Kyoto: Kinkaku-ji Temple, Yasaka Shrine

The first thing I caught sight of upon entering the Kinkakuji complex was this beautiful amber-hued tree. I knew to expect a golden pavilion, but I wasn’t expecting to have the surrounding fauna garbed in the same expensive manner!

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No, this isn’t a good luck charm or a fortune. It’s the Temple admission ticket!

The sheer volume of tourists reached its peak at this particular tourist destination. I was feeling a bit suffocated, so I took the time to look up. Take notes: never attempt to visit this temple at noon again. I should have asked the locals what time would be ideal.

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If one pays close enough attention, they’ll see the mass of tourists partly concealed by the tree branch.
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Cue my triumphant smirk at having caught a brief window of opportunity to get a photo alone!

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Japanese landscaping really is beautiful. I just want to swim over to that little island and take a nap.

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The way the gold plating captured the afternoon light was breath-taking. I really do wonder how the caretakers are able to maintain the sheen of the pavilion. Apparently, the Japanese frequently reconstruct their temples at the slightest sign of deterioration. One has to admire their diligence and excellent attention to detail.

From Thailand floppy hat | H&M skirt | Stradivarius sneakers | From Spain shoulder bag

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This inviting threshold so reminded me of the movie: Memoirs of a Geisha.

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Later that night, we decided to search for a place to eat in the Gion district. It was impossible not to get side-tracked in our quest for food however, when the great gate of Yasaka Shrine loomed overhead. Of course, I ended up dragging my family in to explore further.

Japanese Shinto tradition always insists that visitors perform a kind of cleansing ritual just before entering shrines in order to expel impurities or foul spirits. As I tried to follow suit, a little tabby kitten leapt up on the fountain to look me over. I melted as it sniffed at my hand. Regrettably, it came and went too quickly for me to catch it on camera. Ynez and I were duly amazed, however, when it stretched out its neck and began drinking not from the water basin, but from the pure, fresh water streaming out of the bamboo tubes. What may have merely been an intelligent cat was instantly elevated to a Shrine neko (cat) god in our eyes. I won’t forget my quick brush with the divine.

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I suppose we passed the purification test, as Neko-sama sashayed off without further comment.
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I was expecting geisha to make an appearance at any moment, however we didn’t get to catch a glimpse of any.
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Whoops, that’s the green light. Let’s move, move, move!
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Over to the right we can see my parents hastily abandoning me on the pedestrian crossing.

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Hermes scarf | Stradivarius coat and heels | H&M knit sweater and velvet skirt

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