around Kyoto [a wandering tourist]

As I could not fight sleep staying at my desk, despite the terrific view of Kyoto from a 16th floor, I went for a long walk to a complex of temples, Daitoku-ji, which is a sort of enclave of Zen temples and Zen gardens, with hardly anyone around, except for people walking their dog and the occasional cyclist… This was about 6-7k away from my hotel and on the way there I passed (on purpose) the Kyoto Imperial Palace (closed except for guided tours), and two other complexes of (Buddhist) temples, Shokoku-ji and Myokaku-ji…

Each time, the area was very peaceful and somehow mysterious as there was no explanation whatsoever in English as to the purpose of the buildings and of the shrines.  I alas arrived too late for the special Koto-in garden, but saw the surrounding bamboo grove and the (very Zen) guardian cats.

Beside the beauty of those places, I appreciated walking around this part of the city, because the temples felt so integrated within the life of the city despite their history. It felts as if the houses had grown around them in a fairly natural fashion, without excluding those temples as empty remnants. (I actually liked it so much that I mistakenly added an extra 4k to my walk by going the wrong direction!) [If this sounds too much like cheap lyricism, blame sleep deprived neurons, not me!]

Wile I fear I will not have time to visit the Temple of the Golden Pavillon, or Kinkaku-ji, that I hoped to see if only because of Mishima’s novel, or even the Fushini-Inari shrine I posted a few days ago, I plan to go running tomorrow morning to see the temples of Higashimaya and maybe even run to the top of Daimon-ji Yama, weather and time permitting…

2 Responses to “around Kyoto [a wandering tourist]”

  1. Kinkaku-Ji est sympa a faire, mais n’est pas non plus le truc ultime… Le parc est assurement tres agreable pour une balade, mais le pavillon reste assez petit et visible uniquement de l’exterieur… Donc tente plutot les divers jardins zen de la ville! si tu as du temps!

  2. I love it! Japan was the most amazing place I have ever been. Totally worth the 21 hour solo flight around the world and $4,000 credit card debt that took almost a year to pay off (I underestimated the value of the yen vs. the U.S. dollar- oops). I just wrote an entry of some of my favorite things about Japan last summer. Here is the link if you want to check it out:


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