Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) - Kyoto

Located in 1 Kinkakujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto Prefecture in Japan, Kinkakuji (金閣寺) is a Zen Buddhist temple in the Shokokuji School of the Rinzai sect. It is famously known to English-speaking countries as the Golden Pavilion


Kinkakuji Details

Formerly named, Rokuonji  (鹿苑寺), Kinkakuji is actually a sharply or a Buddhist hall containing relics from Buddha. 
Kinkakuji 金閣寺- Kyoto City

Kinkakuji was built in 1397 and served as a retirement villa for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the third shogun of Kitayama-den. The villa also functioned as an official guesthouse. Emperor Gokomatsu and other members of the nobility once resided in the villa.

The history of Kinkakuji

Entrance to the Golden Pavillion, the 総門Salmon Gate

The 舎利殿 (金閣)Shari-den after it was burnt. 

After the death of Yoshimitsu, his will indicated that the villa is converted into a temple. It was named Rokuonji which was derived from Rokuon-in-den (Yoshimitsu's name for the next world.)

The 鐘楼 / bell tower of Kinkakuji

Close up of the belfry

Here's my ticket to enter Kinkakuji

The Golden Pavilion is reflected beautifully in the waters of Kyoko-chi Pond

 the Genka-sen Well which was used by Yoshimitsu to wash his hands

Another view of the Shariden

The Phoenix at the rooftop of the temple

The side of the 舎利殿/Shariden which is famously referred to as the Golden Pavilion

Steps going around Kinkakuji

The Hakuja-zuka in the middle of the Anmin-taku Pond

Got to sit at the Kijin-to or the chair-shaped stone

The map of Kinkakuji's vicinity

The Sekka-tei tea hut

The Kuri or the living quarters of the priests of Kinkakuji

The Hojo of Kinkakuji

The Ryumon-baku waterfalls with the Rigyo-seki stone (Carp Stone) in the middle.

The Jizo Buddhist images with all those coins!

The Fudo-do of Kinkakuji

Kinkakuji was registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1994.

The exit stone stairs leading back to the parking lot.

Kinkakuji was the last temple that we visited during our Kyoto trip on the 9th day of our 2014-2015 Japan trip. What I loved about the temple is the beauty of its garden. Combined with the reflection of the golden facade of the temple in Kyoko-chi Pond, the garden looked like paradise. When I first saw it, I was so amazed that I took almost a hundred pictures of it.

The Backpack Adventures visits Kinkakuji

Aside from the Kyoko-chi Pond and the temple's combined beauty, the other parts of the vicinity is equally beautiful. It's no wonder Kinkakuji became so famous.

Kinkakuji Admission Fee

Kinkakuji Admission Fee

Kinkakuji Operating Hours

Kinkakuji is open from 9AM - 5PM.

Why visit Kinkakuji?

Kinkakuji is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Kyoto City. It's also one of the most famous and most beautiful temples in the city. You should include it in your itinerary when you visit Kyoto City.

Getting to Kinkakuji:

From Kansai International Airport, ride the JR West Haruka Limited Express Train. The ride will take about 80 minutes. 

Another option is to ride Bus #111 Kyoto Eki Mae bus stop and board down at Kinkakujimichi. From there, Kinkakuji is around 3-5 minutes walk away.
Travel time: 37 minutes
Fare: 230 yen

Overall rating


  1. This temple is wonderful. Omamori of kinkaku-ji can be found on

    1. Thank you for the link. I just visited it and I recommend it as a great souvenir. I should have bought one. Thanks again Adamo!

  2. This scenery looks gorgeous! This could be right out this chinese martial arts movie "Hero" (if I recall it right ;) )... I always pictured Kyoto to be a rather big city without any possibility to get to nearby nature without having to drive far. But having a look on the Google map you posted I can imagine combining a nice hike with visiting this and maybe some other temples in this area, as they seem to be right at the city limits.

    1. Surprising as it may look, Kyoto is actually a highly urbanized city. There are areas however that would still remind you of the historical Kyoto. The area where Kinkaku-ji is actually one of those "old Kyoto" areas.

  3. Good photo story and an interesting place. Just like I have imagined the cultural sites in Kyoto.

  4. visiting Japan is my dream!!!! Just waitng to save more money... :-)

    1. Same here, I'm planning to revisit it again but I think I need to save more money. =)

  5. Hi Neil! Amazing post about Kinkaku ji! I am due with mine but will push the Kyoto blog soonest! Agree with you, Japan is so beautiful, a place worth exploring!

    1. I'm excited to see your Kyoto blog. You are lucky you live in Japan. =) Given the chance I'd visit that country every year. =)

  6. The Kinkaku Ji temple looks so beautiful and surreal. One of the things that I am enamoured of in Japan are its temples. They have such a beautiful and mystical aura about them. The fact that the temple is a UNESCO World Heritage is an added bonus.

    1. That is true Sandy. =) It is really a magnificent temple.

  7. Japan is so high on my lost I've always wanted to go and I'd love to visit this temple, I've read quite a few posts on Kyoto recently and definetly adding this temple on my must do list

    1. This temple just one of the many in Kyoto that you should see. =)

  8. I can’t wait to see the beauty and know more of Japan history next year


Post a Comment

Book your hotel thru KLOOK
Subscribe and get updated with the latest travel articles of The Backpack Adventures

Popular posts from this blog

A Guide to Collecting Eki Stamps

10 Things to Do in Utashinai City

National Shrine of St. Padre Pio - Batangas

10 Things to Do in Ashibetsu City

Utashinai Roadside Station - Hokkaido

Akabira Tokugawa Castle - Hokkaido

Ashibetsu Roadside Station - Hokkaido

Sombrero Island - Batangas

10 Things to Do in Toyako

Barcelona Ruins Park - Sorsogon