One of the major attractions that we looked forward to on our trip to Japan was a visit to Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion. The original strcuture (Kinkakuji), a Zen Buddhist temple, dates back to the 14th century, but unfortunately it was destroyed by arson. The temple was reconstructed and opened to the public in 1955. It is a beautiful, gold leaf-covered building oriented so the reflection in the surrounding water enhances its beauty.
Looking at the photo of the entrance below, one might think it was raining, but these were “sunbrellas” which proved very popular in Japan.
Throughout our trip to Japan in 2015, I was taken in by the architectural elements that were so different from those found in other places I have visited. The very intricate designs incorporating contrasting and complementary materials were very creative as evidenced in this roof detail on a building at the Golden Pavilion compound.
Here is yet another example
Of course the main attraction was the Golden Pavilion itself…
which had some of its very own interesting roof detail in the form of a golden bird.
There are, of course, other interesting things to see on the compound grounds. The photo below shows a coin toss venue where guests try to get the coins in the metal cup which they hope will bring them good luck. The symbolism of the statues was not clear, but one might intuit that they are religious in nature or at least cultural/spiritual.
The guide explained that the 500+ year old tree below was pruned to resemble a ship and if a bit of imagination is employed, one can imagine a large main sail and perhaps the bow of a ship pointing straight toward the viewer. If you look carefully, you might be able to see the wooden superstructure supporting the branches in the front.
Perhaps a clearer rendering can be seen HERE:
This mound (Hakuja-zuka) in Anmin-taku pond is home for a stone Pagoda.
Naturally a major tourist site such as the Golden Pavilion would have a souvenir stand to offer remembrances for sale. Pictured in pretty gold and red garb were visitors from Bali.
We mustn’t overlook the religious and spiritual mission of the Golden Pavilion. Fudo Hall is an area where visitors can light incense, ring a bell and ask for blessings.
The Golden Pavilion is one of those world renowned places that is hard to resist and as such, visitors (including me) seemed compelled to take large numbers of photographs.