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

Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto

4.4
#2 of 49,401 in Things to do in Japan
Must see · Religious Site · Tourist Spot
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

Kinkaku-ji reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
17,019 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • The Golden Temple was really beautiful in person. There's a path that you walk around it and through some garden areas. There is a little courtyard with icecream, other snacks and bathrooms which is.....  more »
  • Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavillion) - where to start! While staying in Kyoto this is an absolute must see and highly reccomended. Allthough it might be a bit crowded it is definitely worth a visit...  more »
  • Go as early as you possibly can, like Opening time. Planahead as to How to get theer You'll be pleased you did. It is so worth it  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 trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. 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

See all ›
©
Historic Site
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
4.4
Duration: 3 hours
©
Historic Site
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
4.6
Duration: 2h 30 min
©
World heritage site
Nijo Castle
4.3
Duration: 1h 30 min
©
Neighborhood
Arashiyama
4.3
Duration: 6 hours

Side trips from Kyoto

©
Theme Park
Universal Studios Japan Osaka
4.1
Duration: 6 hours
©
Castle
Osaka Castle Chuo
4.0
Duration: 2h 30 min
©
Aquarium
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan Osaka
4.1
Duration: 2 hours
©
Wildlife Area
Nara Park Nara
4.5
Duration: 2h 30 min

Historic Sites in Kyoto

See all ›
©
Historic Site
Sanjusangendo Temple
4.6
Duration: 1h 30 min
©
Religious Site
Ryoanji Temple
3.8
Duration: 1h 30 min
©
Religious Site
Ginkakuji Temple
4.3
Duration: 1h 30 min
©
Historic Site
Kyoto Imperial Palace
4.0
Duration: 1h 30 min

Hidden gems in Kyoto

Historic Walking Area
Katsura Imperial Villa
4.5
Duration: 1h 30 min
Historic Site
Heian Shrine
4.2
Duration: 1 hour
©
Garden
Shugakuin Imperial Villa
4.5
Duration: 1h 30 min
©
Landmark
Bamboo Forest Street
3.4
Duration: 1 hour

Shopping in Kyoto

See all ›
©
Flea Market
Nishiki Market Shopping District
4.0
Duration: 1h 30 min
©
Shopping Mall
Kyoto Station Building
4.2
Duration: 1h 30 min
©
Antique Store
Kyoto Kimono Rental Sakura
5.0
Duration: 1h 30 min
©
Gift & Specialty Shop
Kimono Atelier Akane
5.0
Duration: 1h 30 min

Nearby attractions in Kyoto

Neighborhood
Gion
4.1
Duration: 3 hours
©
Scenic Walking Area
Philosopher's Walk
3.9
Duration: 1h 30 min
City Tour
Ebisuya, Kyoto Arashiyama
5.0
Duration: 1 hour
Private Tour
Private English Tour in Kyoto
5.0
Duration: 6 hours
©
Cooking Class
Haru Cooking Class
4.9
Duration: 4 hours
©
Outdoor Activity
Kyoto Kimono Rental Rei
3.8
Duration: 30 minutes
©
Nightlife
KSK-Tour
5.0
Duration: 6 hours
©
Religious Site
Kinkaku-ji
4.4
Duration: 1 hour

Trips to Kinkaku-ji by other users

13 days in Tokyo, Osaka & Kyoto BY A USER FROM FRANCE November, popular sights Preferences: November Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 38 days in China & Japan BY A USER FROM DENMARK March, culture, shopping, popular sights Preferences: March, culture, shopping Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 47 days in Europe, Asia & South Pacific BY A USER FROM ESTONIA March, popular sights Preferences: March Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 5 days in Japan BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE December, popular sights Preferences: December Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 10 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular sights Preferences: April Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular sights Preferences: April Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 19 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems Preferences: September, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 30 days in Japan BY A USER FROM SPAIN June, historic sites, popular & hidden gems Preferences: June, historic sites Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 25 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems Preferences: May, outdoors, romantic, historic sites Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 14 days in Japan BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE May, extra slow, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Extra slow 11 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, kids, popular sights Preferences: May, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium