July 22, 2011

The Golden Pavillion

Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion Temple) is the only one of the original main structures remaining on the grounds of Rokuon-ji (Deer Park Temple) in Kyoto. And even this is not really the original. While the pavilion survived centuries of natural disasters, sadly in 1950 a misguided young arsonist monk razed it to the ground. Yet it is a true replica. And it IS grand.
 
In the 13th century this gold-leafed building was the not-so-humble villa of a shogun (general) until his death, when in accordance with his will it was turned into a Zen temple. 

Sitting on the edge of Kyoko-chi (Mirror Pond), it offers a perfect reflection for James' Weekend Reflections. This is a photo that's been taken by millions of admiring visitors over the years.

 Kyoto, 2009

As a bonus, I offer this less postcard perfect but more unique reflection of Kinkaku-ji as liquid gold with a purple water iris. 

This last photo is a closeup of the third floor with the gold-leafed bronze phoenix standing over one meter / nearly four feet tall. The bell-shaped windows are in the Chinese Song Dynasty style. The smallest of the three floors, this room was used for tea ceremonies and visits with close friends. 



Each floor was designed in a different style of architecture and had its own function. The ground floor was a reception hall used to welcome visitors and the second floor was for important meetings with honored guests. Simply put, the higher up you got into the building, the more intimate you were with your host, the shogun.

In 1994 this site joined the many historic monuments of ancient Kyoto inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list.

28 comments:

'Tsuki said...

The second one is my favourite : the colors are so bright, almost unreal... Nice job Francisca !

CAROLYNUSA said...

this is such a beautiful place. i am sorry i missed this when i was in Kyoto. lovely, Francesca

Sylvia K said...

Such a lovely temple and very interesting history! Your reflections are superb! Marvelous post for the day, Francisca, as always! Hope you have a great weekend! Enjoy!

Sylvia

EG Wow said...

What a shame that the original was torched! I'm glad there's a replica for us to see and enjoy. The reflection in the first photo is lovely but I must tell you that I find the second reflection very exciting. I LOVE the feeling of movement in it.

Shooting Parrots said...

It is a picture perfect setting, particularly the way the two trees are positioned in the lake to really make the most of reflection.

joo said...

Such a beautiful place!

Ms. Becky said...

too bad the original was burned, but its replacement isn't bad. the gold is splendid and almost blinding it its glow. it does look almost unreal. I really like photo with the purple iris. the reflection is wavy perfect. wishing you a fun weekend Francisca.

Jacob said...

That first picture did look familiar to me and I've never been there so I'll bet I've seen some other photo of it previously...but I can't imagine anyone taking a better picture than yours - it is truly magnificent.

Actually, I like all three...very much!

Evelyn said...

Very nice. I missed this, but I went to the Silver Pavillion. It's on my list for next time.

btw...am not home yet, currently in California. just missing home a little. Hubby is still working on his Chinese skills.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful -- I like the shimmery second one a whole lot -- liquid gold for sure. Love them all.

James said...

Beautiful shots and I love the reflections! The colors really come to life because of the great lighting.

Clytie said...

What a beautiful place ... I'm glad you included the closer view of the top floor. My favorite photo, though is the one with the iris ... and the hint of reflected gold in the gentle turbulence of the water

Dorian Susan said...

I loved reading about this building. Beautiful reflections all.

Kay L. Davies said...

The first photo is postcard-perfect and delightful, Francisca, but I love the iris photo best. Still, it would be nice to take tea in that third-floor tea room.

—Kay, Alberta, Canada

Mama Zen said...

Stunning!

Genie said...

This is such a gorgeous structure and your history of it so interesting. You always take me places I would never get to visit in my lifetime. The iris in the middle shot is beautiful...such a striking presence in the photo and beautiful against the color of the water. What a great shot this week. PS...I loved reading the story of how you have gotten to where you are at this time. You have had a wonderful life, my friend. Genie

Oakland Daily Photo said...

What a stunning scene. Would love to see it in person.

Ann said...

young arsonist monk , can't imagine a monk doing it.

Their monk system, is it like in Thailand, where it is compulsory for all boys to be monks.

Kaori said...

This is one of the famous Kyoto spots that I still haven't gotten around to visiting! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! I love that golden reflection with the purple flower. Purple is also a royal color in Japan so I think it's a perfect shot :D

tapirgal said...

As amazing as the pavillion is, I find the 2nd photo the real work of art in today's post. The colors and shapes are magnificent. Gorgeous!!!

Andrea said...

Happy Sunday Francisca! You are now in Tokyo, no i saw it is 2009 photo, LOL. I love those first 2 shots, very idyllic and serene but that pond with single iris seem so personal and seem so meaningful even for me! It can be found anywhere too, so transcends space and time.

Cezar and Léia said...

Magnificent monument and so lovely reflections.Your post is a great reportage from this fascinating place!
Hugs
Léia

JM said...

Absolutely gorgeous and so are these shots!

Lali said...

Very nice shot !

Pat Tillett said...

Very nice! I've been there a couple of times and on one of the days, it was raining. The effect of the reflection was amazing, but I CAN'T FIND IT!!!
Kyoto is an amazing place...
Thanks! I'm thinking I need a trip to Japan sooner than later.

Halcyon said...

That pavilion is amazing. Love the reflections too!

ladyfi said...

Total wow! So gorgeous!

awarewriter said...

The middle image is very Zen. I like it a lot.