Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji

“Kinkaku-ji: not wabi-sabi. Ginkaku-ji: wabi-sabi.” -Wise Japanese man

IMG_0149

Kinkaku-ji “Golden Pavilion” is something of a marvel; three distinct styles of architecture on as many floors, covered in brilliant golf-leaf, and gleaming in the highly reflective pond-garden on which it is set.

Something so stunning that I would be remiss to not have visited. Something which captured my imagination, and drew me to the country.

IMG_0154

But after my visit I just felt like I had checked off a box. Little about the grounds or the experience are memorable, save for the fact that Kinkaku-ji is covered in gold, and the pond produces a perfect reflection from the designated postcard-generating photography area.

IMG_0170

IMG_0175

When I left the site I had a chance conversation with an elderly gentleman. He informed me “Kinkaku-ji: not wabi-sabi. Ginkaku-ji: wabi-sabi.”

IMG_0481

Something of a little brother to Kinkaku-ji, the “Silver Pavilion” Ginkaku-ji was built by the grandson of Kinkaku-ji’s Shogun founder.

But true to the old man’s word, I was taken aback by the beauty of the Ginkaku-ji: it’s grounds, Kannon Hall, the sand garden, the sand Mount Fuji.. there’s such harmony, and rawness.

IMG_0443

IMG_0445

IMG_0455

Here, the symbolic Fujisan’s peak is obfuscated, as it so often is by cloud.

IMG_0459

Nothing at Ginkaku-ji is quite perfect or finished, but the care for detail is astounding.

IMG_0472

IMG_0486

IMG_0442

Wabi-sabi isn’t easy.

Written by:

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *