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Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto

4.4
#2 of 25,244 in Things to do in Japan
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 .
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Kinkaku-ji Reviews
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13,336 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • It was raining, the clouds were low and yet this did not detract from the splendor of this jewel in its green setting. A must visit. To get there, rent a bicycle. We give you a plan and 7 km to / r from the central station
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  • Does anyone know the Kinkaku-ji, seen in this age. Many tourists from early in the morning. Kinkaku-ji reflected on the surface of the water was blessed with wind calm weather, so even better! Sweets tea we in the tea party are near the exit and a gold coin.
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  • The photos on the internet are beautiful but this is one of the temples that look more beautiful when you are there. The top 2 levels are gold and looks gorgeous. It snowed lightly when we were there ...  more »
Google
  • A unique temple which is stunning, surrounded by a tranquil pond. There are a few other places along the short trail worthy of pictures and looking at. Inexpensive and a short stop, if you are hoping to explore more nearby. The whole trail, while stopping for pictures, can be completed in 30-60 minutes. The trail ends with small shops selling souvenirs and refreshments. Expect a large crowd with many tour groups but little time will be spent waiting.. I've visited twice and enjoyed it. Both times, I was captivated by the golden temple on the lake. Recommend visiting if you are traveling to Kyoto.
  • Beautiful temple! The gardens are very nice, but the Golden Pavilion is simply astounding. It will take some time for you to get the perfect shot, because sometimes it gets too crowded. But, be patient. It's completely worth it!
  • I came to this place one afternoon this fall. The temple is really beautiful especially under the sunset. The wall of the temple sparkled so brightly that I could not leave. I will definitely come back here again
  • Following my Japanese friend it is probably the most famous monument to visit in Japan. It is just wonderful. The best period to visit is around November to see the red colour of the tree leaves. However, you will have to survive to a crowded place full of tourist. Price of the entrance was 600 yens.
  • Went here since it's considered as one of the famous landmarks of Kyoto. Tranquil and picturesque. It's not as elaborate as other temples in Asia but definitely has its own distinction. Note that this is not wheelchair or stroller friendly.

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Where to stay in Kyoto

Kyoto spoils visitors for choice when it comes to good accommodations, offering everything from traditional ryokans to luxury Western-style hotels. In a city used to receiving foreign travelers, you'll find that most establishments know exactly what to offer tourists and how to help newcomers to the area. To avoid paying premium prices during the cherry blossom season, consider staying in Osaka, located just a 30-minute train ride away. If you must stay in Kyoto itself, keep in mind that centrally located hotels charge more than those in the outer neighborhoods.
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