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Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto

4.4
#2 of 26,101 in Things to do in Japan
With its top two stories completely coated in pure gold leaf, Kinkaku-ji gleams in the sunlight and reflects off the pond at its edge. This Zen Buddhist temple started as a villa for a powerful statesman in the 14th century, before its conversion to a temple by the family of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. After a high-profile arson in 1950, the temple was rebuilt in its current form with ostentatious gold leaf coating to echo the extravagance of aristocratic culture in Yoshimitsu’s time. Look out for the different historical architectural styles represented by each floor of the temple. Kinkaku-ji is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our world travel planner, Kyoto Edition.
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4.5
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  • August 17, 2017
    A space where you go against nature with a beautiful Golden Temple (who only see the outside). We did excellent pictures. The downside is pay. to take some pictures (though excellent).
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  • August 17, 2017
    Very beautiful temple but it is not free and only see the outside. The rest of the place is the usual, many shop and little shade. The photo of the temple is very beautiful.
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  • August 17, 2017
    From the approach to the entrance. It was at just bling 勿体burazu, laughing at the photo shooting. But seeing the kinkakuji Temple is world-famous and it.
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  • May 6, 2017
    Cool temple to see. The walk through the temple is very short compared to other temples in Kyoto. I would suggest to see this mid-week rather than on the weekends. I went on a Wednesday and it was still pretty busy with school children on field trips. I may have just had bad luck, but I can't imagine how busy it would be on a weekend. When you go through the temple grounds, there are some points where you can take great pictures. Expect to wait in line for the photo opportunity though. It felt like we were just going through a line the entire walk through the temple since it was so busy, and whenever we were at a photo op point, we snapped a few shots and were nudged to keep moving... Still cool. There are a lot of shops just outside the temple the sell neat things with gold flecks in them. I bought ice cream with gold on it. Pretty cool.
  • July 2, 2017
    Such a beautiful and serene place. Even though it has a heavy footfall of visitors this temple complex is still calm. It's hard not to take a good picture of the golden pavilion itself, perfect settings and the natural landscape that surrounds it provides the perfect harmony.
  • June 16, 2017
    I visited this place late afternoon - around 3pm. It turned out to be quite a bad experience for me. Firsly, the place is extremely crowded. There is hardly any place to stand or move. This makes it difficult to take god photos or even just stand and enjoy the beauty of the Pagoda. Secondly, the heat at that time made it worse. We just looked for the exit and did a bit of souvenir shopping on our way out. The temple closes very early, so I think the best time to visit is early morning.
  • June 28, 2017
    Beautiful but crowded. If you have limited time, I would advise going to the silver temple over this one. But if you have few days in Kyoto, this is definitely worth a visit.
  • July 11, 2017
    It was a nice experience. It's a short walk, and I also tried the tea and snack offered here. It was refreshing, as the day was very hot. Expect it to be crowded!

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