura Rikyu Imperial Palace.  The weather had improved slightly by this point which made it easier to enjoy the guided tour around the grounds.

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This pine was purposely planted here right in the middle of the vista, to force you inside the garden and enjoy it in all its glory.

This pine was purposely planted here right in the middle of the vista, to force you inside the garden and enjoy it in all its glory.

Clever use of a window through one of the teahouses to create a living painting

Onto Saturday we set off early in the morning to head to probably two of Japans most famous temples.  Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavillion) and Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)

First stop was the jaw dropping Golden Pavilion, the wind was bitter when we arrived but somehow the temple manages to warm you, reflecting every available little bit of sunlight that beams down on it. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Next we travelled to Ginkaku-ji a little more low key than the golden pavilion but just as beautiful in its own right, aside from the beautiful building itself the silver pavilion is also famous for it raked gravel shown in the pictures below.

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Before heading home on the Sunday, we took a short train ride from Kyoto to Inari, to what we thought would be a flying visit.  Turns out Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine (Thousand gate shine) takes a lot longer than expected to walk all the way to the top, breath-taking views across Kyoto are the reward (only half way up) and then of course we had to walk back down.

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The way the sunlight shines through the gates is beautiful.

The way the sunlight shines through the gates is beautiful.

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