Kinkakuji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion)

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Kyoto, Japan

Kinkakuji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) Kyoto Reviews

pretty_girl pretty_g…
196 reviews
a symbol of Kyoto Mar 27, 2015
Take bus numbers 101 or 205 from Kyoto Station to the Kinkaku-ji Michi bus stop. If you are coming from another part of the city, you can also take the number 59 and 12 buses to the Kinkaku-ji Mae bus stop. Easy to get to by Kyoto local bus, its a bit of a climb up the hill to the temple, but its an amazing place when you get there. Vibrant, bright, stunning views.

Nothing is as symbolic of Kyoto as Kinkaku-ji's golden reflection shimmering across the rippled surface of the pond before it.

This temple has been burnt down many times in the flames of war and other conflagrations, and more recently by arson, which incident has been made famous by Yukio Mishima's novel, Kinkakuji (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion). However, it was restored in 1955, with major improvement work being done on it in 1987, so that all of the gold leaf has been replaced. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage, Kinkaku-ji is one of the historical buildings most representative of Japan.
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bc75 bc75
1 reviews
Don't leave Japan before visiting the Golden Pavillon Apr 11, 2012
Wonderful: just one word to describe this site. Once you get it, and enter the area, you will became part of the ancient Japanese culture, with a unique atmosphere and most probably a unique experience. A first look on the temple is possible from the other side of the lake, with the water reflecting it, you will see a double temple. A typical Japanese garden surrounding, the famous Kyoto gardens, are the best conditioning for this site. During the tour, in fact, you can experience the silence and the solemnity of the lake and the flowers, with the typical, maniacal, care Japanese people dedicate to the flowers and the trees inside the site perimeter. You can get it easily, it is not so far from Kyoto city center, about 30 minutes, and the entry is not expensive, about 6 or 7 euros as I can remember. I cannot give any suggestion about how to get it by public transportation but I'm sure there is a suitable way to do it. At the time I've gone, I had some Japanese friends carrying me around Kyoto, I was very lucky. You can't miss it! Again about what you can see inside the temple, of course you will find the typical fire, making you lucky if you breathe the smoke coming out from it, of course you can buy souvenirs, and they are cheaper respect to similar ones you can get in similar places around the world. I was there on December 2010, and I've buyed a miniature of the temple at about 6 Euros, very nice, a golden temple encapsulated inside a glass box! About temperature, I was there in December as I said, and it is very suitable if you have a pull and a jacket, no more, there are about 4/5 Celsius degrees in the morning and no less than 0 during the evening at that period.

It is really nice what you can see inside the area of the Golden temple, or golden pavilion, for example, lot of Japanese girls, suited with the typical flowered kimono, very very beautiful. Maybe it was the atmosphere of the place, but I found them very beautiful so dressed, it was something of magic. Walking near those trees, with that perfect grass, everything with the top of Japanese dedication in terms of cleaning and safety, leaving to the visitors only the pleasure to experience such a place. Of course inside the area you can eat something, for example some typical Japanese sweets, there are a lot of shops, not only the one where I have buyed the miniature, and you can eat something without spending lot of money. So no doubt, if you would like to feel the real Japanese soul, go to the golden Pavilion.
jaxinthebox jaxinthe…
3 reviews
Golden Temple Mar 08, 2011
Did a side trip to Kyoto on our way out of Japan. Got a chance to see the famous golden temple. It was magnificent and the place was very serene.
binky binky
57 reviews
The Golden Pavilion - Dodge the Tourist for a Photo Mar 31, 2010
Kinkaku-ji or Golden Pavilion is a must see on most travelers to do list in Kyoto, as it was on ours. Built originally in 1397 for a Shogun, it has been used for many other purposes since that time. Unfortunately, it has been burned down twice so the recent one is a replica that was built around 1955. Being covered in pure gold leaf, Kinkaku-ji is quite the sight to see and has been on UNESCO’S World Heritage list since 1994.

Many would argue that no trip to Kyoto is complete without seeing Kinkaku-ji. Though I did enjoy seeing Kinkaku-ji and I did end up getting several beautiful photos, it was not an easy task. Be prepared for large crowds! I was there first thing in the morning and had to be extremely patient to get some of my photos without the obstruction of heads, though I am sure they were lovely people! Be advised, the tourists won’t slow down, there will be busloads more, so take the best photo you can and move on as it could be a long day.

Visitors are not allowed to enter the pavilion, but are free to roam the surrounding gardens. There is a place to buy souvenirs before leaving and it is a nice place to escape the chilly morning air for a moment or two.

It really is quite lovely, but be prepared for heavy crowds which may deter some visitors.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Artur0 Artur0
2 reviews
some time in Tokyo Jun 08, 2009
Amazing temple to go to... Notice the phoenix at the top of the golden pavilion... Beautiful. Its good to take a day trip to Kyoto as it is full of old world culture such as that of the customary Geisha/ maiko sightings. There are a ton of tourists that come here as well as the Kiyumizu temple. Make sure to wear tennis shoes.. the old roads and rural settings make it what it is.

Japanese are also huge in the changing of the color of the leaves. This is definitely a place to notice the vast amount of Japanese maples and the copious amount of hues the leaves turn to.
at the temple
Airportman Airportm…
230 reviews
Kyoto's busiest and most famous temple Oct 02, 2008
I've been coming to this temple for every time I went to Kyoto. First was back in 2000, second in 2007 and the third time in 2008. The first 2 times were with tour groups, so it was rushing time.

But the third time I was on my own. It was a really sunny day and as always, the crowds were present, with everyone wanting to have their picture taken with the Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion) on the background.

Because I was on my own, I had more time to wander through the complex. Unlike the temple itself (a replica since 1955 after it was burned down in 1950 by a monk), the garden is still the same. The garden is a beautiful one.

The price for an entrance ticket is 400 yen (around 3,5 euros or around 5 US dollars). My advice is to go very early or later in the afternoon to beat the crowds. Or you could gamble and be lucky with the crowds (as I was on that day). But this temple is certainly a must see when you are staying in Kyoto!
Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion)
Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion)
Kyōko-chi (Mirror Pond)
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Airportman says:
I think it's more cheaper, since a lot of people visit this place
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011
Paulovic says:
Although there is real gold here, where isn't real silver in the Silver Pavilion, it's cheaper to visit. Didn't expect that.
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011
nzanya nzanya
12 reviews
The Golden Pavilion Apr 04, 2007
I think everyone who spends some time in Kyoto visits the Kinkakuji temple, but it's just too beautiful for not visiting. It's one of the most photographed sceneries of Japan, but I couldn't resist to photograph the Golden Pavilion with its reflection on the lake.

Sadly it's so full of people that it's not that easy to get a good view on it. (Maybe it was because of the time - April?) But even it's so crowded it's worth a visit.

You don't only pay a cheap fee for the view of the temple and the lake, but there's also a walk through a Zen garden behind it, which is not that crowded as the place in front of the lake.
Andy99 Andy99
579 reviews
At the Temple of the Golden Pavilion Mar 24, 2005
Kinkakuji or The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is one of the most famous sights in Kyoto. Justly so. Situated on a quiet pond, the golden hall and its reflection are indeed a beautiful sight!

But there is more to it than that. The Golden Pavilion is actually the Shariden, or relics hall, of the Zen temple officially known as Rokuon-ji. The temple was founded about 1394 by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, a former Shogun who abdicated in favor of his son and then became a Buddhist monk. Yoshimitsu built the original Kinkakuji. (The Zen sect had the financial support of the Shogunate until the Meiji era.)

Kinkakuji escaped destruction during several domestic conflicts and Kyoto as a whole was protected during World War II. However, the original pavilion was famously burned by a monk in 1950. The structure seen today is a reconstruction built in 1955. It was regilded with five layers of gold leaf in 1987. Still, it is a most impressive sight!

Also to be seen in the temple precincts is a beautiful park with ponds and stone carvings, other structures of the temple, a bell house, and a tea house. There is also a gift shop. Kinkakuji was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.

Everyone wants to have his or her photo taken with Kinkakuji in the background! There is a select spot to do this, and you may need to wait for other visitors. It is especially popular during holidays and school vacation periods.

Admission to the grounds is 400 Yen. See my Kyoto blog for more photos of Kinkakuji and its grounds.
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Temple bell at Kinkakuji
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
bernard69 says:
informative!hope to see that one day!
Posted on: Jul 27, 2010
sarahsan says:
Nice review Andy! I have been to Kinkaku-ji several times. It´s truly a beautiful place.
Posted on: Jul 27, 2010
GeorgeLeach says:
I went here in 2007. It was raining and miserable but still amazing. Excellent review Andy, very accurate. I'd forgotten the history of it that I learnt there. Nice to be reminded of these things sometimes :)
Posted on: Jul 25, 2010

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