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Ryoanji & Kinkakuji

Posted on 22 February 2012

Travel Date: 28 October 2010
Location: Northwest of Kyoto
Ryoanji Website: http://www.ryoanji.jp/
Kinkakuji Website: http://www.shokoku-ji.jp/k_about.html

Ryoanji 竜安寺

The most famous thing in Ryoanji is this karesansui (枯山水), aka the rock garden. Everyone’s here to spend a good 10 or 20 minutes sitting down, while gazing over this art of zen. There are 15 stones in total and it is said that no matter from which angle, you can never see all 15 at once.

So is it true? Well just come and count for yourself.

Another interesting thing to see in Ryoanji is the tsubakai (蹲踞), a stone water basin used for ritual purification. With a “口” shape in the middle, it makes 吾, 唯, 足 and 知 4 words: ware, tada, taru, and shiru, which translates literally as “I only know (what is) enough“. Zen, eh?

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Kinkakuji 金閣寺

Came all the way to see this Temple of the Golden Pavilion in the evening hour on purpose because I read it’s the best time to see it “shines in the golden sunset glory”, but the rain today didn’t really help much.

Anyways, Kinkakuji has 3 stories, each with different architecture style and there’s a phoenix ornament on top of the roof. It’s actually a result of rebuilt and restoration in 1950s, after a monk burnt the original pavilion down. Uh huh.

Shiny, shiny, Kinkakuji

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Rent a Cycle @ Kyoto

Saw this bicycle rental shop somewhere nearby Kinkakuji, do check them out at Kyoto cycling tour project. Sounds fun enough. Originally was thinking to rent a bike to cycle around in Kyoto but the schedule wasn’t allow and neither I’m very confident with my biking skill.

Plus the next day I got into a small accident with a bicycle while walking on the pedestrian street. No luck.

Rent a Cycle @ Kyoto

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How To Get There

  • Raku bus #101 and #102 go to Kinkakuji from Kyoto Station
  • Take city bus #52 from Kinkakuji to Ryoanji and vice versa

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