There is a place set deep in the mountains, where temples are illuminated by the low golden glow of the descending sun. A place where locust songs mark the opening and closing of each day. Here bicycles glide over quiet narrow streets. Machiya homes line long snakelike streets; polished and proud, they seem to whisper "we were here first, remember."
This is Kyoto:
Kyoto, Japan is home to over 100 temples and shrines. Around every corner, a temple or shrine seems to quietly appear.
The most resplendent of them all, in my opinion, is the Rokun-ji Temple, also known as the Golden Temple.
Originally built as a villa by a wealthy statesman , the property was later converted into a temple and built up to represent the "Pure Land of Buddha in this world."
Wrapped in gold foil, the temple incorporates the styles of 11th-century imperial aristocracy, the buke style of warrior aristocracy and the Chinese zenshu-butsuden architectural style. It's truly a magnificent sight to behold first hand.
In 1994, the sprawling Rokun-ji Temple complex which contains the Golden Pavilion, the Sekka-tei Tea House, the Fudo-do statue, footpaths, a pond and gardens was named a World Cultural Heritage Sight.
If you find yourself in Kyoto, visiting Rokun-ji is well worth the trek.
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