Temple of the Golden Pavilion
Kinkaku-ji was another reason we wanted more time in Kyoto. Once I realized it was one of the most popular buildings in Japan, it seemed like a shame to miss it.
Kinkaku-ji is one of those places you are warned to arrive at before the tour buses. Unfortunately, that’s just not always possible. Especially when you travel during a region’s high season, sometimes you just have to visit a temple at the worst possible time. So that’s what we did.
And yes, it was crowded.
We basically followed other visitors down a path along the perimeter of the grounds. There were few opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery before we were pushed along by visitors coming up behind us. Before we knew it, we were back at the entrance. I was left with the feeling of, “Oh, so that was it?” Of course, the pavilion itself was gorgeous. There just wasn’t any time or space to stop and reflect on that fact.
Fortunately, we were able to grab a shady spot to enjoy some kakigori before escaping the crowded grounds.
Later in the afternoon, we headed back to Osaka to catch our flight the next day. It was a thoroughly enjoyable first trip to Japan.