Day 5: I was up early with the intention of maximizing my last day in Kyoto.

I got a good night’s rest in New Ginkaku Inn but if I had my way, I’d sleep and give my aching feet a day’s rest. I must have walked a million steps in the past four days.

Luckily, my hotel, which was in a convenient location a few steps from the Kyoto Station with a bus terminal that can take passengers to any point in the city and back, was also surrounded with points of interest. The Kyoto Tower, Higashi Honganji, Nishi Honganji and the Costume Museum were in the vicinity.

I purposely saved the last day for the exploration of the neighborhood. This way, I can freshen up at the hotel after the tour and walk to the station to head back to Tokyo. With that as the plan, I listed farthest attraction first and work myself back to the hotel.

Nishi Honganji was the first order of the day.

After a 900-meter hike, I reached a temple at the corner of the Shoji Dori and Horikawa Dori and entered the main gate. I was expecting a bigger temple though, and for a very popular temple, there was not a soul in the compound.

The structures in Koshoji are quite “young”. The large hall, Goei-do Hall, and the smaller hall, Amida-do, date from the early 20th century. The kyozo or the repository for sutras and chronicles of the temple history, however, was constructed earlier, in 1848, and makes it the oldest building in the complex.

Koshiji was not on my list but it was certainly a treat to chance upon it. But I don’t believe in coincidences, there is a reason why I ended up there. Perhaps, to breathe in the serenity and seclusion of a temple as it was in the past? Yes, it may be that.

The next door temple won't be the same. Just like the other popular temples in Kyoto, Nishi-Honganji will be packed and bustling for sure.


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