Text and photos by: Kinga Timea Liszka
Our December MIRAI group spent the 10th day of the trip in Kyoto, the ancient capital city of Japan. It is located in a central part of the main Japanese island Honshu, in the Kansai region.
Kyoto is known for a lot of various places, especially shrines. We began our day with a visit to Kinkaku-ji, the ‘Temple of the Golden Pavilion’, the Zen Buddhist temple complex transformed by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. It made a great impression on us. Fortunately, the sun shined and the golden walls of the building sparkled beautifully, reflecting in a pond. The garden that surrounded the temple was well maintained and a little bit mysterious.
Next site was a Higashi Honganji temple. It was constructed by order of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1602 and consists of a number of huge wooden buildings. The guide told us that one of those constructions is among the largest in the world. After taking off the shoes we sat on a tatami mat and listened to the interesting explanation provided by our guide and simultaneously using a special audio guide,
At the lunch time we had a chance to taste the genuine Buddhist vegetarian meal. After it we went to the Kawamura Noh Stage, where we were able to admire traditional masks used during performances in this theatre and hear about the origin of it. I was very happy because I could try on one of the gorgeous clothes used by Noh artists. After the presentation we saw a short act called ‘Noh-Yashima’ that gave us chills. It truly was an unforgettable experience.
In the evening we have returned to Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train. Kyoto is an amazing place and I hope that one day I will be able to come back and explore it deeper.