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Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto

4.4
#2 of 45,445 in Things to do in Japan
With its top two stories completely coated in pure gold leaf, Kinkaku-ji gleams in the sunlight and reflects off the pond at its edge. This Zen Buddhist temple started as a villa for a powerful statesman in the 14th century, before its conversion to a temple by the family of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. After a high-profile arson in 1950, the temple was rebuilt in its current form with ostentatious gold leaf coating to echo the extravagance of aristocratic culture in Yoshimitsu’s time. Look out for the different historical architectural styles represented by each floor of the temple. Plan to visit Kinkaku-ji and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Kyoto attractions using our Kyoto online holiday planner .
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
16,819 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Visited on New Years Day which turns out to be a very busy day! Entry was around Y1900 for our family. Seeing the Golden Temple was unforgettable along with the competition among the tourists to...  more »
  • This is the most important point of Kyoto, it is all in one, ceremonial center, Japanese garden and historical point. From the moment one enters, one becomes aware that this is not anywhere, the...  more »
Google
  • Kinkakuji or the Golden Temple (also known as Golden Pavilion) must but the most elegant and beautiful temple in Japan! It has a very simple structure but it is majestic. The temple is very impressive and set on a stunning lake, this golden temple shines. We went in the morning when the sun was shining and the gold really colour really stands out and it reflects on the water. It is rather serene and a peaceful place, but it got very busy with many, many tourists. There is a Japanese Tea Garden where you can enjoy delicious Japanese Green tea as well as a bell tower you can ring for a small donation.
  • This temple sits majestically in its beautiful park surroundings. It was breathtaking and an absolute must when in Kyoto. It is very busy and packed with tourists, but everyone is very good at taking their photos and moving on. I got so many stunning photos. The grounds were immaculate and despite all the people it still had a peaceful feeling. Just loved it!
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