Highlights and access methods of Kinkaku-ji Temple (Kyoto Prefecture)

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Kinkaku-ji is one of the most popular tourist spots in Kyoto and is also registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its upper two floors completely covered in gold leaf, the temple shines amidst the surrounding verdant trees, presenting a luxurious and dazzling spectacle that is sure to leave an unforgettable impression. If the weather is favorable, you may also get a chance to see the reflection of the inverted Golden Pavilion in the pond in front of it.

In this article, we will explain the attractions of Kinkaku-ji Temple in Kyoto Prefecture and how to access it for those who are traveling to Japan from overseas.

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(Prefecture : Kyoto , Category : Temples)

Highlights of Kinkaku-ji Temple

Kinkaku-ji, one of the most famous temples in Kyoto City that attracts many visitors, is also registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The upper two floors of Kinkaku-ji, entirely covered with gold leaf, present a mystical beauty set off by the surrounding greenery. On windless, clear days, you might even be able to see the upside-down reflection of Kinkaku-ji in the Kyoukochi Pond in front of it.

Originally, Kinkaku-ji was built as a villa for the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397 and converted into a Zen temple after his death. Regrettably, it was burned down in 1950 by a novice monk, but was subsequently reconstructed. The current building faithfully replicates the original one.

Around Kinkaku-ji, there is a beautiful stroll garden featuring a pond dotted with islands and stones. Visitors can appreciate Kinkaku-ji from various angles while walking around the pond.

Kinkaku-ji offers stunning views in every season. However, the sight of the golden pavilion contrasting with the snow in winter, or the reflection of the surrounding trees' colors on the pond's surface in autumn, is particularly noteworthy for its beauty.

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Address and access method of Kinkaku-ji Temple

The address of Kinkakuji is 1, Kinkakuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto. Kinkakuji does not have a nearest train station. Get off at Kinkakuji-michi bus stop and walk for about 5 minutes. To get to the Kinkakuji-michi stop, (1) change to the city bus from JR Kyoto Station and take about 40 minutes, (2) change to the city bus from Kitaoji Station on the subway Karasuma Line and take about 15 minutes, (3) change to the city bus from Enmachi Station on the JR Sanin Main Line. It takes about 10 minutes.

Attractions near Kinkaku-ji Temple

Several notable attractions are located near Kinkaku-ji Temple.

Ryoan-ji Temple
Known for its famous rock garden, Ryoan-ji Temple is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. The meaning of the garden's arrangement is a subject of debate, adding to its intrigue and charm.

Ninna-ji Temple
Ninnaji is a large temple complex with a variety of buildings, gardens, and a pagoda. The Omuro Cherry Trees here are known for their late blossoming, making it an excellent spot for late sakura viewing.

Kyoto Imperial Palace
Once the residence of the Imperial family, the palace grounds are now open to the public. The gardens are particularly beautiful, featuring traditional Japanese landscaping and several species of plants and trees.

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
Famous for its plum blossoms, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, a scholar and politician who is now revered as the god of learning. The shrine's monthly flea market is a popular event.

Other information about Kinkaku-ji Temple

Official site about Kinkaku-ji Temple :


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( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )