Friday, April 6, 2012

The Golden Temple

I will never forget my trip to Kyoto and visiting all the gorgeous Japanese temples, but it was my visit to Kinkakuji, The Golden Temple, that really stands out in my mind.  Surrounded by a lake with beautiful gardens in an incredibly peaceful environment stood this temple that has two floors of gold leaf inside and out. 

It was built by Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga in 1393 as a retirement home.  He lived in this kind of luxury when the people of Kyoto were suffering from plagues and earthquakes.  When he died, his son converted it into a Zen temple.  It burned down several times and was rebuilt.  The current structure was built in 1955 and has 5 times the gold leaf as the previous structure.

Today it is considered one of the most valued landmarks of Japan not only because of its beauty and history, but because it also houses relics of the Buddha.   We will be sure to "visit" this temple when we Travel on Tuesday to Japan!

Kinkakuji "The Golden Temple" Photo by: Dirk Sveistrup


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