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Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto
(4.4/5 based on 9,500+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Visit essential to being one of the most outstanding monuments of the city. Fabulous landscape. Route is not suitable for wheelchairs, there are stairs. Shops with tourism hardware, free toilets. Very popular.
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  • The golden pagoda and the gardens make a beautiful view. It's one of the top attractions in Kyoto. And is therefore crowded. Go early mornings if you can. Also, do note, like some of the other major a...  more »
  • As well as the history of the Golden Pavilion, this place is amazingly beautiful. Looking very peaceful and scenic. 
Google
  • Kinkakuji golden temple in Kyoto is absolutely gorgeous temple. Very serene atmosphere and beautiful to look at. We took the bullet train from Tokyo to visit Kyoto. The problem we faced was language. It was 1979 but now it may be better. Temple shines and one can peacefully meditate there.If you are visiting Japan please include Kyoto golden temple in your itinerary.Enjoy.
  • Totally worth to visit the Golden temple in the heart of Kyoto. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life! The path that surrounds the temple is just incredibly amazing! It is located a bit far from the main train station of Kyoto, but u can easily access it using bus. It is a beautiful sightseeing, definitely! Totally recommend it.
  • Lots of people usually, but it was really one impressive temple, and also very unique. We spent just a few minutes taking the golden temple in and moved on very quickly. There's a lot of souvenir shops near the exit with free taste which we also thoroughly enjoyed before buying the sweets.
  • Crazy crowded with visitors ar this time of year. After paying for ticket and entrance shortly you will get to see this view of the pavillion. Visit during sunset to see a glorious light on the front. Lots of jostling and waiting for your turn to get your selfie. It gets quieter at the back but there's nothing much to see other than this golden building.
  • A very nice place, very calm and serene. Incredibly beautiful and I would highly recommend it. The only downside is the number of tourists but that doesn't really affect the experience. An excellent place to visit!