We visited lots temples and gardens in Kyoto. It is said that in Japan 90% of people are Buddhists and 95% are Shinto! Buddhist and Shinto shrines often sit side by side sharing the same beautiful, luscious, and often ancient gardens. There were always lots of people visiting but somehow they all managed to offer something deeply peaceful. This is Ginkaku-ji, The Silver Pavilion, which was just near our house.
It sat in a moss garden.
Like a fairy tale.
This is Sanjusangendo, Japans longest structure and home to 1001 Golden Buddha statues which was an awesome sight to behold! No photo's allowed but look here and you'll see.
Drawers that hold prayers.
Prayers folded and tied and left to be answered.
Amazing colours and patterns at Kiyomizudera.
and a far reaching view from above the tree tops.
I was wondering what the chains were that you see hanging from roofs of traditional building. They are DRAINPIPES would you believe. The water trickles down each component, drop by drop. Yes,even the drains are aesthetically pleasing in Japan.
Who's this peaceful looking chap?
He was meditating in the Ryoanji gardens which is home to the famous Zen rock garden which is now a world heritage site.
(note the drainpipe!)
At night the shrines were lit by lanterns.
Did I tell you how much I like lights?
Out of all this beauty the most breathtaking was Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Temple. I'd seen pictures of it before but actually standing in front of it and seeing it with my own eyes made me a bit teary it was so beautiful. The way it sat in the landscape and the intense richness and craftsmanship of it. Indescribable actually. Apparently the Samurai that built it lived in a house that looked out on it but as he couldn't actually see the bottom floor from his window he didn't bother gilding it!
I wanted to join the birds we saw flying over the pond and go and touch it.
The gold is said to mitigate and purify any pollution or negative thoughts. Well I certainly didn't have any while I was looking at it. Come to think of it our trip was pretty good for dispelling than kind of thing overall!