Vernicious Knids

Random musings and snapshots about life, love, travel and everything in between...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Glowing dawn:

Kyoto, perhaps more than any other city in Japan, fulfills Western stereotypes of how Japan should be. Austere Zen rock gardens, glamourously secretive geisha, outrageously expensive kaiseki restuarants and elaborately decorated temples:

Kinkakuji - the Golden Pavilion (official name = Rokuonji) - is arguably the most famous of Kyoto's 2000 odd temples. It was originally built as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397, but was later converted into a temple. An obsessed monk burnt it to the ground in 1950 (read Mishima Yukio's The Temple of the Golden Pavilion for the fictionalised version) but a full reconstruction, with the gold foil covering extending to the lower floors, was completed in 1955.

Kinkakuji is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and admission costs 400 yen - Kinkakujimichi bus stop provides the most convenient access. It features on the itinerary of all tour groups - so get there as close to opening time as possible, or you won't have the opportunity to experience the peacefulness of its surroundings! Due to Kyoto's grid design and the excellent free Kyoto City Bus Sightseeing Map it's incredibly simple to navigate yourself around the city - even if you can't read kanji! And how many times have I visited Kyoto? I've clocked up 7 visits so far, and I've barely begun to even scratch the surface!

(These photos were taken on my visit in July 2004.)

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  • At 12:54 am, Blogger Bearette24 said…

    very pretty :) it reminds me of Lost in Translation again..Scarlett goes to Kyoto to see "the real Japan"...

  • At 1:16 am, Anonymous Janet said…

    Kyoto's one place I didn't get to when I lived in Japan, much to my dismay.

  • At 4:56 am, Blogger My float said…

    Those photos ae so beautiful, there's such a lovely light in them. I'd love to visit Japan and see places like this.

  • At 5:46 am, Blogger Irene said…

    Beautiful! I really want to go to Japan....and see a real geisha. :p

  • At 9:16 am, Blogger Gaijin Girl said…

    vk, gorgeous pics. wow, i so have to get my butt out of tokyo and see other aspects to japan.

  • At 10:54 am, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Bearette: It's so funny how we think the "real Japan" is this...when it's really ferroconcrete buildings, power lines and neon lights...things I also find fascinating!

    Janet: Now you have an excuse to come back...there's over 2000 temples waiting for you!

    MF: Being able to see beauty like this, makes it really hard to leave! (More detail for your question on the previous post.)

    Irene: I've never seen a real geisha (my budget doesn't extend to this!) but I did see some maiko (apprentice geishas) on one of my trips - pre-digital camera...I'll have to search for the photos and scan them at some stage!

    GG: As much as I love the craziness of Tokyo, I would go completely insane if I didn't travel to other parts of really need to get out there!

  • At 12:25 pm, Anonymous yteh said…

    Travel guide, history lesson, cool pics... all rolled up into one post. Awesome!

  • At 4:27 pm, Blogger nutmeg said…

    Your blog is a great way to travel! I can sit here in Sydney and do a virtual tour. The closest I've come to Japan (so far) is the Great Wall of China 1 hour outside Beijing. Though while we were there we were mobbed by the ever-present Japanese schoolgirl (is there any place they don't go?). Which reminds me, the last time my first daughter and I went to Featherdale Wildlife Park (in western Sydney) the Japanese schoolgirls were more interested in taking photos of the little children than the animals. My daughter's blonde hair sent them into raptures :-)

  • At 2:41 pm, Blogger Gabby Girl said…

    Is 400 Yen considered a lot? I am still having a hard time gettting used to the fact that that 100 Yuan doesn't mean 100 dollars. I just see the numbers though and the first thing that hits me is - wow, thats expensive even if in actuality it is cheap.

  • At 7:14 pm, Blogger traveller one said…

    I'm drooling over these photos.... would love to visit oneday!

  • At 7:47 pm, Blogger Gaijin Girl said…

    sorry this is off topic, vk, but i can't find an email link for you.
    how's the beta blogger working out for you? i'm thinking of changing but have heard some mixed reviews. was it difficult to swap over and do you think it's worth it?

  • At 9:47 pm, Blogger Stepherz said…

    Such culture & history, I hope I can visit Japan some day.

  • At 11:43 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Yteh: If you stick around, you'll notice that I'm a history buff!

    Nutmeg: I hope you enjoy your armchair travels! The J Schoolgirl is an intrepid species that is not limited to one specific habitat ;) Is Featherdale where "A Country Practice" was filmed?!

    GabbyG: 400 yen is very cheap (less than lunch!) approx US$3.60. I have that problem you mention when I travel outside of concept of value anymore!

    T1: Thanks...though I'm sure there's plenty to drool about in Canada too!

    GG: It seems less buggy than blogger (touch wood) and has some cool features that I like, e.g. labels for posts. I've noticed people commenting that they can't comment on blogs that aren't beta...but I haven't had any of these problems! Oh, and my email is a gmail address with my blog title at the front!

    Stepherz: It's well worth the visit!

  • At 5:14 am, Blogger Amy said…

    gorgeous photos - I've been wanting to visit Japan for some time now, if only money allowed :-)

  • At 9:20 pm, Blogger sage said…

    I loved Kyoto--was there when I was 22 and of the cities I visited in Japan, it was my favorite. This was during the Iranian crisis (late 79, and the dollar was very valuable) Maybe one day I'll write about that trip.

  • At 9:43 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Amy: Japan is becoming more and more affordable every year!

    Sage: I'd love to hear about that...Japan has changed so much in that time!


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