Site Headlines

Please scroll down for posts on main page...

WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

Most popular posts Recommended reading
Meet another hero - but he's not allowed to vote WA Governor's Race Saga
The Heroes of India Company United Nations - Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud
WA Governor's Race: EXTRA EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT! Wisconsin Vote Fraud
One day in Fallujah Bioethics
Diktat summons Simplicio 'Science'? What's that?
Harsh Conditions Japan


WWW Pull On Superman's Cape
Superman's product of the century (so far):

October 06, 2005
Kyoto: The Gold Pavilion - Kinkaku
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Photography

One of the most popular temples in Kyoto - indeed in the entire world - is Kinkaku, properly called Rokuon-ji temple. This site was originally developed around 1400 AD by a retired Shogun: Yoshimitsu. When he died the site was made into a Zen temple according to his will. The only original building that survives this period is Kinkaku and as you will see, it is most spectacular.


A vast roadway serves as the entrance to this area. Policemen standing just outside its gate direct the foot trafiic into this place. I was stunned at the number of people here - it was a Disneyland sized crowd. Hundreds of cabs sat outside shuttling people to and from...


There are some ancient lanterns near the entrance.


The broad street continues toward the interior of the temple site.


The roadway splits at this point - to the right is the 'exit' road from the temple. To the left is the entrance to Kinkaku.


This is the entrance portal to the main temple site.


Inside the temple is a small formal garden. (And that's the camera that's tilted - the building was quite square.)


More of the formal garden.


Small creches are housed within the garden area.

I wish there was a way to do a 'drum roll' and a reveal - you'll just see it below ...


You come around the corner and there it is - Kinkaku. My first thought was - no wonder it's still standing - it's made of gold. It is gold leaf overlaid on wood and sealed with a special Japanese resin. After caretakers discovered cracks in the 500 year old resin, it was the subject of a major restoration project in the late 1980s.


It's one of those places where the angle and the light can conspire to create unbelievable colors. You might not be able to tell - but I took these photos in a crowd of what seemed like hundreds of people - it was like some paparazzi scramble - the guards kept yelling at me about having my tripod - of course, it would have been hopeless to attempt to use it. I just repeatedly said "simasen" (excuse me) and shouldered my way to the front of the crowd (one of the few advantages to towering over most of the local population.)


The commercialization of the site diminished my experience of it - it certainly wasn't a restful or contemplative moment - but, as you can see, it didn't keep me from burning up a bunch of exposures. I think I only took about 20 or so pictures of the place.


The building, pond, plantings, sky - all conspire to meet that Zen ideal of things 'just so' ...


Even, just the reflection is beautiful.


The throngs drove me along past the building - and it is easily seen that the entire pond and backdrop have all been designed to frame and beautify the temple.


The path quickly climbs a hill to another small pond where a small pagoda - dedicated to the 'white snake' appears.


And just over the trees the Chinese Phoenix atop Kinkaku can be clearly seen.


If you wish, you can climb around a good bit higher. Looking down on the 'white-snake' pond - I could see that fall colors were about to break out here.


After a slight descent, another temple appears - this one houses a fire god deity - and folks were lined up here to ring the gongs and offer a prayer.


That's him in front of the gold mirror. Pretty small for a fire god I thought.


Then it's back down the hill to where the main road breaks into that left and right divide.

The Kinkaku - Gold Pavilion - has to be one of the most astounding ancient temple buildings to see anywhere. In 1994 it was inscribed as a World Cultural Heritage site.

I really did enjoy visiting and seeing this place. It just had a 'commercialized' sense about it that I found a little offputting. All of the other sites I visited carried a profound air of reverence about them - this place seemed more geared to entertaining the touristos.

Of course, if you make it to Kyoto, don't miss it. It's definitely worth the long ride to get there and perhaps on the day that you are there, the crowds will be small and you will hear the ancient chants spill across the water...

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference: Kyoto: The Gold Pavilion - Kinkaku:

People Pulling

Wow. That place is amazing! The second one of the gold temple is my favorite of this series. Gorgeous.

Posted by: jlb at Oct 6, 2005 3:27:19 PM

I agree. I love that gold temple picture.

EMCEE: Why thank you Mrs. Hapke. I guess I'm going to have to give that pic its own post...

Posted by: gail at Oct 7, 2005 7:09:21 PM

My Photo
Patriot 'Dillo!

Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

Ron L - Wisconsin election watchdog and hilariously fun grandpa.

James Pell - Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class - American hero with stories to tell about Iraq, Kosovo, and Bosnia.

Emcee - "Don't encourage him!" Jeff Goldstein

November 2010
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        

Recent Posts


Site Info
Powered by TypePad

Blog design by:

Header art by: Coby Cyr

Ann Coulter
The most brilliant journalist of our age - does heavy lifting

Black Five
Want to know what is really going on in our armed services? Matt does tell. He's a man of honor and gives tribute to men and women who serve all of us around the world.

Blogs For Terri
Terri Schindler Schiavo - We will NEVER forget!

Master photographer Jan shows off spectacular photos around the Pacific Northwest.

Commissioner Hugh Hewitt
The man! Inspirer of blogs, flogger of the currently most important.

Common Sense and Wonder
Great group blog - full of common sense penned by very talented people. I wonder...

Cream of the Crock
Diana once killed me in a place of wisdom. We've made up. One of my favorite experts.

Day by Day
Chris Muir provides the best first place for you to spew your coffee every morning

Digital Brown Pajamas
Sleepy Stormtroopers of the Religious Right. Plus Jeff is just a great guy. And Steve! Don't forget Steve! Oh no, where'd you guys go?

Evangelical Outpost
What can I say? I like Joe.

File it under...
These guys are animals. I mean it, they are animals.

Hamilton's Pamphlets
The Federalist Papers are still alive - and so is Alexander ...

Huffington's Toast
Hilarious answer to Arianna Huffington's psuedo-blog

In DC Journal
Bill is positively InDC, occasionally InDCent, always Bill

Jihad Watch
Lead by Robert Spencer - dedicated to bringing public attention to the role that jihad theology and ideology plays in the modern world.

Laura Ingraham
Find her on the radio and listen - does heavy lifting

Matt Rosenberg
Culture and current affairs from Seattle journalist and musician - and contributor to Sound Politics and Redstate - all in one very productive guy.

Michelle Malkin
Conservative goddess - does heavy lifting

MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Beth has a terrific blog AND she's my favorite Bama fan. (Which for an AU guy is like we've overcome class warfare, you know?)

Nerf Coated World
Friend Matt's wisdom tech and politech

Ninme, tenme, elevenme, just don't two-time me

Pillage Idiot
Replacing the creator of worlds - do you miss Allah? Go see Attila.

Pixie Lair
I'm a Pixie. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. (It's Shell - Look what God made!) - Found her again!

The triumvirate. I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!

Protein Wisdom
Jeff's menagerie of extreme thoughts, well said.

Scribal Terror
Gail can write! And make you do your English homework!

Sissy Willis
'Wiley' Willis cats and thoughts.

Sondra K
Like Special K - only better

Sound Politics
Shark and friends dig out the unsound

Tapscott's Copy Desk
Mark Tapscott, Director of The Heritage Foundation's Center for Media and Public Policy. Solid good read all the time. Moved to Examiner now...

The incomparable Ace of Spades HQ
The truth in spades!

The Jawa Report
Dr. Rusty and pals. Find original fisking and research here.

The Mighty Beldar
Crusty trial lawyer, bemused observer of politics & internet dilettante from Houston, Texas

the pragmatic chef™
Scott is a connoisseur of food and life! He really knows what seared means...

The Radio Equalizer -Brian Maloney
Could Brian be the next conservative heavy lifter? My money's on him.

The Truth Laid Bear
TTLB Ecosystem host and esteemed pundit.

Timothy Goddard
Brilliant analysis - plus Red State WA!

Great conservative commentary and about some kind of Weblog awards or something like that

Fellow traveler McGehee's musings