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The Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-Ji) was the inspiration for the Silver Pavilion. Built as a retirement retreat by a warlord in 1390ish, it was turned into a temple on his death.

This Pavilion is only 60 years old – a monk, obsessed with the building and suffering from rather substantial mental illness, burned down the original in 1955. The above is an exact replica (and all the more shiny for it).

Given its beauty, it is very much on the tourist route in Kyoto. Accordingly, the enterprising Buddhist sect running the place has made sure that sufficient tacky souvenirs are available to sate the demands of the many coachloads of schoolchildren traipsing through.

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