Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion
Our visit to Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) is marked by rain though it does not take away the feeling of grandeur from this zen temple in Kyoto. We admire the temple from across the large pond, with rain drops falling on the water. Entrance into the Kinkakuji structure itself is not permitted but one does not need to be inside the monumental structure to appreciate the gold coverings on the exterior of the top two floors. Each floor is built to represent a different architectural style. With a gold phoenix statue sitting on the roof, the top floor is inspired from Chinese zen. The style of the middle floor is commonly found in samurai residences. On the floor level is the Shinden style that reflects palace buildings. Located next to the temple is the hojo which used to be the residence quarters of the had priest. A visit to Kinkakuji is a quick one and can be done in 30 minutes to an hour, and it's a good to way to spend the time.