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Kinkaku-ji
Holiday Travel Guide

Built in the 14th century for a shogun, then rebuilt twice, this temple is now a Buddhist site and its top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf.

Of all the temples you’ll see in Kyōto, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion is perhaps the most breathtaking. Also known as “Kinkaku-ji,” the temple’s top two floors are coated in gold leaf, creating a dazzling mirror image in the pond on which it’s built.

Surrounded by the Hokuzan mountain, the temple gleams brightly on sunny days, and is just as beautiful when dusted by snow in winter. Though you can’t enter the pavilion, some of the statues kept on the first floor can be seen through the open windows.

The temple was originally Shogun Ashikaga’s residence, and became a Zen Buddhist temple after his death in the 15th century. The building was damaged and ruined more than once, and has been rebuilt each time, most recently in the 1950s. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1994.

Interestingly, the three floors of the temple are built in different architectural styles. The top level uses elements of Chinese Zen architecture, and is capped with a golden phoenix. The middle level is built in the style of Samurai residences, while the bottom level reflects the style of palace architecture from the Heian period (794-1185). It’s said the Golden Pavillion houses some of the Buddha’s ashes.

The garden here was designed during Shogun Ashikaga’s residence as a place for meditation. A teahouse was added during the Edo period (1603-1868). Along the paths you’ll find shrines and statues which many visitors throw coins at for luck.

On your way out ring the bell at Fudo Hall, dedicated to the god of fire. The hall houses a carving of Fudo Myoo, one of the five wisdom kings seen as Buddha’s protectors. You can also stop here at a small garden to sit and enjoy tea and sweets.

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is in north Kyōto. It takes a little under an hour to get there direct by bus from Kyōto Station, the city’s main transportation hub. The temple is open daily and has a small admission fee.

Top 10 Hotels Near Kinkaku-ji

Guesthouse Sakura Komachi - Hostel
Guesthouse Sakura Komachi - Hostel
2 out of 5
10-2, Kaidocho, Kinugasa, Kyoto, Kyoto
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is SG$70 per night from 26 Jan to 27 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees

Located in Kita Ward, this hostel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kinkaku-ji and Ryōan-ji. Genkoan and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within 3 mi (5 km). Kitano-Hakubaicho ...

4.3/5Excellent! (4 reviews)

"隣の方のイビキが凄く寝れませんでした,また8~10帖位の部屋に5~6人が寝泊まりするのであれば1メーター位の仕切りが有りましたが,それだけでは厳しいのではないでしょうか。"…"

Reviewed on 13 Jul,2018

Guesthouse Sakura Komachi - Hostel
Kyoyado Yaezakura
Kyoyado Yaezakura
3 out of 5
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is SG$150 per night from 26 Jan to 27 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees

Located in Kita Ward, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kitano Tenmangū and Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijō Castle are also within 3 miles ...

Kyoyado Yaezakura
Guest House Kyorakuya Kinkakuji
Guest House Kyorakuya Kinkakuji
2.5 out of 5
The price is SG$154 per night from 22 Jan to 23 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees

Located in Kita Ward, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kitano Tenmangū and Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijō Castle are also within 3 miles ...

5/5Exceptional! (5 reviews)
宿泊料金以上の心地よさ

"とても快適でキレイでした。料金が非常にリーズナブルで管理者さんも優しい方だったこともあり、また利用したいと強く感じれるゲストハウスでした。 ただ、コロナウイルスの影響かトイレットペーパーが2ロールしかなく大人数だとトイレを考えて使わなくてはいけないのがネックポイントでした。"…"

Reviewed on 9 Mar,2020

Guest House Kyorakuya Kinkakuji
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Kinkaku-ji

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Kinkaku-ji

Top Kinkaku-ji Hotel Deals

Guesthouse Sakura Komachi - Hostel
Guesthouse Sakura Komachi - Hostel
2 out of 5
10-2, Kaidocho, Kinugasa, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is SG$70 per night from 26 Jan to 27 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees
Guesthouse Sakura Komachi - Hostel
Kyoyado Yaezakura
Kyoyado Yaezakura
3 out of 5
The price is SG$150 per night from 26 Jan to 27 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees
Kyoyado Yaezakura
Guest House Kyorakuya Kinkakuji
Guest House Kyorakuya Kinkakuji
2.5 out of 5
The price is SG$154 per night from 22 Jan to 23 Jan
Excludes taxes & fees
Guest House Kyorakuya Kinkakuji
Kyo Koyado Kinkakuji Benten
Kyo Koyado Kinkakuji Benten
3 out of 5
Kyo Koyado Kinkakuji Benten
K-style
K-style
3 out of 5
K-style
Kyoto Villa Fengling
Kyoto Villa Fengling
2.5 out of 5
Kyoto Villa Fengling
Koto Hananobou
Koto Hananobou
3 out of 5
Koto Hananobou
Guesthouse ILOHA
Guesthouse ILOHA
3 out of 5
Guesthouse ILOHA
Hananobou Bettei
Hananobou Bettei
3 out of 5
Hananobou Bettei
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.