On our last day in Kyoto, I had to make sure to get to the most famous temple in the whole city – Kinkakuji, or “The Golden Pavillion” as it’s often written in English. We only had a few hours to spare, as the day was already full with the last day of classes and our going-away party with our buddies and teachers. However, our return train tickets to Himeji were non-time specific, so as long as we boarded a train that day, it would be taken care of. Opting to take advantage of that extra time, some of my friends, our buddies and I made a final side-trip to see Kinkakuji.
Our buddies were so sweet to go along with us even though they’ve been to this place a million times already. Here we are as a group in front of the pavilion! I distinctly remember that we got a really nice Japanese couple to take this photo for us. We went in the late afternoon (around 4pm), which turned out to be the perfect time to go. It was close to closing so there were very few other people there. Usually this place is overrun with tourists, so it was really nice to be able to really take our time and look around, taking loads of gorgeous pictures in the afternoon sun.
The Pavillion is surrounded by a beautiful little park – very attentively upkept. We did some exploring around the grounds and made sure to pick up some kakigori (shaved ice) before we left. The matcha (green tea) flavored one I got was so delicious!
It was a very spectacular end to an amazing week in Kyoto. The Kyoto trip marked the halfway point through the program, and after that point, things started to go by very fast. Classes got more intense, and finals approached more quickly than I could have imagined. However, I still managed to make a few more expeditions on the remaining weekends. So look forward to a few more posts to round off my summer 2013 experience!