Kinkaku-Ji, the Golden Pavillon under snowWaking up early on Sunday, we discovered the city under snow.  This doesn’t happen so often in Kyoto so no hesitation — we called a taxi and went to visit the various temples, in the South (Fushimi Inari Taisha, To-Ji), in the North-West (Kinkaku-Ji and Genko-An) and in the North-East (Ginkaku-Ji).

It was surprising to see the difference between the various parts of the city.  Indeed, while the snow was over and already started to melt down and disappear in the South, the Golden Pavillon (Kinkaku-Ji) was under heavy snow. It was really crowded, but so beautiful. And then it was still snowing a bit as we arrived at the Silver Pavillon (Ginkaku-Ji), but the sky quickly turned blue.

It took us about three hours to make the tour, taking plenty of time to visit the temples, and it was a wonderful idea. We brought back some unusual photos and were very pleased.

Fushimi Inari Taisha
The tori at Fushimi Inari Taisha

For information, our tour started at 8 am with the visit of Fushimi Inari Taisha. We decided this because this shrine is very near our place and is, contrary to many other temples, open at this time of the day.  Then, on the way to the west part of the city, we passed in front of the To-Ji Temple and took a couple of pictures of the five stories pagoda.



We then drove all the way to the Golden Pavillon to arrive there around 9:30.  The place opens at 9 am and was already crowded. It was heavily snowing and cold.  Lots of people trying to get a shot of the pavillon.

Kinkaku-Ji, the Golden Pavillon under snow
The two windows at the Genko-An Temple


Following our driver recommendation, we briefly stopped at Genko-An located nearby to see the snow from the two windows, the round one (“Satori no mado” or window of realization) and the square one (“Mayoi no mado” or window of Delusion).


And we then drove all the way back to the North-East of the city, next to the Philosopher Path, to visit Ginkaku-Ji, the Silver Pavillon.  The weather was now clear with a blue sky.

Ginkaku-Ji, the Silver Pavillon, under snow

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