Kyoto – Ryoanji Rock Garden & Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion
Dates: 29 Mar
After I finished up at Arashiyama I head over to Ryoan-ji temple to see the famous rock garden.
Ryoan-ji is a temple in the northern part of Kyoto with a Japanese Zen garden made up of various large rocks placed amongst perfectly raked small smooth pebbles. It’s an interesting sight, and is designed to aid with meditation – and even with a number of tourists there you can see how this is the case. It’s impeccable.
About 20-25 minutes walk away from here is Kinkaku-ji, the famous golden pavilion. This is another spot that’s incredibly popular for tourism, so when you arrive be prepared to queue at the ticket booth and then be ushered around in the crowd and have to wait for an opening to get a good unobstructed view/photo of the pavilion. It really is a beautiful sight though and worth the hassle of the crowds.
Arashiyama in the morning then Ryoan-ji & Kinkaku-ji in the afternoon is a great way to see three of the most popular attractions in Kyoto, and still be finished mid-late afternoon to relax.
I love walking around cities with lots of character, so instead of relaxing I chose to do the five mile walk through backstreets to my guesthouse to take in the area – so the photos at the end are of the area between Kinkaku-ji and Gion district.