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Kansai | Kyoto | Kyoto City

Kinkakuji Temple

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Kinkakuji Temple

Kinkakuji Temple is a Zen Temple where the top two floors are covered in gold leaf. It is also known as the Golden Pavilion and is located in the northern part of Kyoto. It was originally the retirement villa of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the shogun at the time, but with his passing in 1408 the complex was converted into a Zen temple of the Rinzai Sect. The building has been burned down many times in history, but the most recent one was in 1950 when a monk accidentally set the structure on fire. Kinkakuji was later rebuilt in 1955.

The gold structure is situated in a place that overlooks a giant pond and at the top of the building is a golden phoenix. When Kinkakuji was built it was during a time when extravagance was a sign of the aristocrats. Around the grounds you can see the former living quarters of the head priest where there are beautifully painted sliding doors (fusuma). Unfortunately it is not open to the public to enter. The Sekkatei Teahouse was added to Kinkakuji in Edo Period and can be found before the exit. You can also relax in the tea area and enjoy some green tea with a sweet snack.



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