Trip Planner:   Asia  /  Japan  /  Kansai  /  Kyoto Prefecture  /  Kyoto  /  Kinkaku-ji

Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto

4.4
#2 of 50,629 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. Plan to visit Kinkaku-ji and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Kyoto attractions using our Kyoto online holiday planner.
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including Kinkaku-ji
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Tours To Kinkaku-ji

Kinkaku-ji Reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
16,997 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • The temple of the golden pavilion is one of the most popular temple in Japan. Not only the Golden Pavilion, but also the Japanese Garden around the temple are stunning beautiful too. It's highly...  more »
  • Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺, literally translated "Temple of the Golden Pavilion" due to it’s brilliant appearance.), officially named Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺), is a Zen Buddhist temple. The ambiance in the garden...  more »
  • After seeing multiple temples, I would recommend adding this one to your list, as it is unique in color than the others. It is very pretty, especially from afar (the closer you get, it looks more...  more »
Google
  • Packed of people when we came, however it was a very nice place. The temple looked surreal, and you can buy some gifts and Souvenirs outside of the temple. Avoid going around midday tho, too many people makes it hard to take some good decent photos. Easy to get here by bus. Very fast services in Kyoto and constant so you don’t have to wait very long. We came in summer and it was really hot. Definitely will return, maybe a different season tho.
  • It's a victim of its own popularity. There's just way too many of us tourists to make it a pleasant experience. Pro tip, go early, or late, when the sun is low on the sky, so that pictures will have a good glimmer. Evening sun reflects of the lake for a nice shimmer as well.
  • Kinkakuji or the Golden Temple (also known as Golden Pavilion) must but the most elegant and beautiful temple in Japan! It has a very simple structure but it is majestic. The temple is very impressive and set on a stunning lake, this golden temple shines. We went in the morning when the sun was shining and the gold really colour really stands out and it reflects on the water. It is rather serene and a peaceful place, but it got very busy with many, many tourists. There is a Japanese Tea Garden where you can enjoy delicious Japanese Green tea as well as a bell tower you can ring for a small donation.
  • I can honestly see why it's so popular, going there and seeing the golden temple with your own two eyes is amazing. You can't fully put it into words how beautiful and we'll maintained the temple is. I would definitely go back to see the temple again even though its full of tourists it's is worth seeing it as many times in your life as I can.
  • This temple sits majestically in its beautiful park surroundings. It was breathtaking and an absolute must when in Kyoto. It is very busy and packed with tourists, but everyone is very good at taking their photos and moving on. I got so many stunning photos. The grounds were immaculate and despite all the people it still had a peaceful feeling. Just loved it!

Plan your trip to Kyoto

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Kyoto

4.4
Duration: 3 hours
4.6
Duration: 2h 30 min
4.3
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.3
Duration: 6 hours

Side trips from Kyoto

4.1
Duration: 6 hours
4.0
Duration: 2h 30 min
4.5
Duration: 2h 30 min
4.2
Duration: 2 hours

Historic Sites in Kyoto

See all ›
4.6
Duration: 1h 30 min
3.8
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.3
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.0
Duration: 1h 30 min

Hidden gems in Kyoto

4.9
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.4
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.2
Duration: 1 hour
4.5
Duration: 1h 30 min

Shopping in Kyoto

See all ›
4.0
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.2
Duration: 1h 30 min
5.0
Duration: 1h 30 min
5.0
Duration: 1h 30 min

Nearby attractions in Kyoto

4.1
Duration: 3 hours
3.9
Duration: 1h 30 min
5.0
Duration: 1 hour
5.0
Duration: 6 hours
4.9
Duration: 4 hours
3.8
Duration: 30 minutes
5.0
Duration: 6 hours
4.4
Duration: 1 hour

Plans to Kinkaku-ji by other users

22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM CYPRUS June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 7 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES June, kids, popular sights Preferences: June, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 32 days in Japan BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS December, popular sights Preferences: December Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 16 days in Japan BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL August, culture, outdoors, historic sites, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems Preferences: August, culture, outdoors, historic sites Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Fast-paced 20 days in Japan BY A USER FROM GREECE March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 29 days in Japan & Continental USA BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in Japan BY A USER FROM INDONESIA April, popular sights Preferences: April Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 45 days in China, South Korea & Japan BY A USER FROM GERMANY September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems Preferences: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 16 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: July, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM TAIWAN August, teens, kids, popular sights Preferences: August, teens, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 11 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 43 days in Asia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: December, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium
See more plans