The Kyoto bus station was bustling and booming that day. Businessmen and tourists shuffled in and out of buses into hallways, elevators, and escalators. As I entered my bus, crowds of people rushed in and scattered to their seats. A Japanese train worker pushed a cart passed me and she was selling scrumptious looking sushi lunches, Japanese snacks, and drinks that I have never seen before like Honeydew melon juice. The bus began to depart.
I fell asleep during the long ride and felt as though I woke up in the middle of nowhere. Around me, I saw bamboo trees that hugged the dirt pathways. The streets and buildings disappeared except for one bus stop sign and a board with a bus schedule. “Am I in the right place?” I wondered. I was on a journey to find the mystical Gold and Silver birds. I thought I was lost. I had to ask multiple people for directions. Good thing I had my Japanese language translator on my phone.
Through twists and turns, bridges and stone steps, I finally arrived! I have found the Gold and Silver Pavilions, which is another word for a temple. The birds were not actual birds themselves, but instead were gold and silver statues mounted on top of the roofs of the temples. Legend has it that long ago, during the war in the 1400's every building in that area was burned down except the buildings that the Gold and Silver birds protected. To this day, the pavilions are visited by thousands of people everyday. The birds became so iconic that they even became the inspiration of popular Japanese characters named Ho-Oh and Lugia.