Modern vs Ancient

Japan · Kyoto Scroll down

A city of contrast with ultra-modern buildings and ancient temples

Kyoto was the former capital of Japan for more than thousand years. So, I had the image in my mind of an ancient old city full of temples but that this was not the first sight I got. As a JapanRail holder, train stations are always the entry point. I was very surprised of the ultra-modern glass and steel terminal architecture.

Steel and Glass contrast at Kyoto train station

Steel and Glass contrast at Kyoto train station

… Another example of contrast. I saw many women wearing traditional dress at the train terminal. I did not expect that Japanese still wearing like that…

Japanese woman dressing kimono at Kyoto train station

Japanese woman dressing kimono at Kyoto train station

Kyoto is definitely a big city. I love to walk around but if you want to sightseeing the uncountable temples in town is better to get the bus day saver. If you wonder why the bus switch off engines everytimes that stops in a traffic light, the answer is to reduce CO2 emissions.  My first stop was the Kyoto’s famous attraction, the Golden Pavilion…

The Golden Pavilion of Kinkaku-ji

Typical picture of the Golden Pavilion of Kinkaku-ji

… but when I got there was full of local japanese tourist fighting each other with their telelens to get a good spot for a perfect framing shot. I wasn’t on the mood to fight back… so I took a quick shot and decided to follow my way through the moss garden surrounding of the pavilion.

Zen garden style mini waterfall

Zen garden style mini waterfall

Torii gate on the gatware to the pond

Torii gate on the gatware to the pond

Huge pond at Kyoto's Golden Pavilion

Huge pond with carps, turtles and of course lotus flowers

Moss covering the forest at Kyoto's Golden Pavilion

Moss all around…

The second stop is another hotspot in Kyoto. The finest surviving example of zen stone garden, Ryoan-ji. The rocks formation with the circular patterns resembles to a seaview of island and waves around them. It said on Zen Philosophy that Zen gardens facilitate meditation… I don’t know but is true that I enjoyed enjoy a very special moment of tranquility and spiritual atmosphere until a new travel group come into the scene.

Zen stone garden at Ryoan-ji Temple

Zen stone garden at Ryoan-ji Temple

… after I while I realized that tourist get dressed on traditional custom to sightseeing around Kyoto in order to fit on the surroundings.

Ladies wearing traditional Kimono at Ryoan-ji

more ladies wearing traditional customs…

Wood platforms arroun the temple at Ryoan-ji

Wood platforms arround the temple at Ryoan-ji

Tatami inside Ryoan-JI

Tatami is deeply ingrained into Japanese Culture. They still using nowadays

moss garden at ryoan-ji

young japanese with colorful kimonos

I like the feeling of being alone in public places. Especially, a unique setting as Kyoto. After the tourist group spoiling the moment at Ryoan-ji, I decided to have a try on more distant and quiet temple. Definitely a great choice.

Tranquility moment viewing zen gardens

Finally a quiet spot

Rock gardens around unknown temple at Kyoto

Rock gardens around unknown temple at Kyoto

zen pebbles pattern

stylized landscape through carefully composed pebbles patterns

As night was approaching, I headed to the most famous night-time districts, Gion, the Geisha district.

geisha statue at kyoto geisha district, Gion

geisha statue at kyoto geisha district, Gion

At Gion there is not only Maikos. I visited the hatto building with a really amazing ceiling painting with a dragon emerging from a circle.

Hato building celling

amazing ceiling painting with a dragon emerging from a circle

Geisha district alley

Geisha district alley

someone had to much sake

someone had to much sake

walking in gion

walking in Gion.. on the way to work?

error: Content is protected !!