Friday, January 1, 2016

Kyoto Ginkakuji Temple

Not only Shinjuku Sttaion which has 200 exit and once perched as the busiest station in the world according to Guinness World Records, but according to me,Kyoto Station is also busy and complicated as Shinjuku :).

Apart from the traditional image of Japan as the city of Kyoto, the station actually very modern shades with a futuristic design and color of metal everywhere. Serves as the center of Railways JR, Kintetsu Line, and Subway, the station is also a gathering place of Kyoto City Bus and long-distance buses (long distance and overnight bus).

In addition it will also include some of the leading malls such as Isetan which controls 10 floors in the west wing and Porta Underground Shopping Mall located in basement. If you do not want shopping, people can still visit Kyoto Theatre (near the Hotel Granvia) and Isetan Art Museum located on the 7th floor.

Isetan Art Museum
One of the must visit places in Kyoto Station is Skyway Tunnel which extends 45 meters above the station. The glass of the tunnel we could see the view inside and outside the station. To reach this place, from the main entrance road just to the right where there is a long escalator to get to the top level named Daikaidan or Great Staircase.

At the end of this escalator people can relax for a while in Happy Terrace, a small garden planted with many bamboo trees. Well there next to the entrance to the Skyway that would end up in the ranks of the restaurant on the 11th floor.

Skyway Tunnel
Of the various modes of transportation in Kyoto, we chose the bus because although longer but cheaper. To get to City Bus Terminal, from hostels do not have to go back through the underground because the road will be more complicated. Just walk straight towards Kyoto Station, the terminal is located right in front of Hotel New Hankyu (see map of hostels above). To get around Kyoto today we bought the tickets City Buss All Day Pass can be purchased at the reception hostel.

This pass gives unlimited access bus use in a day. Almost all hostels in Kyoto provide a wide range of transportation pass like this. So rather than bother mending bought at the station just in front hostel purchase price is also the same anyway. The disadvantage, hostels usually do not give the bus route map while if bought at the bus station automatically route map will be provided. If not given, Kyoto bus route map can also be downloaded here.

Unlike the bus ride in other countries are generally up from the front and down the back, in Kyoto we should go up from the back and down at the front. If you want to go up and down do not forget to attach the sensors pass.

Kinkakuji Temple

The first place we explored today is Kinkakuji Temple, this temple from Kyoto station can be reached by bus number 105 or 205. In the City Bus terminal looking for any subsequent Kinkakuji platform reads every stop during the trip will be announced through loudspeakers and written also in the display panel bus with two languages, Japanese and English. In the bus route map, the journey to Kinkakuji Temple will begin from Kyotoeki-mae and ends at Kinkakuji-Michi as the nearest stop to the Kinkakuji. The total trip from the hostel to Kinkakuji approximately 2 hours. These buses can be seen on the map below.

Kinkakuji Temple
Kinkakuji is a Zen temple in northern Kyoto. Nicknamed the Golden Temple as a two-level building is painted with gold color. Actually, this place was once a resting place Ashigaka Shogun Yoshimitsu before it turns into a Zen temple in accordance with the will of the shogun. Unfortunately due to the war, the whole of the resort complex was burned and only a trace of the temple alone.

The temple was built in 1397 it was restored back in 1955 after a priest who was later known crazy burn down until the only remaining temple ruins alone. Kinkakuji building is arguably unique in that it was built with its three different styles arstektur. The first floor is built in the style of Shinden Style that is abundant in the Heian era building.

With wooden pillars and walls whitewashed appears to contrast with two gold-painted buildings thereon. The second floor was built in the style adopted Bukke Style of samurai houses and the third floor was built in the style of Zen Chinesse gilded gold color on the outside and inside. In front of the temple there is a pond with a small island 10 is a depiction of the places most famous in Chinese and Japanese literature.

Passing through the temple we will arrive at the former home of the head of the temple (Hojo) a very thick feel his Zen, unfortunately, like the temple, the building is closed to the public. Uniquely in this Kinkakuji garden there is a set of sculptures with small tin container in front of him. It is said that anyone who could insert a coin into the cans will be blessed with good luck. It is also interesting to see the visitors-do try your luck with competing to throw a coin into statues.

For fans of Japanese tea, in this park is also available Tea Garden. By paying 500 yen visitors will get a bowl of Matcha tea and biscuits. Near Tea Garden and the exit row of the sellers of souvenirs and food souvenirs of Japan, Yummy every seller provides a wide variety of free samples to diicipi. So although not buy guaranteed full Tastings here. Once again in the temple was not allowed to take pictures using a tripod.

After nearly one hour around Kinkakuji, we went back to the Kinkakuji-michi bus stop to wait for the bus to Ginkakuji. Kinkakuji is open from 9 a.m. to 17:00 with admission 400 yen.

Ginkakuji Temple

From dismissal Kinkakuji-Michi we can take bus no. 102 or 204 towards Ginkakuji-Michi one nearest stop of this temple. From dismissal Ginkakuji-Michi still has to walk about 10 minutes to get to the temple. This temple is situated on a hilltop passable roads also rising. Fortunately, on the right side of the road are many shops selling food and souvenirs so, looking at the shops it does not feel the trip is to the top. It takes approximately 1 hour drive from Kinkakuji towards Ginkakuji

Ginkakuji Temple
Ginkakuji same as Kinkakuji also a Zen temple. Both have a close affinity because both are built by Shogun Ashikaga family. Ginkakuji built by Ashikaga Yoshimasa inspired by his grandfather who had built Kinkakuji. When the Golden Pavilion Kinkakuji dubbed the Silver Pavilion Ginkakuji named although pavilionnya itself is not painted silver.

Yoshimasa was willing to cover this building with a silver color but unfortunately until the end of his life it is not ever materialize. This name also appears reputedly because of moonlight radiating silvery due to pavilion black lacquer which formerly were the dominant color of this building. I personally prefer Ginkakuji than Kinkakuji mainly because of the beautiful gardens. First came in I was made fascinated by the park's famous sand with the name "Sea of ​​Silver Sand".

Sand scratched with perfect precision so that it seems a pity that the rain and wind. It is said that the sand and gravel scratching is indeed practiced continuously by Zen monks to improve their concentration. Which became the highlight of the park this sand is compacted conical mound with very skilled to symbolize Mount Fuji.

When sitting enjoying the view of the garden there is a Japanese mother sand that invites us talk. Incidentally he is very fluent in English so I am free to ask it to him. With friendly she tells us the ins and outs of this park. Passable can also free guide :). After passing the Sea of ​​Silver Sand we explore the park moss (moss garden).

Most as well as rock, gravel and sand is a key element in the Zen garden depicting the land covered by forest. Awesome here, as if the moss that grows itself is actually planted with highly skilled and careful. At the time, there are gardeners who plant Ginkakuji moss so I had the opportunity to observe a moment activities. Tracing the walking path in the park we came to the top of the hill where the view of the whole complex Ginkakuji against the backdrop of the city of Kyoto seen clearly.

One of the things that makes me admire this park because all its aspects are made at one with nature. There is no iron element at all, all the fences made of bamboo. The connection between the fence that should be covered with bamboo nails. The existing drainage channels are also closed with wires woven bamboo boards so that everything looks natural. Walk around here feels so cool and reassuring. At the end of the park before the exit of the complex area we are given the opportunity once again to observe from close Ginkakuji pavilion.

Nothing feels almost 1.5 hours we searched our place. Ginkakuji is open from 8:30 to 17:00 with admission 500 yen. All the way home to the dismissal Ginkakuji-Michi already rumbling stomach feels not to mention the air is so cold it felt want to stop by just to eat a warm meal at one of the restaurants. But again for doubting the halal and the ability of the bag to buy, we are discouraged to go into one of the restaurants it. Instead we stopped at a supermarket, intentions who want to buy light-light before a real meal in the restaurant.

As usual I asked the clerk supermarket to translate its contents. The man in charge of a young man who was so serious pick out food for me. Once can sandwhich I want, we go around all the supermarket to look for other food additives. It has been almost 15 minutes circumference-perimeter when suddenly the young kids came up to me and asked sandwhich back bowing bowed apologizing for sandwhich it contains pork. Apparently he is misreading its contents, the behaviors that fascinated me. Perhaps he'd been trying to find us among the many visitors at supemarket large enough. Salute the same honesty and work ethic.