Today on this beautiful Easter Sunday, Trisha and I decided that we wanted to go back and explore more of Kyoto. Our first stop: Ginkakuji Temple. Known as the Silver Pavilion, it is a zen Buddhist temple that we had learned about in our History of Japan class last year. It was built by a shogan named Ashikaga Yoshimasa, who had been a failure as a military leader but a huge contributor to Japan’s arts. The Ginkakuji is evidence of that, with its gorgeous gardens and architecture.
After the Ginkakuji we intended to go to the similarly named Kinkakuji (or Golden Pavilion). However, while trying to find a route there we had a lot of problems. We found the right bus stop, but I got too excited and thought that the bus that first pulled up was the one we needed (spoiler alert: it wasn’t). By the time I realized my mistake we had gone about 8 stops in the wrong direction. We ended up getting off that bus and took another but, even though I thought we were going the right way, we ended up going the opposite direction. We had gotten on the right route, but in the wrong direction.
By this point we had been on buses for over an hour, the sun was starting to get covered by clouds, and we were more then a little annoyed at our mistakes. However, despite all this we ended up somewhere super cool: the Kyoto Station. We decided to give up on the temple for today, and instead we explored the station. It had amazing architecture and you could take the escalators all the way to the top for a view of the city/Kyoto Tower. There was even a skywalk that you could walk across the building with.
After a couple hours exploring and eating a small dinner, we took a couple trains back to Hirakata. The only other thing that happened is that the Keihan line was super delayed for once. We’re not quite sure what happened but the trains were running about 5 minutes late, which is almost unheard of in Japan (that is usually at most a few seconds late). The rest of the evening we spent finishing a really good anime called Tatami Galaxy.
Ginkaku-ji (Temple of the Silver Pavilion) & Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion). It took an hour by bus to reach Kinkaku-ji from central Kyoto, but I felt I couldn’t go to Kyoto and not make the pilgrimage. The garden at Ginkaku-ji is spectacular!