Kinkakuji: The Gold Temple

A temple made of gold. What could be better?

Kinkakuji (keen-kah-ku-gee), known as the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is one of the most popular spots in Kyoto (if not the most). It was taken over by the Shogun in 1397 and was converted to a Zen temple after his death. What you see above isn’t the real thing. The original Kinkakuji survived until modern times, but unfortunately was burned down by a crazy monk in 1950. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955 to be an exact replica, although many doubt the original was quite so golden. Maybe not, but looks good, doesn’t it?

The surrounding garden is very nice and peaceful. But pick your visiting time carefully. Not only is this location often crammed full of tourists, but it is also a common spot for school trips to visit. In fact, every single time I’ve been to Kinkakuji, it has been swarming with school kids. Maybe early mornings would be best 🙂 Either way, it’s worth a trip if you ever visit Kyoto.

Daily HDR Photo: Kinkakuji, The Gold Temple

It’s quite golden, isn’t it?

Kinkakuji: The Gold Temple

For more photos and a fantastic overview of the whole place, check out this blog post by AdelaideBen.

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3 Responses to Kinkakuji: The Gold Temple

  1. Adelaide Ben1 Tuesday, 28 September 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Definitely agree with the timing part – but we definitely didn’t pick a good time. The thing is that most tourists will often just jump off their bus, walk to the photo spots… spend a couple of minutes gawking and then jump back on their buses. There’s a fair bit more to see here than that golden pavilion…

    BTW thanks for that advertising! ?;-)

    • David LaSpina / JapanDave Monday, 4 October 2010 at 7:28 am #

      I think you can say that about most of Kyoto. Tourists swoop in, take their photos, and quickly hurry to the next thing on their list. Few take the time to really enjoy a place.

      No worries on the link. I enjoy your site — more need to know about it. Everyone reading, go visit his site!

  2. Marc Friday, 23 December 2016 at 7:40 pm #

    Wonderful temple. The omamori of Kinkaku-ji temple can be found on

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