Kinkaku (Golden Pavilion)/ Rokuon-ji Temple, Ryoanji Temple (Zen rock garden), Arashiyama district, and Fushimi Inari Shrine.
Golden Pavilion: Kinkaku is a shariden, a Buddhist hall containing relics of Buddha. Rokuon-ji is a Zen Buddhist temple, in the Shokokuji School of the Rinzai Sect. The area was originally the site of a villa called Kitayama-dai and owned by a statesman, Saionji Kinttsune Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the 3rd shotgun of the Muromachi period.
After Yoshimitsu died, in keeping with his will, the villa was converted into a temple by the priest Muso-kokushi, who became the first abbot. The gardens and buildings, certered on the Golden Pavilion, were said to represent the Pure Land of Buddha in this world.
Ryoanji Temple: highlights include: the large main building of the temple, Kyoyochi Pond and the simple Rock Garden. The Rock Garden is a simple and remarkable garden measuring only twenty-five meters from east to west and ten meters south to north. The rectangular Aen garden is completely diferent from the gorgeous gardens of court nobles constructed in the Middle Ages. No trees are to be seen; only fifteen rocks and white gravel are used in the garden.
This internationally famous rock garden was said to be created at the end of the Muromachi Period (around 1500), by a highly respected Zen monk, Tokuho Zenketsu.
Afternoon tour of Arashiyama district with amazing bamboo trees.
Fushimi Inari Shrine: the shrine of Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto. This shrine sits at the base of a mountain names Inari which is 233 meters above sea level, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines which span 4 kilometers and takes approximately 2 hours to walk up. (We did not go to the top.)
Inari is seen as the patron of business, merchants and manutacturers. Each of the torii at Fushimi Inari Taisha is donated by a Japanese business. First, and foremost, Inari is the god of rice. This popular shrine is said to have as many as 32,000 sub-shrines (bunsha) throughout Japan.
Our evening at the Mishimatei Honten was a special Japanese meal enjoying the company of lovely Geisha girls’ music, dance and game. Removing our shoes at the entrance as routine.