Here are a couple more pictures from Osaka, most are from shopping over the New Years holiday, so it’s basically a continuation of my previous post.
March 2, 2011
February 24, 2011
After visiting the Silver Pavilion on snowy New Year’s Eve, we headed across town to the Golden Pavilion, Kinkakuji (金閣寺).
The Golden Pavilion lives up to its name and is actually golden, unlike the silver pavilion. But, the Golden Pavilion is not an original. The first time I visited the pavilion, I marveled at the spectacular temple covered in gold leaf. Then I read the book Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima, which is a fictional retelling of true events. In 1950, a monk burned down the Golden Pavilion. The current temple is a reconstruction dating from 1955. It’s still a great place to visit, but I was rather disappointed to find out it wasn’t original. I felt like I’d been lied to.
February 23, 2011
At New Years, it is tradition to go to a shrine to pray for the new year. Many people flood into shrines at midnight and for the next few days, major shrines are packed with people.
So, while staying in Osaka around New Years, my friends and I decided to go to Kyoto for a day. It’s only about half an hour train ride away from Osaka. very close. We figured if we went the day before the new year, we would beat the crowds. We were also planning to visit temples, not shrines. (Temples are Buddhist. Shrines are Shinto. )
But we failed in our attempt to beat the crowds. Everywhere we went was packed with people. Even though it wasn’t the traditional time or place to visit, it was still a time when most people had vacation from work and there were tons of people taking the opportunity to travel. Also, unlike Osaka, which had relatively warm weather, Kyoto was cold and snowy. We got caught in a snowstorm there. In this post, I have pictures from the first temple we visited, ginkakuji, the silver pavilion (銀閣寺). I visited this temple before a couple years ago in the springtime. You can see those pictures here.