Kinkaku-ji (Kyoto), View of the Golden Pavilion in October 2021 (after its golden roof's renovation)


Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion Temple

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Kinkaku-ji is the vernacular name of Rokuon-ji, a Buddhist temple located in the north of Kyoto. The famous place of worship is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage and is very popular among tourists. It was nicknamed "Golden Pavilion" due to it is wonderfully gilded main hall.

Kinkaku-ji is located at a short distance from Ryoan-ji and is one of the most visited Buddhist temples in Kyoto and the most iconic in Japan. The reason for its popularity lies in its main building, the Shari-den, a pavilion covered in gold leaves.

Built in the late 14th century, it went up in flames several times. The last fire 🔥 occurred in 1950 and it was rebuilt identically a few years later (in 1955), and subsequently renovated in 1987. In 1994, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Its roof underwent renovation in 2002, and lastly in autumn 🍁 2020. With an entirely gilded cover, the pavilion is shining anew.

A must-see in Kyoto

Huge crowds of foreign visitors flock to the temple and the garden that surrounds it as Kinkaku-ji is considered one of the most famous and beautiful sites in Kyoto. If you are staying in the Kansai region’s major city, Kinkaku-ji temple is an absolute must-see.

However, it has become so popular that swarms of visitors have somehow stifled the sacred spirit and Zen atmosphere of the site. In fact, the Japanese have largely turned their attention from Kinkaku-ji on account of the bling-bling quality of the Golden Pavilion, directing it to other Kyoto temples, mainly its silver counterpart in the eastern part of town: the Ginkaku-ji.

The Chinese, however, definitely love it!

⬇️ Further down this page, discover our visit guide in Kinkaku-ji and around.
By Kanpai Updated on April 03, 2023 Kinkaku-ji