Kinkaku-ji temple or known as the Golden Pavillion, is one of Japan’s most treasured temples and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. No trip to Kyoto is complete without visiting this Zen Buddhist Temple. The best time to visit the temple is in the morning or just before the closing.
The name Kinkaku is derived from the gold leaf that the pavilion is covered in. The place itself looks serene as the temple is surrounded by a pond and a beautifully manicured garden but it was somewhat contradictory. It was packed with visitors and I had to elbowed my way for a best spot to get a composition I liked. Without doubt, the temple looks beautiful at sunset.
Each floor has a different style of architecture. The first floor is built in the Shinden style used for palace buildings during the Heian Period, the second floor in the Bukke style used in samurai residences, and the top floor in the style of a Chinese Zen Hall. The exterior on the second and top floor is completely covered in gold leaf and is capped with a golden phoenix.
The Golden Phoenix.
Kinkaku-ji’s golden reflection shimmering across the rippled surface of the pond.
The original structure was previously burned down in the 15th century and 1950. The current structure was rebuilt in 1955, a copy close to the original.
You might want to throw a few coins at the feet of the Buddhist statues for good luck.
The Sekka-tei Tea house.
Fudo Hall, a small temple hall which houses a statue of Fudo Myoo, one of the Five Wisdom Kings and protector of Buddhism.
Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
1 Kinkakuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Japan
By Bus: 40 mins from Kyoto Station, take Kyoto City Bus #205 (Stand B3) or #101 (Stand B2) for ¥230.
Open daily 9.00am to 5.00pm. Admission ¥400.