Still a tourist I set off early this morning to see the Silver Pavilion (Ginkaku-ji). It had perhaps a slightly more interesting setting in comparison to the Golden Pavilion, and oh my goodness check out the sand garden :: below

This one represents Mt Fuji, complete with its creator – what happens when it rains?

From here I walked along the famous Path of Philosophy which follows a canal and is lined by hundreds of cherry trees. All I could think about was lunch!

The path ended at the Nanzenji Temple which I found to be one of the more interesting and relaxing temples to visit. The aqueduct was built in 1890 and is still in operation (looks Victorian to me).

You can see where the picture window concept originated :: below

After lunch I set off to visit the Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum which was as odd as it sounds. The beer museum is set within a Tudor villa built in 1920 just outside of Kyoto. I’m still not sure of where the beer fits in but the villa’s owner studied in England and was a great fan of the arts and craft movement, hence his mock Tudor gaff. It became a museum when he died and was extended in 1995 by Tadao Ando. I was the only one taking photos of the extension while all the Japanese were photographing the villa – there’s irony in there somewhere.

It’s a very difficult site to photograph however the new building sat comfortably in the grounds without obscuring the villa.

On display were the original sketches and some technical drawings – all done by hand. Photography was strictly forbidden…..opps

How to visit

Below is the map I used to navigate myself around Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Awaji Island and Himeji. This map lists and illustrates each place I visited.

View Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Awaji and Himeji in a larger map

Silver Pavilion (Ginkaku-ji):
Ginkakuji can be accessed by direct bus number 5, 17 or 100 from Kyoto Station in about 35-40 minutes and for 220 yen one way. Alternatively, you can reach Ginkakuji by foot along the Philosopher’s Path from Nanzenji in about 30-45 minutes.

Path of Philosophy:
The Philosopher’s Path runs between Ginkakuji and the neighborhood of Nanzenji, a 5-10 minute walk north of Nanzenji’s main temple buildings.

Nanzenji Temple:
Nanzenji is a 5-10 minute walk from the nearest subway station, Keage Station on the Tozai Line (about 20 minutes, 250 yen from Kyoto Station by subway via Karasuma-Oike Station), or a 5-10 minute walk from the nearest bus stop, Nanzenji-Eikando-michi bus stop (35 minutes, 220 yen from Kyoto Station by Kyoto City Bus number 5).

Nanzenji is also located only a short walk from the southern end of the Philosopher’s Path, while Ginkakuji Temple is at the northern end.

Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum by Tadao Ando, 1995:
From Kyoto take the JR Kyoto Line from JR Kyoto Station to JR Yamazaki Station, the express takes around 15 minutes. From the station cross the tracks and it’s a lovely 10-15 minutes uphill walk to the museum.