Being in Tokyo I thought it might be a good idea to venture out of the city and see some other part of Japan. I only had one day for my exploration so I chose to take the Shinkansen, or bullet train, to Kyoto.
The first place I went to upon arrival was the Kinkaku-ji, the golden pavilion.
The pavilion was originally build in 1397 as a villa, but was burned down during wars in the 15th century. Rebuilt it served as a reliquary containing the ashes of Buddha.
Unfortunately it was again burned to the ground as late as 1950, when some crazy monk loved the place too well not to burn it (!). But whether old or not this is a beautiful sight, situated in a park that somehow manages to swallow up the sounds of the many visitors creating a sense of peace and quiet unknown to any other tourist sites I have visited. So this was not a problem:
When you had also parts like this and the sound of deep bells in the distance:
The two top storeys are covered in gold leaf thus earning the pavilion its popular name. It’s real name is Rokuon-ji, the Deer Garden Temple.
I would recommend anyone going to Kyoto to take the bus this far and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the site. Even in quiet December it was stunning.