With its top two stories completely coated in pure gold leaf, Kinkaku-ji gleams in the sunlight and reflects off the pond at its edge. This Zen Buddhist temple started as a villa for a powerful statesman in the 14th century, before its conversion to a temple by the family of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. After a high-profile arson in 1950, the temple was rebuilt in its current form with ostentatious gold leaf coating to echo the extravagance of aristocratic culture in Yoshimitsu’s time. Look out for the different historical architectural styles represented by each floor of the temple. Plan to visit Kinkaku-ji and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Kyoto attractions using our Kyoto online holiday planner .
Tours to Kinkaku-ji
Kyoto Highlights 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion & Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $133
Duration: 10 hours
Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion & Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $148
Duration: 11 hours
Kyoto Morning Tour - Golden Pavilion & Kyoto Imperial Palace from Kyoto BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $67
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
In a city full of amazing sites this was probably my favourite. It is a quite a large temple complex with a looped walk. At the start of the walk you get to view Kinkakuji temple from across a small l... more »
This temple is really beautiful to look at but: - pictures make it look bigger than it is - you are paying 400 yen to literally follow a really crowded pathway, try to find a gap to take a picture and... more »
Really amazing to see this iconic gold temple in January with a very rare snowfall for Kyoto. The snowflakes and gold looked very cool. The only reason this doesn't get a 5 star is just that there are so many tourists and they run you through like cattle. It was very cold so we didn't want to stay long but on a warm summer day it would be nice to spend more time here.
This park is a pretty good place to visit. The temple itself and the surrounding water feature present an excellent view when conditions are right. The water produced a mirror like reflection on everything and can be a sight. However the garden sections are the star with gorgeous arrangements and plants. The entree fee is low at 400yen and not super busy. There are lots of random souvenir opportunities of you do so choose to partake.
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