Friday, October 30, 2009

The Golden Pavilion

Ok, I'm back with Part 5 of the Kyoto pics. Today's installment is all about the Golden Pavilion, or Kinkaku-ji. It was originally built in 1397, burned down a couple times, and then was completely destroyed by arson in 1950. (The arsonist was a mentally ill man who was an acolyte at the temple; there's even a book (and maybe movie) about the incident which is called, appropriately enough, The Golden Pavilion). The temple was rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire, but now tourists aren't allowed up close to or inside the building. Our tour guide said that some rich and powerful people get to see the inside, so if any of us in the tour group ever get to be rich or famous, we should invite her to go if we ever get to see the inside of the temple ;) So without further ado, here's some pictures!

See, there's that special Kyoto-blend super-reflective water at work here. I took most of these pictures and I wasn't at all sure that *any* of them were going to come out good, but then we got home and discovered that most of them look really nice. Like this.

Here's a branchy shot for you, Vicki!

What's funny is that it looks all tranquil in the pictures, but really there was a huge crowd where I was taking the pictures from. It took a bit of doing to get up close enough to the fence so that I could take pictures without anyone being in the shot. Anyway, you walk around the side of the pond to the right and you can get a leetle closer to the temple, so I got this shot:

That's the bronze phoenix on top of the temple. And in case you're wondering, yes, the entire building is covered with gold leafing. Well, the sides are anyway, but not the roof. There's some more buildings that are part of the complex, and this:

That, my friends, is a 600-year-old bonsai tree. I can't imagine a living thing that is *that* old (obviously it wasn't affected by the fires that took out the temple, huh?). And just because I like him:

He was on the gable of one of the rooftops, I think on the building to the left of the ancient bonsai tree. Anyway, after that we walked around a bit in some of the gardens adjacent to the temple and we saw this...

I'm guessing that it's good luck if you throw a coin in and it lands inside the bowl, maybe this is the Japanese version of a wishing fountain or something? Oh, here's a view of the back side of the temple:

And another one 'cause I couldn't figure out which one I liked best...

I got a pack of postcards at the gift shop that have a bunch of different photographs of the temple at various seasons, look how pretty it would be in the snow:

Know what else they had at the gift shop?

Yep, I got my very own Golden Pavilion kokeshi doll. This was the only type they had at the gift shop so I had to get her. I saw quite a few dolls at various gift shops around Kyoto, but a lot of them were exactly the same as the ones I can get on Okinawa, except more expensive. So this was the only doll I bought in Kyoto. And that's all she wrote about the Golden Pavilion.

So I started this blog post earlier this evening before Lee and I took the kiddos out for a walk. The weather has been super-nice lately so we've been out pretty much every evening this week. Well, we were almost home and let the kids off their leashes, and I started running up to our door trying to get Vader to run after me, and then Sadie came out of nowhere and just plowed right into my legs. Lee said she just knocked my feet right out from under me and he wasn't close enough to catch me, so down I went. I smacked my head pretty good on the sidewalk and I have a scraped elbow, but I was more concerned about Sadie. She landed in the grass next to the sidewalk and was whining like she was really hurting. I never felt so bad in my life as listening to that, my poor girl! (Ok, even though it was her fault, I don't want her to be hurt.) Lee and I looked her over pretty good and we can't see anything wrong with her, so hopefully she won't be limping or anything tomorrow. He also doctored my elbow up and took a look at my noggin where I bonked it, so he took good care of me. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a lovely headache tomorrow, which is a fabulous way to kick off a full day of class. *sigh* Last week Sadie tangled with a centipede, and this week she tries to take me out on our nightly walk. What am I gonna do with that girl??


Giffysk8s said...

I guess you'll jut have to laugh at her and love her cuz really, what else are you gonna do? And seriously, keep an eye on your head. If you get a headache, go to the doctor!

BTW, the branchy photo is my fave, as you knew it would be. Just something about those branches. And the water reflections are gorgeous! The water is so still. Still water. Reminds me of being in Italy. You have to order water there, it's not just automatically brought to the table. And they always ask if you want still or bubbly. With their beautiful Italian accents, it took me awhile to figure out what they were saying. It kinda sounded like "steel or boobaly." LOL

Of course, I LOVE your kokeshi doll! Isn't it crazy how much more the gift shops charge? That's why I didn't buy more at Golden Gate Park. Okay, how many girls in your collection now? Yours needs to surpass mine because YOU are the one who started this!

Cindy said...

I love the pictures of the Golden Pavilion! I was there a couple years ago and you're right. The pictures are deceivingly serene when there are so many tourists. Your pictures are gorgeous and I love the new kokeshi doll - she's fabulous! Sorry about Sadie and you both being hurt. Hope you both rebound quickly and enjoy a nice walk today!

CCsMom said...

Wow, that Golden Pavilion is absolutely gorgeous. Breathtaking. I'm so glad you got to see it in person!

And I cannot believe that accident. I guess you got Sadie so excited, she must've been coming at you with her eyes closed! That is something else.

You ought to put little stickers on the bottoms of your dolls, thinking about it -- like this one saying when and where it was purchased. That would be fun for later so you don't forget.

Love ya! And hope you feel better soon. Mom