Ginkakuji or Silver Pavilion is located in Kyoto. Back in the day it was a center for the arts during the 15th century when Ashikaga Yoshimasu was Shogun. At first it was supposed to be his retirement villa, but after his death it was converted into a Zen temple. The plans to cover the building with a silver foil were constantly delayed until the decision was made to leave it unfinished. Ginkakuji’s most notable feature is the dry sand garden also known as the “Sea of Silver Sand.” The garden is meticulously maintained and can be enjoyed along the designated path.
I remember going to this restaurant called Dotonbori where you cook your own okonomiyaki. It is a popular chain restaurant that can be found in various locations. Anyways after we were done cooking and eating some of us craved a dessert. Looking at the menu we saw this one called frozen pumpkin. I had pictured a bright orange pumpkin when I read it and was surprised to see a different one being served. Apparently it is a Japanese pumpkin or kabocha that the used to make it. It was really frozen solid so we had to wait a bit before we could get a bite in. Still it was a delicious dessert to share among friends.
While I was studying in Japan there were somethings that I tended to get confused with. When my friends were driving us around I unconsciously walked to the right side of the car they corrected me by telling me the passenger seat is on the other side. Then I would cover the mistake by asking them for the keys so I can drive. Well you should know that the driver’s seat is on the right side and you have to be on the left lane like in the picture. This is just another example of the cultural differences between Japan and the US.
Inside the Osaka Museum of History are very detailed models, which depict the lifestyle during that period. The model in the picture is one example of many explaining the history of the city. When I went to this place it was the second time I had gone to a museum. What were great about this one were the large displays you can see and the transition from different periods as you make your way around the museum. I also enjoyed the Meiji period as it transitioned to Showa era. It is great that you can inside the buildings and see the little figures representing a past lifestyle.
Sanjusangendo is located in Kyoto and is known for the 1001 human sized wooden statues of Kannon, goddess of mercy. At 120 meters long, the columns within the structure are placed at exactly 33 intervals. It is place that was amazing to visit and absolutely no photos and video are allowed inside. Also you are not allowed to wear your shoes inside. They have slippers available for everyone to use in this case as well as a place to leave your shoes. Remember this place is an actual temple so please respect these rules and you may see a monk praying to the large 1000 armed Kannon in the center.