Archive for June, 2013

Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto

In my opinion, Kinkaku-ji is a bit overrated. If you go there expecting to see the outside of a golden temple and take a short stroll around a pond and some gardens, then you will not be disappointed. I simply didn’t find a three story Buddhist temple covered in gold leaf to be that compelling. Seeing the sun hit a golden building is somewhat impressive, I’ll grant you, but there seemed to be no artistry to the gold leaf. It was just solid. It looked as though it had been spray painted on. One of the things that Kinkaku-ji is supposed to exemplify is how Zen Buddhist temples harmoniously blend into their surrounding environment…

It’s a bright golden building in the middle of a less than idyllic pond. Err….what? 

It’s not a bad place. It’s good for a stroll. The gardens are gardens. There’s the obligatory green tea and souvenirs. It’s tolerable pretty. It’s just not jaw dropping majestic. Perhaps my expectations were too high for it.  It’s alright. If you’re in Kyoto, you should probably see it. 

For more information, and biased from the other perspective, here’s a link for your convenience: