We traveled to go see the golden pavilion today. It was originally the retirement villa of the shogun and according to his will it became a Zen temple after his death in 1408. It is really covered in gold leaf. Like a lot of temples and buildings here, it was burned down a few times because of wars or accidents, but the most interesting time it burned was in 1950, when a crazy monk set fire to it. They rebuilt it again in 1955.
After this, we activated our JR pass, which allows us to travel on a prepaid ticket for the next seven days. Our first stop was Himeji to view the castle.