Kyoto, Japan

Also called The Golden Pavillion, this Buddhist temple is part of a classical Japanese garden from the Muromachi period. Obviously, it’s beautiful.

A minimalist approach to gardening, the structure is intended to be a part of the landscape in an artistic way. Although the original temple was built in 1397, a monk burned it down in 1950 and then attempted to commit suicide. He survived, but was arrested immediately. He was sentenced to seven years in prison but was set free because of mental illness. He died in 1957 from tuberculosis.

Although the present-day temple is a replica built in 1955, it is nonetheless an expirience. The gardens and the temple offer the onlooker a glimpse into life in 14th century Japan, as well as a peaceful respite to a busy day.

*These pictures were scanned from film originals, so the quality is less than ideal.

k.h. 2004