“Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely.”

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The road up to Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Canal near Ginkaku-ji Temple
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The road up to Ginkaku-ji Temple
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At the entrance to Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Adorable sign at Ginkaku-ji Temple. Most sites in Japan have a similar sign. They are all cute.

As I mentioned yesterday, my first day in Kyoto was fraught with bad timing and torrential downpours. But I was able to visit the breathtaking Ginkaku-ji Temple. This temple is known as the Temple of the Silver Pavilion or by its more formal name, Temple of Shining Mercy. However, as you can see from the pictures, there is no silver anywhere. The main kannon house, started in the late 15th century, was originally intended to be covered in silver foil, but this plan never materialized. The nickname stuck anyway. But the kannon house was the least interesting part of this site to me. It sits in the middle of one of the most remarkable gardens I’ve ever seen. Between the precisely raked sand, the lush mosses and the majestic trees, it’s hard to describe the tranquility this place embodies. Being there in the rain added another level of atmosphere to the place, making everything tangibly green. The gardens extend above the temple site onto a hillside, from the top of which you can see the whole city of Kyoto.

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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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View from the hillside above Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Raked sand at Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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At Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Raked sand at Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Ginkaku-ji Temple
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Raked sand at the Ginkaku-ji Temple

The next day, I was able to visit other temples in the Kyoto area. Check back tomorrow for my adventures seeing the torii in Inari.

Title quote: Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

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Spiral-cut, fried potatoes. Worth every yen.

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