Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion
Kinkaku-ji “Golden Pavilion”, formally known as Rokuon-ji “Deer Garden Temple”, is a Zen Buddhist Temple and the most popular tourist attraction in Kyoto.
The site of Kinkaku-ji was originally a villa, belonging to a powerful statesman “Saionji Kintsune”.
Kinkaku-ji's history dates to 1397, when the villa was purchased from the Saionji family by “Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu”, and transformed into the Kinkaku-ji complex.
When Yoshimitsu died, the building was converted into a Zen Temple by his son, according to his wishes.
The pavilion is three stories high, approximately 12.5 meters in height.
In particular, the Pavilion is especially exquisite after a snowfall.
The name Kinkaku is derived from the gold leaf that the pavilion is covered in. It is gilded with 20kg gold leaf.
The beautiful landscaping and the reflection of the temple on the face of the water make for a striking sight, but keeping the mobs of visitors out of your photos will be a stern test for your framing abilities.
Visiting the vast temple complexes of North-Western Kyoto can take the better part of a day.
A suggested itinerary is to take the Subway Karasuma Line to Kitaoji Station, and walk west along Kitaoji-dori.
Daitoku-ji, Kinkaku-ji, Ryoan-ji and Ninna-ji Temples are all on Kitaoji-dori, and about 15-30 minutes' walk apart.
However, if it is summer time and sweltering hot it is easy to take the bus from temple to temple as well, just read the route map at the bus stops.
Kinkaku-ji - Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto Prefecture