Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji, Byodoin, Daisenin


("Kin" = gold) This famous and glittery temple survived centuries, only to be burned down by an arsonist in 1950....

The famous gold Kinkakuji
(Rebuilt after arson fire of 1950)
I think the bird statue on the top is a phoenix?

Tourists at Kinkakuji
(Featuring Real High School Girls)

Sweeper cleaning moss
and wearing period garb

Sweeper still cleaning moss
and still wearing period garb.

Foreign tourists observing and commenting on...

...this stuffed toy.


("Gin" = silver) This old temple was inspired by Kinkakuji.

Ginkakuji, facing the water.
Unlike its inspiration Kinkakuji,
it does not gleam metal.

Zen sand sculptures
(rebuilt roughly monthly, or
after heavy rains, says a taxi driver)

Nice view of Ginkakuji

Nice photo of trail
going up hillside.

Ginkakuji from scenic overlook
(more buildings not visible to right)

Small moss trail
leading to main temple.

Tourists shopping on way to Ginkakuji!
Tons and tons of tourists....


This almost 1000 year old temple (former villa) is on the back of the Japanese 10-yen coin. A large gold-covered statue of the Buddha resides in its center, in the Phoenix hall.


Byodoin seen head-on

An eldery twosome rests nearby

Entrance to Byodoin museum bunker


Toji is a temple complex that includes what I think is the tallest 5-tier temple tower in Japan. It's close to the Kyoto Station and is an impressive sight, rising over the city. 5-tier temples are, I believe, based on an Indian structure that represents the grave(?) of the Buddha.

Close view of Toji's 5-story tower.
Inside are Yet More Golden Statues.

Usual shot of the 5-story tower

Front of one of the halls
(There are 2 big halls near the tower,
each containing massive gold-covered
statues of the Buddha.

Daisenin (in Daitokuji)

Founded in 1509, according to a sign out front. One is technically not supposed to take photos of the interior of this temple or of its Zen garden (sort of akin to Ryoanji's), but there are some on the 'net anyway. This is the only place I went to where the monks hung out and gave tours and such. I came here twice :P.

Miyamoto Musashi, famed swordsman, slept here! (In fact, he studied here with his teacher Takuan, the 7th abbot.)

Outside the Daisenin.
Err, Daisen-in according to the sign.

The current Daisenin abbot,
Soen Ozeki,
author and former TV personality,
and overall humorous guy.

The younger humorous monk who
gave tours, but who looked totally
swamped with guests on a Saturday.
No wonder they needed at least
2 extra volunteer tourguides.

The historic entrance hall (unused),
the first of its kind in Japan.
Sign notes it's a National Treasure Entranceway.

Back to Rei's Japan 2003 Photo Index

All Photos, Text Copyright 2003 Eri Izawa