Probably the most famous temple in Japan, the gilded Golden Pavilion of Kyoto (Kinkaju-ji in Japanese,) was intentionally burned to the ground in 1950 by a deranged monk. (This incident provided the story line of The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, the most famous novel of one of Japan's greatest novelists, Yukio Mishima.) The temple was rebuilt in 1955, and recovered with gold leaf in 1987.
If it's not immediately apparent from this photo, the temple and its surroundings were intentionally designed to provide an elegant aesthetic. There is no one better than the Japanese and meshing the buildings with their manicured surroundings to create a truly inspirational scene.
The historic monuments of Kyoto are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in Japan.
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