Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺, literally "Temple of the Golden Pavilion"), officially named Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺, literally "Deer Garden Temple"), is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. It is one of the most popular buildings in Kyoto, attracting many visitors annually. It is designated as a National Special Historic Site, a National Special Landscape and is one of 17 locations making up the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which are World Heritage Sites.
The site of Kinkaku-ji was originally a villa called Kitayama-dai (北山第), belonging to a powerful statesman, Saionji Kintsune. Kinkaku-ji's history dates to 1397, when the villa was purchased from the Saionji family by shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and transformed into the Kinkaku-ji complex. When Yoshimitsu died the building was converted into a Zen temple by his son, according to his wishes.
|Monday||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Tuesday||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
David Hill | Feb 25, 2018
Beautiful, tranquil, and worth it! Just a beautiful place, even with it being infested by tourists the beauty of this place stays intact because they do a great job not allowing tourists to go into the actual temple. However the views are what matters and this temple does NOT disappoint. The entrance fee is reasonable (400 yen or 4 USD per person). Come on close to sundown as the sun shines directly on the temple for amazing photos. Not a bad place for time lapse too if you can sneak it in as the temple does not allow tripods or standing still in an area for too long (since this is a tourist hot spot). Even with lots of people, you'll be able to sneak in some great photos like the ones I took below. No filters either. Enjoy!
Noemi G. | Jan 26, 2018
We have come here on January and it was wonderful and not so much crowded as reported by other people. We had all the time to see and admire this beautiful temple and its big park nearby. You can't enter inside, but photos of the inner rooms are available. Take also a long one-way walk through the park and get a free chance to taste some of the greatest Japan sweets. There is also a post office if you want to send post cards.
Kevin Sword | Dec 26, 2017
Really beautiful grounds and the main attraction itself is stunning. It's worth it to take your time walking around the paths and marveling at the gardening work done here. Plenty of great photo opportunities if you take the time to find them. A great place to get a cheap souvenir is the Kyoto Post Office stand. They have really nice post cards! I'm sending them to family and friends but you could just as well buy one for yourself. Great way to save space if you're traveling light. Or you could even just save the pamphlet and ticket too!
Jynna McMillin | Jan 19, 2018
Get there early (when it opens) and then take your time and walk around. The main attraction is simply breath taking, but there is so much more to see and enjoy. Also, if you want to take a interesting photo, try to get a photo when the reflection pond is either still, or has very few, minimal ripples. It's fun to mess with your friends and family by showing them the photo upside down and then telling them that what they thought was the actual structure was the reflection!
V Hernandez | Mar 1, 2018
Things to know: 400 Yen entrance. There's a path also with a bit more to see. Plenty of gift shops. Getting there: 205 bus from Kyoto station takes about 45min. Have EXACT change if possible, 230 yen. Get on rear of bus. Pay when you get off.
summerset Travelagency | Apr 4, 2018
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.
Andrew Hodges | Apr 22, 2018
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.
Megan King | Mar 30, 2018
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).
Han San Lim | Apr 10, 2018
A popular destination in Kyoto with the Golden Pavilion. The ground is pretty and well maintained. But there’s just this 1 thing to see. There’s a tea house you can rest your feet and have a cup of Japanese green tea served with sweet pastry.
Fraser Body | Apr 25, 2018
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.
Mary Dutczak | May 12, 2018
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.
Evelyn Hamlett | May 19, 2018
Really good to see in person but the huge crowds make it hard to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Take your time and don't feel rushed by the crowds. There is also a spot to relax and have some green tea. Highly recommend!
Fabian Mohr | May 6, 2018
Difficult to judge. The Golden Pagoda is very beautiful, indeed. Enormous numbers of visitors spoil the experience, however. I enjoyed other temples in Kyoto a lot more. They’re also stunningly beautiful but have a way more silent atmosphere, making it easier to appreciate the greatness of the place.
Todd Hooper | Jun 30, 2018
This is one of the least interesting temples that I visited in Kyoto. The main attraction is a temple building covered in gold leaf. It's not the original, which burned down sometime in the 1950s. There are not building that you can enter or even approach. Basically, you just take a picture of the building from a fence and that's it. If you have limited time in Kyoto, just buy a postcard of this place at a souvenir shop somewhere and spend your time visiting temples that you can actually enter.
Anne Le-Sinq | May 31, 2018
Simply stunning. You cannot but gasp at the sight of the Golden Pavilion. It is a pure marvel of beauty and you shouldn’t visit Kyoto without stopping there. It’s very easy to reach it by bus and the entry is 400¥, cheaper than other places. I went there early enough (arrived around 9.30am) and didn’t have to queue at all. Yes, there will be crowds, but everything is managed efficiently and people respect others taking their pictures. The tour of the place is quick, 30 minutes and you are done. There are lots of shops to buy ice-creams and souvenirs. All priced the same and no one forces you to purchase anything.
Zhen Liu | Jun 27, 2018
A bit of a trek from our hotel but well worth the trip! One of the most famous temples, nick named the “Golden Temple” since the outside of the main Pavilion is covered in gold lacquer. Was truly a memorable and beautiful sight! We went on a Monday afternoon and it was PACKED with tourists. If you go to Japan in the summer, make sure you bring sufficient sunscreen and also pack insect repellent!
Anil D'Souza | Jun 17, 2018
Gorgeous temple and walkable surrounding areas. Went in the middle of the afternoon and it was really crowded. Still, the view of the temple was well worth the visit and the crowds were manageable enough to get a few photos. I'd love to come back another time when there aren't as many people because the grounds were beautiful and it would be great to experience them with a little quieter of an environment.
Magalí Gimenez | Jul 30, 2018
The place is quite small, the only view is the temple.. there are no resting areas to sit and enjoy the view like in other gardens, yes it’s golden coated but that’s it, same as any picture, there are no major explanations or background only a small flyer. It may be nice in spring if there are cherry blossoms. Compared to all the nice things to see in Kyoto, it’s my least favorite... I should have trusted other reviews. Entrance 409 yen
Andri Wirawan | Jul 22, 2018
While there are not much to see beside the golden pavilion, the golden pavilion itself is such a sight to see. Magnificent from every angle, from every distance. The trip pretty much ends after you passed this temple. So try to spend more time admiring the temple. The place is crowded with tourists (local and foreign) as well as local students.
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