Golden Pavilion and Ryoanji
Kyoto Travel Blog› entry 11 of 20 › view all entries
Today we decided to try our hand on the public transportation and visit two temples on the outskirts of the city. Our first stop was Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion. We bought a day pass at the subway station next to the hotel that was good for the subway or buses. We rode the subway to a main hub, then caught a bus. While waiting for the bus, we were amazed at the number of bikes lined up along the fence unlocked. People are very trusting over here, that’s one reason Japanese tourists are often the victims of crime when they are tourists elsewhere.
We caught a bus for the nearly hour long ride out to the Golden Pavilion. More and more people got on the bus, so we ended up standing in the aisle for most of the ride. The bus stop was about 2 blocks before the entrance, so we made the short walk over.
There were a lot of people here, but we didn’t have the rushed feeling we had at the Silver Pavilion. We strolled along the gravel path that would through the mossy forest. Workers were there sweeping the leaves and pine needles off the moss. We stopped at a little bowl surrounded by coins so we could toss some loose change. I threw a few coins and twice hit the bowl with a "ping" but didn’t get any in. I must say that I liked the Silver Pavilion better.
Next stop was Ryoan-ji Temple, known for its rock garden.
After removing our shoes, we shuffled along to the garden. I was extremely disappointed with the rock garden. A sea of white gravel surrounded 14 large rocks.
After the rock garden, we continued around the pond. I really enjoyed the landscape garden where the large rocks were in a more natural environment surround by trees and moss. That is much more relaxing to me.
We caught the bus back and were slightly alarmed to see that we were taking a different route home than we had come. Again, the bus was super crowded and we gave up our seats and still had to stand 3 across in the aisle. At one point, the elderly lady at the seat next to me got up, right as another old lady got on. Rather than letting anyone else sit there, I ushered her into the seat. She was so grateful and kept bowing and saying thanks to me. When she got off the bus a few stops later, she again bowed and said thanks and then bowed and said thanks again from outside on the curb. It was so cute. It made me feel good.