Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺) & Heian Jingu (平安神宮) Kyoto, Japan

Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺 Temple of the Golden Pavilion), also known as Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺 Deer Garden Temple), is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto
The site of Kinkaku-ji was originally a villa called Kitayama-dai, belonging to a powerful statesman, Saionji Kintsune
It is one of the most popular buildings in Japan, attracting a large number of visitors annually
The still water offers many opportunities to delight in reflections
On July 2, 1950, at 2:30 am, the pavilion was burned down by a 22-year-old novice monk, Hayashi Yoken, who then attempted suicide on the Daimon-ji hill behind the building
Kinkaku-ji stands facing Kyoko-chi (mirror lake) pond
Walking round the lake to the other side of the Temple
The top two storeys of the pavilion are covered with pure gold leaf
The gold employed was to mitigate and purify any pollution or negative thoughts and feelings towards death
The bridge that leads to the Heian Shrine
A giant torii gate marks the approach to the shrine
The Heian Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Sakyō-ku, Kyoto, Japan. The Shrine is ranked as a Beppyou Jinja (the top rank for Shrines) by the Association of Shinto Shrines
The architecture of the main palace mirrors the style and features of the Kyoto Imperial Palace
This lady, as you will see later, is rushing to prepare herself for a wedding
The Shrine has a relatively short history, dating back just over a hundred years to 1895
Always lovely to see the Kimono. The word "kimono", which literally means a "thing to wear" (ki "wear" and mono "thing")
We suddenly heard the sound of music as a wedding procession appeared
Everyone rushed over to take photographs
Traditional Japanese instruments were being played
This is the lady (on the right) that we saw earlier rushing to get ready
And here is the bride dressed in a traditional wedding kimono, but no hat. The family must have high ranking in Kyoto society to be able to get married in this wonderful shrine
A young, traditional couple at a wishing tree
As we were walking away from the temple. Perhaps there will be another wedding soon!