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Ginkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto

4.3
#6 of 347 in Historic Sites in Kyoto
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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3,539 reviews
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4.3
TripAdvisor
  • While the temple pales in comparison to Kinkaku-ji, the grounds at Ginkaku-ji are stunning and not to be missed. Many temples and shrines in the surrounding area are walkable along the Kyoto trail, ma...  more »
  • Jin 閣 Temple, ginkakuji stub different participant view 閣 Temple gold time Club Med feel 偉 things tend to view the macro, on the contrary, participants view ginkakuji time, want to feel a touch of sadness, road to meet near the Zhe School was a real let people relax mood view point
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  • I agree that the garden is beautiful but after several similar visits, I think I have seen better elsewhere. About the temple nothing to do with the magnificent golden temple.
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Google
  • Given that the temple itself is inaccessible, you will find yourself spending most of your time in the garden and on the trail that meanders in and out of the nearby hill, the latter of which offers multiple photo opportunities of the temple and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, the path can get quite congested, which breaks the otherwise tranquil nature of the site.
  • 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.

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Kyoto spoils visitors for choice when it comes to good accommodations, offering everything from traditional ryokans to luxury Western-style hotels. In a city used to receiving foreign travelers, you'll find that most establishments know exactly what to offer tourists and how to help newcomers to the area. To avoid paying premium prices during the cherry blossom season, consider staying in Osaka, located just a 30-minute train ride away. If you must stay in Kyoto itself, keep in mind that centrally located hotels charge more than those in the outer neighborhoods.
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