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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Tours to Kinkaku-ji
$75 BOOK WITH VIATOR Half-Day Guided Bike Tour of North Kyoto with Lunch Half-Day Guided Bike Tour of North Kyoto with Lunch
Duration: 5 to 6 hours
$73 BOOK WITH VIATOR Hidden Kyoto E-Biking tour Hidden Kyoto E-Biking tour
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
$179 BOOK WITH VIATOR 5 Top Highlights of Kyoto with Kyoto Bike Tour 5 Top Highlights of Kyoto with Kyoto Bike Tour
Duration: 7 to 8 hours
$236 BOOK WITH VIATOR Kyoto Private Custom Walking & Sightseeing Tour Kyoto Private Custom Walking & Sightseeing Tour
Duration: 2 to 8 hours
$164 BOOK WITH VIATOR Private Highlights of Kyoto Tour Private Highlights of Kyoto Tour
Duration: 7 hours
$151 BOOK WITH VIATOR Kyoto One Day Tour with a Local: 100% Personalized & Private Kyoto One Day Tour with a Local: 100% Personalized & Private
Duration: 8 hours
$117 BOOK WITH VIATOR One Day Tour : Enjoy Kyoto to the fullest! One Day Tour : Enjoy Kyoto to the fullest!
Duration: 8 hours
$109 BOOK WITH VIATOR Kyoto Early Riser Golden One-Day Tour Kyoto Early Riser Golden One-Day Tour
Duration: 8 hours
We were lucky enough to go on a week day when there were very few people at the temple. Kinkakuji is incredible. The landscape and the temple are well worth the visit, and I'd consider them to be a...
We were lucky enough to go on a week day when there were very few people at the temple. Kinkakuji is incredible. The landscape and the temple are well worth the visit, and I'd consider them to be a... more »
I went here with my family in 2016 and loved the site. It was a little too crowded when we went but it was still a really cool place to go and I'd love to go again.
I went here with my family in 2016 and loved the site. It was a little too crowded when we went but it was still a really cool place to go and I'd love to go again. more »
This is a really special place. Even though is very touristic and sometimes there's too many people, it manages to remain special and to convey calm and peace. Beautiful surroundings, stunning temple. You can't get very close to it, but it is easy to take a round and see it from all angles. Take your camera with you and spend time taking pictures after observing very well the scenery. There are many details and nuances that are wonderful to discover. It's worthy a visit, don't rush it. Enjoy it.
One of the most popular spot for everyone. Transportation is not easy and we don’t know how to take the bus and how often the bus is. I guess due to the la huge barrier. Taxi is another option but we chose not to. We got here and as expected, there are so many people here already. The most iconic gold temple is inside that you cannot see directly from the entrance or outside. Japanese serenity and garden design is really impressive. The noise comes from visitors, Japanese are still quiet and civilized anywhere they go. There are so many better photos of this temple and I decided not to take it. My iPhone cannot compete with professional cameras. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to come. Come and be amazed by Japanese architecture and maintenance. You will be impressed.
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