Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle 7

Our final stop was a visit to Osaka Castle [大阪城] before heading back to Taiwan. Like most vacations, the best weather we encountered was on our last day. It was a great day of hopping from train to train, taking a ton of pictures in the process, and getting to spend a beautiful afternoon visiting one of Osaka’s historic sites.
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Ginkaku-ji [The Silver Pavilion Temple]

Ginkakuji Temple 5

Ginkaku-ji [銀閣寺] was established in 1482 by Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the eighth Muromachi Shogunate. Sitting on the roof is a golden bronze phoenix dedicated to Kannonbosatu [the Goddess of Mercy]. It faces east and protects Ginkaku-ji.
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Kyoto – Ryukoku University

Ryukoku University

While exploring the area around our hotel, we stumbled on Ryukoku University [龍谷大学]. The university sits next to Nishi Hongan-ji Temple [西本願寺], which was disappointingly undergoing renovations when we visited.
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Kyoto – Ninna-ji Temple

Ninna-ji Temple 02

The rain stopped by the time we got to Ninna-ji [仁和寺]. Our visit was delayed a bit because we got on the wrong bus after visiting Kinkaku-ji. The mistake on our part was wonderful because we found a spectacular restuarant at the stop we got off at after realizing our error.
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Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji [The Golden Pavilion]

The Golden Pavilion - Rokuon-ji Temple

We left for Kinkaku-ji [金閣寺] by bus on a rainy Monday morning. Even in the rain the Golden Pavilion is a very impressive site. Kinkaku-ji is the informal name for the main building for Rokuon-ji [鹿苑寺 (Deer Garden Temple)]. In the 1220s it was the villa of Kintsune Saionji, a central figure in the imperial court.
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Kyoto – Exploring Arashiyama – Seiryo-ji, Gio-ji, and Daikaku-ji


When traveling through Kyoto, be sure to start each day extra early, most of the temples seem to close at 4:30 or 5:00. The place where we rented our bicycles said they closed at 5:00 but insisted we bring our bikes back by 4:30, weird.
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Kyoto – Exploring Arashiyama – Tenryu-ji Temple

Sogen Pond Panorama II

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Tenryu-ji [天龍寺] is part of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. This temple was founded in 1339 by Shogun Ashikaga Takauji in memory of emperor Go-Daigo [1288-1339], whom he sided with during the civil war which brought an end to the Kamakura Shogunate [1185-1333].
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Kyoto – Exploring Arashiyama – Hogonin Temple

Oi River

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Our first full day in Kyoto was spent in Arashiyama [嵐山], a scenic district in Western Kyoto. The Panorama above shows the Katsura River [桂川], to the far left of the panorama is the Togetsukyo Bridge [渡月橋].
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