Recently I had the opportunity to visit Kyoto, well-known in Japan to have many traditional and historic sites. It is not uncommon to see women walking the streets dressed entirely in kimonos, and there are an abundant number of temples and shrines in the midst of the bustling city life. This clash of traditional Japan and modern Western lifestyle is something very unique to Japan in my opinion. Among the many temples we visited some of the more famous ones were Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), the bamboo forests and moss gardens of Arashiyama, and Fushimi Inari Taisha (tunnel-like red gates).
The interesting thing about Kinkaku-ji is that it is literally a golden temple, the outer surface is real gold. Resting alongside a large pond filled with carp and surrounded by Japanese-style gardens, this area felt very tranquil and peaceful. (more…)