Kyoto: Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)

One of Kyoto’s highlights is the Golden Pavilion, a Zen temple whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf.

Kinkakuji Temple Kyoto 1

The pavilion was built in 1408 and has burned down numerous times throughout its history including 1950 when it was set on fire by a fanatic monk. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955. Each floor represents a different style of architecture, but the pavilion is not open to the public.

Kinkakuji Temple Kyoto 2

After viewing Kinkakuji from across the pond (in heavy rain) we walked passed the head priest’s former living quarters and through the temple’s gardens which have retained their original design. The gardens hold a few other spots of interest including Anmintaku Pond that is said to never dry up (especially not on such a rainy day, as during our visit) and statues that people throw coins at for luck.

Useful info:

  • Kinkakuji can be accessed from Kyoto Station by direct Kyoto City Bus number 101 or 205 in about 40 minutes Alternatively, it can be faster and more reliable to take the Karasuma Subway Line to Kitaoji Station and take a taxi from there
  • The pavilion is open from 9:00 to 17:00 everyday. We paid 400 yen to visit
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