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Ginkaku-ji and Hönen-in

The first couple of days we visited Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji, the two delightful lakeside temples, the former famous for its reflections in the water, and the latter for its painted panels and sand garden.

The former or golden pagoda is in North West Kyoto and the one we are now visiting originally to be the silver pagoda is in North East Kytoto.

You approach it up a crowded sloping alley with trinket and snack shops and rickshaws.

The temple itself is a complex set in mossy forested gardens and strewn with raked sand including a regular Mount Fuji, which one can see repeated in various temples from Kyoto to Kurami.

The pagoda was never in the end covered with silver leaf in the manner of the gold leaf of Kinkaku-ji, but is set in old cedar beside a small lake.

There are other buildings with exhibits of their fine pained room panels.

Moss garden species collection.

There were good hilltop views back over Kyoto.

Ginkaku-ji from the lake side.

The temple also had an art shop with an exhibition of silk paintings and calligraphic art.

Traveling south fromthe temple area on the ascending slopes there are more food and trinket shops and outdoor cafes.

Running south there is a shady little canal with a number of cafes and the odd temple in the trees.

We tuened in at Hönen-in a quiet forested temple with a priestly chant ongoing at the main altar.

Sound of a prayer chant at Hönen-in.

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