Ginkakuji (The Temple of the Silver Pavilion)

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Kyoto, Japan

Ginkakuji (The Temple of the Silver Pavilion) Kyoto Reviews

pretty_girl pretty_g…
196 reviews
the view is just too amazing Mar 27, 2015
Despite its name, don't expect glistening silver when you visit the 15th-century Silver Pavilion Temple (Ginkakuji or Ginkaku-ji) in Kyoto. The founder, whose grandfather built the Golden Pavilion, intended to cover the main structure in silver and named it accordingly, but the plan was never carried out. Thus, in a rather ironic twist, the building intended to be a monument to ostentation turned out to be a fine example of Japanese refinement and restraint.

The shogun was never able to coat the pavilion with silver - which he had intended to do in imitation of his grandfather's intentions at Kinkakuji - but he oversaw the construction of about a dozen buildings on the grounds. Yoshimasa counted many Zen monks among his teachers and friends and he designed his retirement villa around Zen sensibilities. He lived there from 1484 until his death in 1490.

Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion) is a simple two-story building with a serene wooden exterior. Similar to its main inspiration, Kinkakuji, its design combines Chinese elements with the developing Japanese Muromachi (1338-1573) architecture.

Today, Ginkakuji consists of the Silver Pavilion, half a dozen other temple buildings, a beautiful moss garden and a unique dry sand garden. It is enjoyed by walking along a circular route around its grounds, from which the gardens and buildings can be viewed.

Ginkakuji can be accessed by direct bus number 5, 17 or 100 from Kyoto Station in about 35-40 minutes and for 230 yen one way. Alternatively, you can reach Ginkakuji by foot along the Philosopher's Path from Nanzenji in about 30-45 minutes.
the silver pavillion
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Zagnut66 says:
Congrats on being featured!
Posted on: Apr 06, 2015
joehobo says:
Miss the pictures
Posted on: Mar 28, 2015
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Airportman Airportm…
230 reviews
Great buddhist temple with a beautiful garden Jul 19, 2000
The Ginkakuji Temple was known as the Joshijo Temple. The translation in english is the Silver Pavilion. But don't let that name fool you. Unlike the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which is golden, this temple never got silver.

Originally designed to become a villa, construction began in 1482 by Yoshimasa Ashikaga, who was the 8th Shogun of Muromachi Government. But he never got the end result, as he did in 1490, before the build got completed in the same year.

Therefor the villa was then changed to the temple for Yoshimasa, with the name Jishoji.

The main building of the complex is called Ginkaku (Silver Pavilion), but as mention above, it's not silver. The surrounding garden is really beautiful, with materials suchs as wood, rocks, pebbles, sand and of course lots of green. There is even a pathway leading up to a hill for an overview of the complex and part of Kyoto.

The price for an entrance ticket is 500 yen (around 4,50 euro or around 6,50 US dollars) and it was a great place to visit, especially the garden!
Torii at the Ginkakuji Temple
Garden at the Ginkakuji Temple
Stone garden
Sand garden
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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alyssa_ob says:
I really enjoyed the Silver Temple! Probably even more than the Golden Temple. And yes, it was intended to be covered in silver.
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011
Airportman says:
Maybe the intention was to make it silver or because of the Golden Pavilion... Beats me
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011
vances says:
So any idea how it got the name of Silver Pavillion?
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011

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