Last of my sightseeing in Kyoto
My week in Kyoto in 2012 involved as much sightseeing as possible as there are so many wonderful places to visit. One of the lovely places to walk through is the Gion District which is a traditional entertainment district. It’s also known as Kyoto’s most famous geisha district.
The area is packed with bars, restaurants and traditional teahouses, and is really at its most atmospheric in the early evening, when the lanterns are lit and apprentice geisha flit about the back streets on their way to their appointments.
We did see one young geisha walking along but I didn’t get my camera out in time unfortunately. But I did manage to snap a photo of one man in some sort of traditional garb; not really sure why he was wearing the clothes as he was just walking down the street.
We also visited Ginkaku-ji (the Silver Pavilion) and unlike the Golden Pavilion, this pavilion does not have a trace of silver on it.
When it was first built the plan was for it to be coated in silver leaf, but there was no money so the silver-less pavilion was converted into a Zen temple.
It does have a beautiful reflective pond and manicured trees, a raked sand garden, and a mossy wooded hillside from where you can see a low-rise urban backdrop.
We also took a stroll along the Path of Philosophy (Tetsugaku-no-Michi) which really is such relaxing way to spend an hour or two. It was named for a Kyoto university professor who took his daily constitutional along this route. There are also beautiful cherry blossom trees along the way.
Another wonderful place to visit is Chion-in temple which is the head temple of the Jodo sect of Japanese Buddhism.
The temple has spacious grounds and large buildings. The first thing you notice as you arrive at the temple is the massive main entrance gate and stands 24 meters tall and 50 meters wide. It is the largest wooden gate in Japan and dates back to the early 1600s.
Kyoto is definitely one place that everyone should visit; it’s absolutely beautiful.