GOLDEN PAVILION

Golden Pavilion Kyoto Japan: The Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) is literally covered in gold - gold leaf. The Golden Pavilion is World Heritage listed and surround by beautiful gardens.

Golden Pavilion is the popular name for one of the main buildings of a Buddhist Japanese temple in Kyoto Japan. The name Golden Pavilion comes from the Japanese term Kinkakuji, which literally means the temple of the Golden Pavilion(金閣寺). Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺 Deer Garden Temple) is the formal name of the temple complex in which the Golden Pavilion is found.

Kinkaku-ji - Golden Pavilion

Kinkaku-ji - Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion - History

In the 1220's it was the comfortable villa of Kintsune Saionji. Yoshimitsu, the 3rd Shogun of Ashikaga, abdicated the throne in 1394. After three years, he began to build Kitayamaden and he made a special effort to make it a breath-taking site. He indulged in his peaceful life in this serene setting. After Yoshimitsu's death, Kitayamaden was made into a Zen temple in accordance with his will. All the buildings of those days came to ruin except Kinkaku. The garden, however, remains as it was in former days and can be enjoyed as it was hundreds of years ago. Kinkaku-ji Temple was inscribed as World Cultural Heritage in 1994.

Kinkaku-ji - Golden Pavilion

Kinkaku-ji - Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion - Building

Kinkaku-ji was formally called Shariden. The elegant, harmonious building consists of three types of architecture. The 1st floor is Shinden-zukuri, the palace style. It is named Ho-sui-in. The 2nd floor is Buke-zukuri, the style of the samurai house and is called Cho-on-do. The 3rd floor is Karayo style or Zen temple style. It is called Kukkyo-cho.

Both the 2nd and 3rd floors are covered with gold-leaf on Japanese lacquer. The roof, upon which the Chinese phoenix settles, is thatched with shingles.

Recently, the coating of Japanese lacquer was found a little decayed and a new coating as well as gilding with gold-leaf, much thicker than the original ones, was given to the building and was completed in 1987. Furthermore, the beautiful painting on the ceiling and the statue of Yoshimitsu were restored, with utmost care, to their original splendour.

Kinkaku-ji - Golden Pavilion

Rear View Kinkaku-ji - Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion Points of interest

The name of the pond is Kyoko-chi (Mirror pond). The pond contains many large and small islands. Climbing a few steps, you stand at the edge of another small pond, An-min-taku. The small stone pagoda on the island is called Hakuja-no-tsuka (the mound in memory of the white snake).

Kinkaku-ji - Stone pagoda Golden Pavilion

Kinkaku-ji - Stone pagoda Golden Pavilion

The classic tea house is called Sekka-tei. In Sekka-tei there is a celebrated pillar made of a nandin. The house was restored in 1997. On the way to the exit of the temple, you will find the small Fudodo shrine where the stone Fudo-myoc (Acara) is enshrined as a guardian.

Sekkatei Tea House - Kinkaku-ji

Sekkatei Tea House - Kinkaku-ji

Open daily 9am-5pm, admission 500 Yen.
Access: Nearest bus stop: Kinkakuji-michi or Kinkakuji-mae.

Fudo Hall - Kinkaku-ji

Fudo Hall - Kinkaku-ji

Golden Pavilion Tours

Organised guided tours are available in English to the Golden Pavilion. These are available as half day tours including Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle, or day tours including Kiyomizu Temple, Nijo Castle and Sanjusangendo.

Golden Pavilion Tour Options
Kyoto Day Tour - Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, Sanjusangendo, Kiyomizu Temple
Kyoto and Nara Day Tour - Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, Todaiji
Kyoto Morning Tour - Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace

Kyoto

KYOTO

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