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Ginkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto

(3,400+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site Tourist Spot
Originally built as 15th-century shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa's retirement villa, Ginkaku-ji Temple stands as a testament to developing Higashiyama culture, of which the shogun was a patron. Admire the so-called Silver Pavilion's unfinished aspect, typical of the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which emphasizes transience. The building has survived intact through earthquakes and fires that required the reconstruction of other structures on site. While you cannot enter the pavilion, circumnavigate the temple's grounds, including a moss garden and dry sand garden, to appreciate its careful layout. For Ginkaku-ji Temple and beyond, use our Kyoto trip generator to get the most from your Kyoto vacation.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The buildings and landscape here work so well together. We really enjoyed our time here, much more than at the larger temples. The walk on the path has many beautiful views and the building have an in...  more »
  • The temple itself isn't that amazing but we enjoyed the grounds overall and the view from the wooded hills.  more »
  • Small but beautiful, peaceful it was my favourite temple in my visit to Japan. Garden, zen garden and shrines, it is also at the end of the philosophers walk which is also recommended  more »
Google
  • Amazing, a little crowded which definitely brought down the serenity, but highly recommended. Much nicer than the Golden temple.
  • Better than Kingakuji, even Kiyomizudera. Kiyomizudera is now under construction and crowded, but Ginkakuji has peaceful and calm atmosphere.
  • The Silver Pavilion, unlike the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), is not covered in silver. The structure is less impressive, but the gardens are worth a visit. There is a dry sand garden with a large conical sand sculpture, as well as a ponds and a moss garden. You can follow the path up the hill for an aerial view of the temple. It can get crowded, so expect a slower pace.
  • Another touristy temple - crowded and commercial. Garden is well cared for but sterile. You won't find peace here.
  • very nice garden - a bit too crowded and almost too perfect