The golden World Heritage site that glitters in the midst of each seasonal landscape

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Kinkakuji was established in 1397 by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. Kinkakuji is known for the dazzling appearance of its reliquary hall in the middle of the pond, decorated with gold leaf.
Business Hours
Saturday ( 9:0 AM ~ 5:0 PM )
Sunday ( 9:0 AM ~ 5:0 PM )
Weekdays ( 9:0 AM ~ 5:0 PM )
Adult: 400 JPY
Children: 300 JPY
Kinkaku-ji, 1 Kinkakujicho, Kita-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
(075) 461-0013

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Kinkaku glitters with gold

Kinkaku is a three-story building made of wood. The first story is in the style of a Heian palace, the second story is in samurai-house style, and the third story is in the style of a Zen Buddhist temple. The second and third stories are covered in gold leaf, as is the inside of the third story, except for the floor. The Kinkakuji seen today was rebuilt in 1955 after the building was destroyed by fire in 1950. Major repairs were carried out in 1986, when the gold leaf was reapplied so as to achieve the appearance seen today. Kinkakuji is one of Kyoto’s foremost sightseeing spots, and it is popular with tourists throughout the year due to the beautiful glittering appearance that contrasts with nature in all four seasons.

Other highlights at Kinkakuji

Kinkaku, which glitters with gold, is not the only highlight of Kinkakuji. As the name implies, Kyokochi Pond (mirror pond), which is in the garden with a path in front of Kinkakuji, reflects the beautiful view of Kinkaku like a mirror. It is a designated national Place of Scenic Beauty and a National Historical Site. There is also a famous teahouse built in the Edo period called Sekkatei. Sekkatei was given its name due to the beautiful evening view of Kinkakuji from the slightly elevated location of the teahouse.

Arashiyama Railway

We recommend taking the Arashiyama electric railway from Kita-ku, where Kinkakuji is located, to Arashiyama, which is another tourist location. (The nearest station is Kitano-Hakubaicho. The walk from Kinkakuji takes about 15 minutes, but there are sights to enjoy en route, such as Hirano Shrine, which is famous for its cherry blossoms. Access to Kinkakuji is also possible by city bus.) The Arashiyama electric railway is convenient for access to famous temples such as Myoshinji and Ryoanji as well as Kinkakuji. Arashiyama, the last stop on the line, is also one of Kyoto’s popular tourist attractions. Enjoy the streets of Kyoto as you ride slowly along the Arashiyama electric railway. The train is also popular with tourists during the cherry blossom season because of the cherry blossom tunnel. We recommend purchasing the one-day ticket as it allows unlimited use for one day.

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9 years ago
Dang, son
It's a temple...Made of gold... Do I really need to say more? Well yes, it's actually gold leaf I believe, or something along those lines. Anyway, this temple is what's on the majority of postcards in Kyoto and one of the main sights you may associate Japan with. And in my experience, its pretty darn cool. This temple gets crazy busy, prepare for cameras everywhere. Prepare to walk through everyone's photos. They will not move for you, show them who's boss! There are a few more sights within the temple complex, though they are all kind of "eh" compared to, ya'know, "The Golden Temple". Everyone goes here. EVERYONE. But! There is a reason why. It's super cool and super beautiful!
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9 years ago
On Golden Pond
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is probably the most famous temple in Kyoto, and one of the most popular buildings in Japan. A spectacular building and World Heritage site. Breathtaking. Bright gold, it sits idly on an island in the middle of a lake, surrounded by beautiful Zen gardens. Even the vending machines here sell disposable cameras; the Golden Pavilion crying out to be photographed. The entry fee is just ¥400; the ticket is made from beautiful paper, and written with expert calligraphy. The path snakes its way through the belfry, passes the abbot’s chamber, the pond, the Golden Pavilion, Galaxy Spring, the Sekka-tei Tea House; all the while, shrouded by the mysterious mountains that make up the backdrop. It is a wonderful route and takes me about twenty minutes at an unhurried pace. Along the way, little wooden shacks selling souvenirs lure in tourists. A great temple, and a reason alone to take the trip to Kyoto.
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