The Philosopher’s Walk, Part II

Perhaps you thought I was kidding when I said there was a temple or shrine every 500 feet on the Philosopher’s Walk? Check out this sign post for proof! We continued our stroll visiting most of the shrines along the way.

The first temple in the pictures here is Eikan-do, a very large complex. Everything was lush and green – it almost glowed. (Compare that to the brilliant reds at Eikan-do now.)

We spent a few minutes watching a ceremony in the main temple building. I believe that religious services must be the same the world over. It was similar to a Catholic mass… but in unintelligible Japanese instead of unintelligible Latin. After the ceremony, I snuck a few pictures of the monks as they exited the building before we continued wandering the temple grounds.

Next up was Otoyo Shrine. While most shrines are guarded by fierce-looking dogs, Otoyo is guarded by… mice. Here’s the story on why (scroll down.)

After Otoyo we trekked to Honen-in. Though I took the fewest pictures here I think it was perhaps my favorite. It was quiet with very few other tourists. Check out the crazy moss growing on the roof of the entrance.

We ended the day at Ginkaku-ji, “Temple of the Silver Pavilion.” The silver pavilion, in case you couldn’t tell, is devoid of silver. Supposedly during one of many wars the silver was deemed too costly. No worries, though, as the Golden Pavilion, which is covered in gold, would be coming up next.

What was saved in silver costs was surely put toward the enormous sand gardens and luxurious mosses. Perhaps my favorite spot at Ginkaku-ji was the “moss display” which had mosses ranked according to their importance. The last in line, and the most important were labeled “VIP moss.”

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