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.
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.