Reachable by bus number 5, 17, 100, Ginkaku-ji is a Zen temple located at the eastern part of Kyoto. Constructed on 1482 and often referred to as the Silver Pavilion, not because it is made of silver but with two alternative possible explanation- a) it was modeled after the Golden Pavilion b) the moon light reflecting on its dark exterior creates the silvery appearance.
With the towering wall-covered moss serving as the entrance pathway to the temple, the Silver Pavilion will be the first one you will see together with a well-maintained dry garden, mostly made up of white sand known as the “Sea of Silver Sand”. I don’t know much about Zen garden but I am pretty sure that every meticulously constructed ripple-like sand formation has an aesthetic purpose.
As the name suggest, the path said to inspire Japan’s most famous philosopher- Nishida Kitaro, who believed to practice meditation while walking along the stone path, on his way to Kyoto University. With hundreds of cherry trees sheltering the canal in the middle, today the path no longer inspires philosophers but mainly art students and the occasional lovers strolling hand in hand.
“If my heart can become pure and simple like that of a child, I think there probably can be no greater happiness than this” – Nishida Kitaro