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Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto

4.4
#2 of 38,271 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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
13,634 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • The set is spectacular, the temple, gardens... prepares the camera! We did not have much luck and appear umbrella in the pictures, but the grandeur and beauty of the Golden Pavilion is not clouded.
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  • They are all different and you may be tempted and shrines out by the end of a week. The gardens and beautiful vistas hit you at every turn. This is one of the most famous and rightly so.  more »
  • A very nice site. Easy to reach. There is a way forward and the most famous places to take pictures. Unfortunately you can not enter ...
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Google
  • There are more gift shops and ice cream vending machines than buildings worth seeing. This seems to be one of those places that's famous for being famous. Because it's said to be crowded everyone assumes it must be great and goes too. All of the tour buses have to include it on their itinerary too. This creates huge crowds that ruin the atmosphere. Maybe in the low tourist season it's worth seeing, but not in the spring. Choose a place that's 10% less beautiful, but has 80% fewer tourists. You'll have a better time. Entry is Y400.
  • This is really a nice place. The area is wonderful and it just feels you go back in time. The scenery is well preserved and the temple is really nice. A tip make a picture where you see the reflection of the temple i the water. Very nice. One thing to consider it is really crowded. Very busy and many tourist. But great place absolutely worth your time.
  • First day in Kyoto, we got there late after 6pm and it was already closed. So we tried it again next day, omg it so beautiful just to look at the golden temple. You would have to pay for the entrance fees which is about 400-600 yen ( about $4-6). It has so many beautiful gardens to walk around and you can get food and ice cream outside of the place. You can also buy the good luck charms for the price about $5 which is not bad either.
  • Its OK. For 400 yen it was fine but I wouldn't pay much more. There's not much else there besides the golden temple. Large crowd even first thing in the morning. I thought the imperial palace was more interesting with very nice gardens and free admission.
  • I’m only giving this a five because I arrived so early I was first in line and therefore I had a minute all to myself before the lineup behind me caught up and it was so lovely. If I had come later and been surrounded by thousands of tourists I would have given this a three because although it’s so beautiful, it’s over very quick and your pictures will look just like any you can find in a quick google search. Not worth the crowds. Also, just a heads up, we didn’t look at their hours of operation before leaving and wanted to get there early so we arrived at 7:30 only to find they weren’t open until 9:00 so it was a long wait. Watching the crowds start to arrive I would say that 8:00 is sufficiently early to be at the head of the pack, much later than that and you’ve got about 50-75 people ahead of you before the gates have even opened (and many more coming up from behind).
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