Kinkakuji: The Golden Pavilion
Next morning we set about some more serious must-seeing, starting with the Golden Pavilion, Kinkakuji. As we stepped out of the hotel entrance to claim our taxi the doorman asked where we wanted to go. I said we wanted to go to Kinkakuji. “Ah, the Golden Pavilion. Not Ginkakuji, the Silver Pavilion?” I hadn’t appreciated there were two sights with similar names. I could understand why he double-checked.
It was quite a long taxi ride towards the north western part of town. When we got there the place was a massed throng of tourists, nearly all Japanese. Apparently we had come in Golden Week which is when Japanese get time off and go to visit all the temples.
You cannot go inside Kinkakuji, just look at it and the surrounding lake. Although the original, a noble’s home, dates back to the 14th century, it looks pristine because it was the victim of arson in 1950 and rebuilt in 1955.
There is a Chinese Phoenix on the top.