The Great Kyoto Adventure, Part III

It was about 1:00 PM on a hot Sunday in Japan, and many tourists and Japanese travelers were just barely arriving at their weekend destination. I, however, had started hours since, and still had many places to visit. Next up was Kinkaku-Ji.

On this map, North is down and South is up.
 I had just emerged from Ryoan-Ji, and found myself heading downhill into the edge of a town.

There were quite a few interesting things to see there, such as this art museum.

"Liquor Mountain"
I took a picture of this road because it felt like
something straight out of an anime.
These signboards could be found all throughout Japan.
I think they are to show candidates for city council or something.
 I soon found myself heading uphill again.


At the top of the road,  I found the entrance to my last temple visit of the day: Kinkaku-Ji, or "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion."

It was now prime tourist time; The crowds were thick.

I purchased a ticket (500 yen if I recall correctly) and soon found myself in a line. I didn't really get out of the line until I was out of the temple, actually. A Sunday afternoon is the wrong time to visit a famous temple, apparently.

I was herded in through the door and came out to see a truly iconic view.

A couple asked me to take their picture, so I asked the same in return.

That guy in the bottom-right is a boss, it seems.
 I was asked by two or three groups of people if they could give me a tour. I think they wanted to practice their English. I declined, though. I wanted to go at my own pace, and I was already hearing more English than I wanted to, with all of the tourists around. Oh, and this did happen to be another pilgrimage, incidentally!

They don't want anybody setting up a photo business here.
That's understandable.

 The path brought me (and everyone else) around the back of the pavilion.

There was a pond with lots of turtles and fish in it, which was neat. Also, those gardeners deserve some kind of award.

Down a path behind the building was a little shop selling charms for all kinds of things, like safe car trips, healthy families, and passing tests.

After that it was just another series of paths. There wasn't anything particularly interesting in comparison to the Golden Pavilion.

Lots of people had umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun. I probably should have at least worn sunscreen that day.

On the left I saw this. I think you're supposed to get coins into the bowl for good luck.

I threw a couple 5 yen coins. I missed.

No luck for me.

I saw one or two more of those coin toss things on the way up the trail. They weren't as popular as the first one, however.

There was a branch in the path, and there I saw two more blocked off paths, and an interesting view of the top of the pavilion. This was a really linear attraction.

This is a rock shaped like a chair. The sign says
that somebody important liked to sit in it.

The sightseeing was pretty much over, and all that was left was a bunch of shops. There was a place to stop and enjoy some bitter green tea. Oh hey, this looks a bit familiar... 

Different angle, same place.

I always enjoyed these "ema" signboards, where people wrote their hopes and prayers. Lots of good art to be found here.

This is where people tie off their bad luck fortunes.
An ice cream vending machine? That's a first.
And with that, I was officially done with Kinkaku-Ji. Down the stairs there was a huge parking lot with buses for tour groups and school field trips, and another gift shop.

There was also a disposable camera vending machine.

Another first!

Some more Engrish.
All templed out, I headed down a huge hill out into downtown Kyoto. I had a couple anime pilgrimages to make before heading home, and I was also planning to visit the Kyoto Animation shop and studio!

Oh, and I took this picture without realizing it has the iconic huge 大 character on the hillside. I think that makes this a good stopping point. Read the last part of my great Kyoto adventure for some wandering, some pilgrimages, and some more wandering!

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