Kinkakuji Temple is probably Kyoto’s most famous sight. Covered in glittering gold leaf, the pavilion dazzles admirers as it shimmers in the sunlight over its mirroring pond.
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion in all its majesty is something you must see with your own eyes to believe. Even seeing it person feels almost unreal, as if you are just viewing a famous painting for the first time. But it is so much more than just art, it is a piece of history that now simply rests in this peaceful pond in Kyoto.
The estate was originally constructed as a retirement pavilion by the shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397, it was turned into a Zen temple after Yoshimitsus death in 1408. During the Onin war ,they were completely destroyed by fire. Fortunately the pavilion survived the fire and the rest of the garden was restored. The same thing happened in 1950 when the pavilion was burnt down by a young novice monk and needed to be rebuild in 1955. It was rebuilt very close to the original, although more parts of the pavilion received a leaf gold coating on the inside and outside.
While you can’t actually go inside the temple, The path around the pond, offers a great viewing axes and photo spots to take beautiful pictures of the temple.There is more to see after passing along the pathway. You will see statues that designate a coin toss to gain luck and good fortune.You’ll also see more shops for food and souvenirs Shop.Then you will reach a large open teashop, where you can sit and sip traditional-style. The air smells of incense and green tea, the aura of the whole area is so memorable.
At nearly an exit point you will find some smaller temple for praying
From Kyoto Station:
Slowest and easiest route:
Bus #101 or #205 from Kyoto station, about 40 minutes, ¥230.
Karasuma line train to Kitaoji, 13 minutes, ¥260. Then take bus #101, 102, 204, or 205 to Kinkaku-ji, 10 minutes, ¥230.
You will then see a signs in English and Japanese as well as a crowd leading to the gate; approx. 5-10 minute walk. Taxi from Kitaoji station, 10 minutes, ¥1000-1200.