Around Kyoto: Kinkakuji, Ryoanji, Arashiyama Lantern Road [Trip Day 2] 金閣寺・龍安寺・嵐山・花灯路

  Trip itinerary and map

We began our travel in Kyoto today, focusing on the north-west / western area. With yesterday’s rain receded and replaced by a bright blue sky, it’s good time to visit the shiny “Gold Pavilion” temple, Kinkaku-Ji (金閣寺), and Ryoan-Ji (龍安寺), with its “zen” rock garden. And in the evening there would be the “lantern road” event in Arashiyama (嵐山).

Kinkaku-Ji (金閣寺)

The Kinkaku itself is of course the highlight. There isn’t much else in the temple complex, but that alone is worth the visit.

Ryoan-Ji (龍安寺)

It is just over half hour walk from Kinkaku-Ji (fine to do in winter, but not a good idea during the sweltering Kyoto summer!). After seeking enlightenment by the rock garden, we took a pleasant walk around the temple. It’s a popular place for viewing autumn colours, and surprisingly there were still a bit of autumn leaves left in late December.

Arashiyama (嵐山)

There are some good walking courses in Arashiyama, passing by various temples, gardens, and the famous bamboo forest. During the an annual “lantern road” event in late December, many of the sites and paths would be decorated with lanterns. The event lasts for about a week, and today would be the final day of this year’s.