Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple – Symbol of Kyoto

Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple (金閣寺) is the number one attraction of the ancient capital of Kyoto, often referred to as the golden temple of Kyoto. This is a historical witness recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage, welcoming thousands of tourists around the world every year.

Kyoto – The old capital of Japan is a famous tourist city, which still retains the traditional beauty, where there are no modern skyscrapers and amusement parks, but instead a multitude of tourist attractions. architectural works of ancient temples and shrines. Kyoto has a long history of thousands of years known for its long culture and many ancient architectural works, although it is a famous tourist city, it still tries to retain the traditional beauty, where there is no skyscrapers or modern amusement parks. One of them is Kinkakuji (金閣寺), the most luxurious golden temple in Kyoto, whose body is gilded with glittering gold reflecting off the beautiful lake.


General information about Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple?

Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto is known as a historical ancient capital with thousands of years of ancient architecture. The most prominent is the most luxurious temple in Kyoto, which is Kinkakuji Golden Temple. The temple is also known by many different names such as Rokuon-ji temple temple, Golden Pavilion, or Golden Temple …

Kinkakuji Golden Temple was originally a mountain resort, built in 1937 by order of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, to this day, the temple is the only remaining structure after fierce battles in Japan. Later, he became a Zen temple and became famous for the “Kinkaku” Electric Relic that shines with golden glitter.

In 1955, Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple was restored to its original form and covered with gold plating all over the temple. This has created the luxury and splendor of the temple and made many people curious to visit and admire. The temple is designated as a world cultural heritage site. The temple grounds have a kaiyushiki-style garden (a promenade garden with a lake in the center), and the temple’s reflection on Lake Kyoko makes it a great photo spot.

Why is it called “golden temple”?

The Kinkaku Temple is a three-story stupa. It burned down in 1950 and the current structure was rebuilt in 1955. The three floors of the building are built in different styles:

o The first floor is shinden-zukuri (palace style),
o The second floor is a buke-zukuri (samurai house style) shrine.
o The 3rd floor is Zenshu-butsuden style.

The 2nd and 3rd floors are inlaid with gold leaf. The name “golden temple” also originates from here. In the temple grounds, there is also a Sekkatei (Tejia Dinh) tea room built by the tea monk Kanamori Sowa. It was built to welcome Emperor Go-Mizunoo, inspired by the beauty of Kinkaku illuminated in the sun. The architectural part features circular and triangular windows, ancient pillars made from bamboo and chigaidana shelves made from fenugreek.

Where is the Japanese Golden Temple?

Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple is a Zen temple located north of Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered with gold leaf. Kinkakuji is one of the most beautiful and famous temples in Japan, attracting millions of visitors every year. Officially known as Rokuonji, the temple is the retirement villa of shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and by his will, the temple became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408.

In short, the temple in Japan Kinkakuji is a UNESCO world cultural heritage site and one of the most visited temples in Kyoto. It can get very crowded at times, so we recommend trying to avoid peak hours if possible.

The unique architecture of the Japanese Golden Temple Kinkakuji

The unique design style of the Japanese golden temple Kinkakuji will also make you admire the iridescent golden color. Successful combination of 3 different architectural styles: shinden, samurai and zen. The difference lies in each floor of the temple.

• The first floor is built in the shinden-zukuri style. Reminiscent of the style of the 11th century Heian aristocracy. Open space with adjoining eaves, natural wood use, and white plaster. This design helps to emphasize the surrounding landscape creating the splendid elegance of the temple.
• The second floor, built in the Bukke style of samurai warriors. It has a Buddhist Hall and shrine dedicated to the goddess Kannon.
• The third floor is built in Chan style. Gold plated inside and out, and limited to a golden phoenix.

How to get to Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple

There are many ways for visitors to Japan to move to this famous Japanese golden temple Kinkakuji in Kyoto. As you already know about the golden temple Kinkakuji, Kinkakuji temple is located northwest of Kyoto and not near any major train lines. In this piece of information, we’ll lay out your best options when considering how to get to this iconic Kyoto landmark.

• The first way:

You can travel by bus number 101 or 205 from Kyoto Station, it only takes about 40 minutes and your 230 yen can reach the golden temple Kinkakuji. Buses going to Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple will have their destination written in English next to the bus number as shown in the picture. You can also use the Kyoto 101 city bus service in the neighboring B2 block. This bus also takes less than 40 minutes to Kinkakuji, but has the advantage of having signs in English, Chinese and Korean. Also, all #101 buses stop at Kinkakuji!

• Second way:

Travel by subway from Kitaoji Station, it takes about 15 minutes and 260 yen, then by taxi takes about 10 minutes and costs 1000-1200 yen. Alternatively, instead of traveling by taxi, you can take bus number 101, 102, 204 or 205 (10 minutes, 230 yen) to move to Kinkakuji Golden Temple. Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple is open almost every day of the week to welcome visitors, from 9 am to 5 pm for visitors to visit the temple, admission ticket will be ¥400.


A special highlight symbolizing the prestige and power of the generals is the ceiling of the 3rd floor covered with thin gold leaves. Today, the entire temple is covered with completely pure gold leaf except for the ground floor of the temple, giving the temple a huge increase in both religious and material aspects. And visiting the temple and each season of the year visitors will admire the different beauties of the temple.


Spring in Japan with a temperature of about 10 degrees Celsius, is an ideal occasion for visitors to visit Japan to see the golden Japanese temple Kinkakuji. Moreover, spring in Japan is also the season when many festivals take place. Cherry blossoms also bloom sporadically on the mountain ranges up to the temple. It is indeed a beautiful sight for visitors to visit the temple during this time.


When the bright sunlight of summer begins to shine, it is also the time that the sound of insects chirping throughout the garden of the Japanese golden temple Kinkakuji. The whispers of the bamboo forest in the wind on quiet summer nights will give Japanese tourists a more tranquil feeling.


If Japanese tourists have ever visited Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple once in autumn, they will never forget the red color of maple leaves. Each red maple tree like the color of the sunset made Kinkakuji shine. Perhaps looking at this scene, tourists can only think of it as in a fairy tale.


In winter, if tourists traveling to Japan are afraid to go to the temple in the cold winter, don’t worry. Because winter is the season when the golden temple Kinkakuji is the most beautiful of the year, the share of visitors who have come here. Each white snowflake falling on the roof of the temple will make our hearts more easily fluttered than ever. Shining brightly in the white snow is the warm yellow color of the curved roof of the pagoda, as if a ray of light dispels the coldness of winter. Things to know when visiting Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple.

Best time to visit Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple

Because of the popularity of the Japanese golden temple Kinkakuji, it is recommended to visit when it opens or later in the afternoon. You can hardly capture a moment when the temple is empty of people in the way, but the crowds don’t make the temple any less special. Try to get there a few minutes before 9am, so you can be one of the first inside the gate.

Or you can choose to arrive at a later time of day. If you plan to go later in the day, we would recommend not arriving later than 4pm. As you will only have an hour left to explore the Japanese temple and surrounding garden. You can still take some good photos of the temple, even if it’s crowded. The fenced area that prevents people from accessing the lake is a perfect place to take the best photos.

Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple Admission Fee

Visiting Kinkakuji Temple costs a small fee, which is used to keep everything inside clean and tidy. Entrance fee is ¥400 for adults, ¥300 for children. If you visit the temple with a larger group, you will save some costs.

What is special about Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple?

• The first floor is built in the Shinden style used for palace buildings during the Heian period (with origins in the 11th century), and with natural wooden columns and white plaster walls contrasting but still very suitable for the upper floor covered with gold leaf. Statues of Shaka Buddha (historical Buddha) and Yoshimitsu are kept on the first floor. Although you are not allowed inside, the statues can be viewed from across the pond if you look closely, as the front windows of the first floor are usually open.

• The second floor is built in the Bukke style used in samurai residences and the outside is completely covered with gold leaf. Inside is a seated Kannon Bodhisattva surrounded by statues of the Four Great Kings. However, these statues are not open to the public.

• Finally, the third and top floors are built in the style of Chinese Zen, gilded inside and out and decorated with a golden phoenix. Although not open to the public, the interior of the Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple has also been restored and is said to be true to the original.

Coming to Kinkakuji Japanese Golden Temple, you will discover the traditional architecture and culture of the land of the rising sun, and especially admire the ancient and lavishness of this most famous temple in the world.

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