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Autumn Foliage begins at Silver Temple

Compared with the gorgeous Kinkakuji (金閣寺, the Golden Temple), Ginkakuji (銀閣寺, the Silver Temple) has a certain reputation for its plain and simple appearance. However, as many of my readers will agree, the simplicity represents the most significant concept of Japan called “Wabi-sabi (わびさび, aesthetic sense in Japanese art emphasizing quiet simplicity and subdued refinement)”. As for the temple’s name, there is no record that the temple was adorned with silver leaves. Again, compared with Kinkakuji, it’s very mysterious.

Originally, Ginkakuji was a villa belonged to Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the 8th shogun of the Muramachi (室町) Shogunate. During his stay in the villa, Yoshimasa created his own culture called “Higashiyama Bunka (東山文化)” which leads to the origin of many Japanese traditional culture, such as tea ceremony, incense-smelling ceremony and flower arrangement.

Enjoy viewing the moon in a quiet garden…what a beautiful way to spend the night. However, it was the era of domestic war. I am so grateful that the temple has survived the war fire of the Onin War (応仁の乱). It is almost a miracle that we are able to visit the temple today.

Akane Kibune

Kyoto Expert 1st Grade

10 mins. from Ginkakujimichi, Kyoto City bus



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