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Kinkakuji, Kyoto – Japan

Kinkakuji temple and pond

I don’t think I’ve seen many places more harmonious than Kinkakuji, the “Golden Pavilion Temple” in Kyoto.

To me, this Zen temple is a great example of the Japanese extraordinary talent for balanced landscaping. The pavilion itself might look over-the-top on its own, or in a different context. As it is, surrounded by this pond and gardens, it’s quite hard not to marvel at its sight.

You’d think photos practically take themselves in such a place, but it’s never easy when you are trying to find a spot amongst dozens of local school kids and tourists. Every attraction I visited in Kyoto was crowded, but this was one of the worst in that respect. It’s still a must-see, yet another one in a city brimming with beauty.

One can only envy the 14th century shogun who enjoyed Kinkakuji as his retirement villa.

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