Arigato, Japonia! 8. Ginkaku-ji sau Pavilionul de Argint / Arigato, Japan! 8. Ginkaku-ji or the Silver Pavilion

Ginkaku-ji is a Zen temple and it is part of the UNESCO treasury. You may visit it daily between 8.30-17, and the entrance ticket is 500 yen.

Making your way to the temple, you can see a lot of little traditional shops, on a narrow street. After you enter through Somon, the main gate, you will see a nice hedge made of stones, bamboo and camellias.

The building started in 1482 and was finished in 1490. Between 1550-1561 the temple burned several times and was affected by earthquakes.

Initially, it was named Jisho-ji and was part of a much bigger temple. In Japan, the size of a temple (which is a complex of buildings) shows the power of the shogun who ordered the construction. Here, “gin” means “silver” but the temple has never been adorned with silver leaves. It was only named like this to be a counter-part of the Kinkaku-ji, The Golden Pavilion. But, it is said, that the superior part of the pavilion, which was lacquered in black, has been glittering in the moon light like silver!

Two important buildings remained from the former temple: Kan’non-den and Togu-do. The first one is the famous Silver Pavilion, were the first level is a typical Japanese residence, and the second one is built after the model of Chinese temples. The windows are special, called “windows with flower head”. The shingles on the roof are made of Japanese cypress, and bamboo nails have been used.

Togu-do is the oldest construction of this type in Japan. It helds some rooms, one of them for the tea ceremonies. Actually, the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa buil this as a retreat fro himself but after a while donated it to a priest, who transformed the place into a temple.

The garden is more than 500 years old and suffered different modifications. It has some ponds (like Kinkyo-chi, near the Silver Pavilion, or Hakkaku-to – the island of the white heron), stone bridges, lanterns, a small bamboo grove, and Sengetsu-sen (the moon washing waterfall).

Kogetsudai is a trunk of cone, 1.8 m height, which immitates the Mt. Fuji, and Ginshadan is the “silver sea”, a Karesansui garden. This is a typical Japanese dry garden, very unusual for us. They were particularly admired during the Kamakura and Muromachi eras.

Templul Ginkaku-ji este un templu Zen si apartine patrimoniului UNESCO. El se poate vizita zilnic intre 8.30-17, iar intrarea costa 500 yen. La Ginkaku-ji poti ajunge, cum am spus, cu Raku Bus nr. 100 sau cu autobuzul nr. 5, de la Kyoto Station. Accesul, din Aleea Filosofului, se face urcand pe o straduta cu mici pravalioare, unde te opresti mereu sa privesti diverse nimicuri.

 straduta de acces spre templu

Imediat dupa ce treci de Somon, poarta principala de intrare, un gard viu de 50 m lungime, alcatuit din pietre, bambus si camelii, te intampina.

Constructia, la poalele Muntelui Higashiyama, a inceput in 1482. Pavilionul a fost terminat insa abia in 1490, dupa moartea lui Yoshimasa, shogunul care si-a petrecut intreaga viata pentru a-l construi (shogunul a fost un practicant al ikebanei si al ceremoniei ceaiului). Intre 1550-1561, templul a fost ars de cateva ori, in timpul razboaielor, si pradat. Ceea ce nu a reusit focul, a desavarsit cutremurul. 1615-1644 a fost perioada de refacere, iar intre 1735-1799 s-au construit Ginshadan si Kogetsudai.

De fapt, templul s-a numit initial Jisho-ji si este un subtemplu al altuia, mult mai mare. In Japonia, templele sunt in general grandioase, cu un numar foarte mare de cladiri, alcatuind sub-temple, care se pot vizita si separat. Cu cat numarul de cladiri era mai mare, cu atat mai puternic era shogunul sau imparatul din ordinul cui a fost construit. “Gin”, particula din numele actual, inseamna “argint”.

Construit initial drept un palat in care shogunul Ashikaga Yoshimasa sa se poata retrage, actualul templu are o constructie, Kan’non-den, cunoscuta sub numele de Pavilionul de Argint si consemnata drept comoara nationala. Intr-adevar, avem in fata o structura deosebita. Fatada sa se oglindeste in iazul Kinkyo-chi. Ferestrele de la etajul al doilea sunt tipice pentru budhismul zen si se numesc “ferestre cu cap de floare”. Sindrilele de pe acoperis sunt din chiparos japonez, batute cu cuie din bambus. In varf, pasarea Phoenix, din bronz, priveste spre est si vegheaza asupra gradinii. Pavilionul nu a fost niciodata batut in foite de argint dar a fost denumit astfel pentru a face pereche cu Kinkaku-ji, vestitul Pavilion de Aur. O alta explicatie ar fi faptul ca, lacul negru cu care a fost vopsita partea superioara a structurii dadea un luciu argintiu in lumina lunii. In interior, se afla Kanon, zeita budhista a indurarii dar accesul publicului nu este permis. Primul nivel este construit ca o locuinta japoneza traditionala, in timp ce al doilea a luat ca model templele chinezesti.

 Pavilionul de Argint si Kogetsudai
 un punct de unde se vede bine pavilionul, atrage fotografii
 ferestrele “cap de floare”
Pavilionul de Argint, oglindindu-se in iazul Kinkyo-chi

Alaturi de Pavilionul de Argint, o alta constructie pastrata este Togu-do, unde shogunul efectua diverse ceremonii si unde exista si o camera speciala pentru ceremonia ceaiului. Este cea mai veche constructie de acest tip, pastrata in Japonia.


Gradina templului, modificata de mai multe ori in cei peste 500 de ani de existenta, ofera prilej de delectare prin plantele sale, prin micile gradini de muschi atent ingrijite, si diversele unghiuri de prezentare a Pavilionului de Argint. Se crede ca ea se datoreaza maestrului Saomi. Cateva iazuri, precum Hakkaku-to (Insula starcului alb) si un mic firicel de apa care se pretinde cascada – Sengetsu-sen (Cascada care spala luna) – , poduri de piatra si mica padurice de bambus sunt puncte de atractie ale gradinii.

 gradini de muschi
 padurea de bambus
 Hakkaku-to (Insula starcului alb)
Sengetsu-sen (Cascada care spala luna)
turistii arunca banuti la cascada, sperand sa le aduca noroc

Kogetsudai, este un trunchi de con din nisip alb, cu inaltimea de 1.8 m, iar numele sau inseamna
“platforma de privit luna”. Este o imitatie deliberata a formei Muntelui Fuji. Ginshadan , nisip greblat in forma de valuri, este “marea din nisip de argint”. Acesta este, de fapt, o gradina Karesansui, cuvant ce desemneaza o gradina uscata ca albia secata a unui parau de munte. Acest tip de gradini a fost caracteristic erelor Kamakura si Muromachi. De fapt, cand spui “gradina japoneza” parca te gandesti, in primul rand, la acest gen de gradini atat de neobisnuite pentru noi, dar atat de potrivite spiritului japonez. Pentru a arata impecabil, gradina uscata trebuie ingrijita cu atentie, permanent.


Templu Zen Ginkaku-ji este un exemplu potrivit pentru a ilustra cultura Higashiyama, cultura contemporana cu impact in toata Japonia, care include ikebana, ceremonia ceaiului, teatrul noh, poezia , arhitectura si designul gradinilor japoneze. Toate acestea, in contradictie cu cultura Kitayama, care se adresa doar nobilimii din Kyoto.


Arigato, Japonia! 8. Ginkaku-ji sau Pavilionul de Argint / Arigato, Japan! 8. Ginkaku-ji or the Silver Pavilion — 18 Comments

  1. My dear friend
    Really I am very happy for you, turning the whole world!
    I wish good health and travel!
    I am grateful for the wonderful images of Japan, which are very characteristic!
    I send you my best wishes and many kisses

  2. Japan is always the icon of innovations and creativity and tranquility.

    Just by looking at how they positioned everything from plants to stones, they are truly collaborating with mother nature.

    Thanks for bringing these many corners of Japan that fuels more desire for us, your viewers, to visit what you’ve visited.

    Thanks a lot, Traveling Hawk.

  3. Wonderful photos!
    You are an expert of Ginkaku-ji.
    I love Ginsadan garden.Special sand(powdered granite) is used for it, because this sand reflects sunlight or moonlight,and that is why this temple let natural sunlight into the room easily.

  4. such a serene and peaceful setting. i look at these photos over and over again. the cherry blossoms are purely magical and so perfect timing to visit Japan during this season.

  5. I wanted to see the cherry blossom, Life Ramblings, that’s why I planned the trip for this period. The nature played along, offering a later blooming this year in Kyoto.

  6. I think that all these zen gardens are difficult to appreciate by us, especially when so many people are around: a real concentration, not to speak about meditation, is very difficult. We have to have more knowledge about Eastern phylosophy in order to understand. That’s my opinion, Filip.

  7. The story of UNESCO’s coffers, I know a little, but I did not know that there is a Zen temple odnerdeel of wax. Like all those little shops beside the path to the temepl far. Those hedge of stones and bamboo is also very special.

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