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Kinkakuji, Kyoto

Updated: 6 days ago

Kinkakuji, Kyoto

Kinkakuji (金閣寺) is a Zen temple of the Rinzai Sect, located in northwest Kyoto, in the Kita Ward.

Kinkakuji is also known as The Golden Pavillion as the top two stories of this three-story building are covered in gold leaf.

Each level has a different style of architecture - Shinden-zukuri (Heian period), samurai and zen.

As with many of Kyoto's temples, this one has also burnt down since its establishment in the late fourteenth century. The present reconstruction is from 1955, after it burnt down in 1950, having been set ablaze by a fanatic monk.

Kinkakuji, Kyoto

Opening Times & Admission

Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

Admission is 500 Yen.

Kinkakuji, Kyoto

How to get there

From Kyoto Station, you have a few options for reaching Kinkakuji Temple:

1. Take the San-In Line to Emmachi Station (10 minutes, 4 stops) then take the 205 City Bus from JR Enmachi Station to Kinkakuji-michi (10 minutes, 6 stops). This journey takes roughly 30 minutes.

2. Take the Karasuma Line to Kitaoji Station (13 minutes, 7 stops) and from there take the 205 City Bus to Kinkakuji-michi (11 minutes, 7 stops). This journey takes around 35 minutes.

3. Walk for 5 minutes to Karasuma Nanajo Bus stop (from Kyoto Station, walk past Kyoto Tower, and just before you reach Higashi Honganji Temple). Take the 205 City Bus straight to Kinkakuji-michi. This journey takes around 45-50 minutes.

4. Take a taxi. Depending on the traffic, it can take 15-20 minutes.

Address: 1 Kinkakujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, 603-8361, Japan

Kinkakuji, Kyoto

The temple building itself is not open to the public but you can admire it from close by, as you walk past it and the pond it oversees.

Seeing this magnificent building shining in the sunlight is truly fascinating and you can easily see why it's one of Kyoto's many popular tourist attractions.

Kinkakuji, Kyoto

If you're tempted to visit this beautiful temple, please bear in mind that it is one of the most crowded in Kyoto. It can take 30 minutes to 1 hour to visit the temple grounds and to stop every once in a while either to admire the scenery or to take a few pictures.

I paired the visit to Kinkakuji with one to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, as they are all located in the Northwest area of Kyoto.

From the bamboo forest, I took the San-In line to Emmachi Station and since it was a beautiful sunny day, I decided to walk to Kitano Tenmangu (around 25 minutes).

After visiting the shrine, I walked for a further 15 minutes to Kinkakuji.

Kinkakuji, Kyoto

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