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

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Ginkaku-ji, formally known as Jisho-ji, is a Zen temple located in the Sakyo ward of Kyoto city. Built by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa during the Muromachi period, it features architecture and gardens that reflect the culture and art of that time. In particular, the Kannon-den, a national treasure also known as the Silver Pavilion, has given the temple its common name.

In this article, we will explain the attractions of Ginkaku-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 Ginkaku-ji Temple

Ginkaku-ji, which forms a pair with Kinkaku-ji, is a temple that has been registered as a World Heritage Site. While Kinkaku-ji is covered in gold leaf, Ginkaku-ji is not covered in silver leaf. There are various theories as to why it's not covered in silver leaf and why the Kannon-den, which is a national treasure and gives Ginkaku-ji its name, is referred to as the Silver Pavilion.

Ginkaku-ji is famous for its Kannon-den, but within the temple grounds there are also white sand mounds called Kougetsudai and Ginshadan, which lend a mysterious aura to Ginkaku-ji's garden. These are believed to have been created for appreciating the moon and reflecting the moonlight onto the main hall. Additionally, from the observation deck, you can get a panoramic view of the city of Kyoto.

Moreover, Ginkaku-ji serves as the starting point for the Philosopher's Path. This path, which is lined with hundreds of cherry trees along the canal, attracts many tourists who enjoy strolling around during the cherry blossom season in spring. When you visit Ginkaku-ji, be sure to take a leisurely walk.

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Address and access method of Ginkaku-ji Temple

The address of Ginkakuji is "2 Ginkakuji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto". Ginkakuji does not have a train station nearest to it. Get off at Ginkakuji-michi on the city bus and walk for about 5 minutes. To get to the Ginkakuji-michi stop, it takes (1) about 40 minutes from JR Kyoto Station to the city bus, and (2) about 12 minutes from Imadegawa Station on the Karasuma Subway Line to the city bus.

Attractions near Ginkaku-ji Temple

Several notable attractions are located near Ginkaku-ji Temple.

Philosopher's Path
A scenic walk along a cherry-tree-lined canal. It's especially stunning during the spring cherry blossom season.

Honen-in Temple
A quiet and less crowded temple known for its thatched gate and moss gardens, it offers a peaceful retreat from the city's hustle.

Nanzen-ji Temple
Known for its massive Sanmon Gate, beautiful gardens, and an intriguing Roman-style aqueduct that runs through the temple grounds.

Heian Shrine
With its impressive Torii gate and large garden, it's a wonderful place for a leisurely stroll, particularly during cherry blossom season.

Other information about Ginkaku-ji Temple

Official site about Ginkaku-ji Temple :


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( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )