On Friday, I visited Kinkakuji, a famous site in Kyoto where the Golden Pavilion is located. The Golden Pavilion, with its exterior covered in gold leaf, overlooks a pond-garden, and its sunbeam reflection in the water is striking in the summertime. It is no wonder why so many tourists want to visit it–even on the Friday I went, when it was one of the hottest and most humid days of my stay in Kyoto so far!
I actually preferred looking at the pond and garden surrounding the Golden Pavilion to the structure itself. The Golden Pavilion seemed unnecessarily baroque when viewed in the context of the aesthetics of Zen and other gardens that I have seen with the Global Seminar.
On Saturday, I went to Ginkakuji with some friends from class. Ginkakuji is home to the Silver Pavilion (pictured above). Unlike the Golden Pavilion, the Silver Pavilion wasn’t covered in silver leaf. I felt that there was less of an emphasis on the Pavilion and more of an emphasis on the gardens at Ginkakuji:
The gardens here were absolutely beautiful. To be able to stroll through the gardens and view the different sites from various angles was one of my favorite aspects of Ginkakuji. Also, the view from Ginkakuji of Kyoto and of the mountains surrounding it is amazing:
I can’t believe that I only have a week left in this fantastic city and country. It’s definitely going to make me sad to leave!