KYOTO : visit Ginkaku-ji (The Silver Pavilion) and take the mountain trail nearby
Although commonly known as Ginkaku-ji (The Silver Pavilion), his official name is Jisho-ji (慈照寺).
It’s a monument, a Buddhist temple, that I absolutely wanted to see because it is often compared to the Golden Pavilion (which is in Kyoto as well). Furthermore, my acquaintances advise me to visit it.
I went there by bicycle. In Kyoto you can rent a bicycle for a day for 1000 yen (about 10 US dollars). It took about 40 to 50 minutes to go there from my hotel near Kyoto station, where I stayed. As there is a free bicycle parking near the temple, it’s a good way to go there if you don’t mind physical exercise.
During the Muromachi period, the building was the residence of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa. The entrance will cost 500 yen for adults, and 300 yen for primary and middle School Students. The opening hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. from March to November and 9:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. from December to February.
If you only read his name (The Silver Pavilion), you may believe that it is covered by silver. But in fact, the temple has the simple and authentic appearance of a wooden construction. The first time you’ll see it, you may think that it has a too simplistic design. However, if you look at it closely, you’ll certainly recognize the japanese charm of a zen Buddhist temple.
The garden, beautiful and charming, will offer you peace of mind. Don’t miss this experience.
Take the path up to the mountain!
Near the temple, there is a mountain trail which leads to a place called Nyoigatake (如意ヶ嶽). The round trip is about 2 hours and 30 minutes. Sometimes, the path becomes steep and difficult.
If you want to spend a day mixing history and nature, take this path after your temple’s visit. Of course, you can visit Ginkaku-ji after your walking. However, keep in mind that the temple closes at 5 pm.
The experience is also advised to those who like to take pictures. After experiencing the physical effort of the hike, you can admire the beautiful scenery of Kyoto. In front of you, you’ll see the spectacle of a big city surrounded by nature and mountains.
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