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Kinkakuji Temple

This magnificent golden pavilion is the icon of Kyoto.

Kinkakuji is a Zen Buddhist temple with two upper floors entirely covered in gold leaf. Officially called Rokuonji, the temple served as the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will, it became a Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple after his passing.


2 hours 40 mins


Kinkakuji-michi Bus Stop

History of Kinkakuji

Kinkakuji (金閣寺), a name popularly known from its central Golden Pavilion used to host Buddhist relics, was originally land of the Saionji family in the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). However, the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu took over the site in 1397 to build his own villa, the Kitayama palace, with the renowned Golden Pavilion as a centerpiece.

The Kitayama palace became an important place for politics, welcoming Emperors of Japan and merchants from China. After Yoshimitsu’s death, the villa was made into a temple by his wishes. In present day, the Golden Pavilion is one of the most iconic views of Kyoto.

The area is a short walk around, though the area is always filled with people.

For further information, please access the official website:

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