We are in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, so it’s time to join the herds of tourists.
With blue skies and sunshine, our first stop was Kinkaku-ji, known also as the Golden Pavilion, one of the most iconic Japanese buildings and since 1994 a World Heritage Site. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see the stunning reflecting pond within the temple, but the exterior walk around the lake was exquisite enough.
Originally built in 1397 as a villa, when the owner died it was converted, in keeping with his will, into a Zen Buddhist temple.
Amazingly though, what we marvelled at was in fact a 1955 reconstruction, as the original temple was arsoned in 1950 by a schizophrenic novice monk. The reconstruction is said to be a close copy of the original, although some doubt such an extensive gold-leaf coating was used in the 14th Century.