Kinkaku-ji, Nijo-jo & Kitano Tenman-gu
Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
70Trip End Mar 17, 2013
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Where I stayed
I got up early, got ready and went to the Front Desk to ask about getting to Kinkaku-ji aka the Golden Pavilion. It turned out I could get a bus from just across the street in front of Kyoto Station . I bought an all-day bus pass and went and caught a bus.
The bus eventually got to the stop for Kinkaku-ji. I got off and walked to the temple. I bought a ticket and headed in. You can't see the Golden Pavilion from outside the gate. As you walk in you round a corner and suddenly there it is on the other side of a pond. It's pretty spectacular. As the name implies, it's gold. It's a three-story building with the upper two stories gilded. When I first arrived the water was choppy and you couldn't see the reflection in the water. Fortunately, the wind let up for a while and I got some good pictures.
I continued along the route through the gardens and past some other buildings. There's nothing else that compares to the Golden Pavilion though. After going through once I went back in to check the view of the Golden Pavilion again and then left.
I started walking to the Kitano Tenman-gu temple. There's a market there on the 25th of the month. I got to a temple and wandered over. There was a tiny market with half a dozen vendors next to a small temple. I thought there might be more but I talked to someone and he told me that that was all of it. I left and started heading for Nijo-jo.
I came across a bus stop. I was told which bus to get on to get to Nijo-jo. The right bus came along while we were talking and I hopped on. A bunch of people got on a few stops later. I realized they had just come from the market I had been looking for. I hadn't been at Kitano Tenman-gu afte rall. I stayed on the bus and was soon at Nijo-jo.
Nijo-jo is a shogun's castle. There are two palaces and some gardens within the castle walls. One of the palaces, Ninomaru, can be toured but no photography is allowed. Many of the architectural features in the palace were intended to display the power and wealth of the shogun with lots of gold leaf and impressive paintings on the walls and sliding doors.
When I was done at Nijo-jo I headed back to the market. The correct market this time. I've since found out that the one I went to is at a place called Hirano Shrine. I caught a bus that I was hoping would take me to the market. Unfortunately, it didn't. I hopped off and walked the rest of the way.
I eventually found the KitanoTenman-gu Temple as I ambled around the market. I wandered around the temple for a while before heading back to the market. I perused the market until the vendors were all busy packing up. Then I caught a bus back to the hotel
I brought my tripod with me today but I never got to use it. Tripods aren't allowed to at Kinkaku-ji or Nijo-jo and it wasn't possible with the crowds at the market so it was just one more thing to juggle. When I was taking a picture at the market I had it collapsed and leaning against my leg. It slipped and the tripod's head hit the pavement. It's what's called an indexing head with knobs attached to gears that allow you to easily adjust the camera position. When it fell one of the knobs hit and bent the attached shaft. This wasn't the first time that's happened. The thing has really taken a beating since the last time I sent it in for servicing. Between bent shafts and sand in the gears from days in the desert it really needs an overhaul.
I headed back to the camera store to check on the price and delivery time for the camera part I left at home. At around $20, the price was reasonable but the estimated delivery time is a week. Since I'll be leaving in the morning eight days after they would be placing the order that seemed to be cutting it a bit close so I didn't order it.