“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” - James Michener
Kinkakuji Temple (The Golden Pavilion)
Kinkakuji Temple (The Golden Pavilion)
All that glitters is gold at Kinkakuji Temple in northern Kyoto. Gold leaf covers the two upper floors of Kinkakuji or the Golden Pavilion which was once the retirement villa of the shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. When he died in 1408, his villa became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism as specified in his will. It is officially called Rakuon-ji which is also the name given to Yoshimitsu on his journey to the next world.
The Golden Pavilion represents three architectural styles. The first floor is in the Shinden style featuring a large room with a veranda and wooden pillars supporting the upper storeys. The second level reflects the samurai style and was used for private meetings. It's completely gilded on the outside. The top floor emulates Chinese Zenshu style of architecture with cusp windows, gilding inside and out, and houses the Amida triad and 25 Bodhisattvas. A bronze phoenix which is also covered in gold leaf crowns the rooftop. These three distinct styles blend harmoniously to create a glittering shariden that houses the relics of Buddha. Kinkakuji was rebuilt from scratch in 1955 when a crazy monk burned it to the ground in 1950. The Golden Pavilion is closed to the public as is the Abbot's House or Hojo.
Kinkakuji is beautiful to behold from across the pond which bears its reflection. The pond and surrounding gardens have been designated as a National Special Historic Site and Special Place of Scenic Beauty.
Abbot's House (Hojo)
A stroll around the property could be a relaxing walk in the woods were it not for the hordes of tourists and students who are everywhere. It's hard to find a spot where one can quietly enjoy the scenery except perhaps in the tea garden where I found a few empty seats behind the foliage.
Crowds notwithstanding, the walk up to the upper pond is pleasurable with much to catch the eye. I especially liked the little fishing deck on the side of the Golden Pavilion. Before leaving the temple grounds, visitors toss coins at these statues for good luck.
Buses 101 and 205 stop at Kinkakuji from Kyoto Station. It costs ¥220 for the 40 minute ride. There is an entrance fee. It's open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Carlos "Botong" Francisco, FILIPINO STRUGGLES THROUGH HISTORYOil on canvas, 1964, (located at ManilaCity Hall) A National Cultural Treasure owned by the City of Manila Carlos Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined is the latest art installation at the AyalaMuseum in Makati to celebrate the 100th birthday anniversary of Carlos “Botong” Francisco (1912-1969), a Philippine National Artist. Forty paintings and lithographs were culled from various private collections to form this exhibition. Of the large scale paintings on display, Maria Makiling and Fiesta, both oil on canvas, are representative of the indigenous genre which Botong loved to portray. In Maria Makiling, Botong reveals a relaxed and recumbent woman with her legs dangling in the cool waters of the stream and playing with an exotic deer by her side. Fiesta is about how the Filipino people gather to celebrate an important occasion, be that a religious feast or a wedding. The central figures are dancing the tinikling, a po…
Pag-unlad ng Panggagamot sa Pilipinas (The Progress of Medicine in the Philippines) is a group of four large-scale paintings depicting healing practices in the Philippines from pre-colonial times to the modern period. Carlos Botong Francisco was commissioned in 1953 by Dr. Agerico Sison who was then the director of Philippine General Hospital (PGH) together withDr. Eduardo Quisumbing of the National Museum, Dr. Florentino Herrera, Jr. and Dr. Constantino Manahan. These oil on canvas paintings measure 2.92 meters in height and 2.76 meters in width (9.71 ft x 8.92 ft) and were displayed at the main entrance hall of PGH for over five decades. Owing to its location, the artworks were in a state of "severe deterioration" at the beginning of the 21st century from exposure to heat, humidity, dirt, dust, smoke, insect stains, grime, termites and an oxidized synthetic resin used in an earlier restoration. These canvases were restored three times, the last was in 2006 which restoratio…