Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto's golden treasure


Kinkakuji Temple in Kyoto is a world-class tourist attraction known for its beautiful gilded exterior.
This article provides an overview of Kinkakuji, its history, highlights, and how to get there, to help you better understand and visit the temple.

Official name: Rokuon-ji Temple
Hours: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Closed: None
TEL: +81-075-461-0013

Kinkaku-ji | 臨済宗相国寺派

ABOUT Overview and history of the Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, one of Shokoku-ji Temple's affiliate temples. GUIDE Enjoy Kinkaku-ji's famous sights an…

  1. What is Kinkakuji Temple?
  2. History of Kinkakuji Temple
  3. Highlights of Kinkakuji Temple
  4. Access to Kinkakuji Temple
  5. Places to eat around Kinkakuji Temple

1. What is Kinkakuji temple?

Kinkakuji temple is a temple of the Rinzai-shu shokokuji (one of the sects in Buddhism), located in Kita-ku, Kyoto City.
Although its official name is Rokuonji, the temple is so famous for its Shariden (a hall where the bones and ashes of Buddha are enshrined) that it is now called Kinkakuji.
"Kinkakuji" is written in kanji as "金閣寺," with "金" meaning "gold," "閣" meaning "the place where nobles live," and "寺" meaning "temple," so it means "a temple made of gold that nobles visit."
Kinkaku is a three-storied, gilded, gold-colored building, and its beautiful appearance has become one of the symbols of Kyoto.

2. History of Kinkakuji Temple

In 1397, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the third shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate (the most powerful person in the samurai government centered in Kyoto), built the Golden Pavilion.
The Golden Pavilion was built in a unique architectural style combining the Buddhist Shariden, Chinese tower architecture, and Japanese Shinden-zukuri (an aristocratic style of architecture established in the Heian period, in which the only small room was a bedroom), and is a building that represents the best of the culture of the time.
Kinkakuji was destroyed by fire several times, but was rebuilt each time.
The present Kinkakuji was rebuilt in 1955.

3. Highlights of Kinkakuji Temple

The highlight of Kinkakuji Temple is the Golden Pavilion. Each of the three levels of the Golden Pavilion has a different architectural style, and each has its own unique flavor.
The first level is in the shinden-zukuri style (aristocratic style) and is called Hosui-in.
Unlike the other two levels, the first level is not gilded and is made of white wood.

The second layer is in the samurai style and is called Cho-ondo.
The exterior walls are covered with gold leaf, but the floor and walls are lacquered black.
Inside, a statue of the Iwaya Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) is enshrined, surrounded by statues of the Shitenno (four heavenly kings) who protect her.

The third level is in the style of a Buddhist temple (Zen Buddhism) and is called Kukkyocho and houses the bones of the Buddha.
Around the Golden Pavilion is a pond called Kyokochi Pond, where the reflection of the Golden Pavilion on the surface of the pond is very beautiful.

4. Access to Kinkakuji Temple

The following is how to get to Kinkakuji Temple from JR Kyoto Station!

  1. Go to the San-in Line platform at JR Kyoto Station and ride on the train which goes to Kameoka.
  2. Get off at "Enmachi Station".
  3. Go out the ticket gate and turn left to "Nishinokyo Enmachi bus stop".
    There is a signboard that guides you to the Nishinokyo Enmachi bus stop immediately after exiting the ticket gate.
    The bus stop is marked with an "E". Take city bus No. 204 or 205 to "Kinkakuji-michi bus stop.
  4. Get off at "Kinkakuji-michi bus stop".

5. Eating Spots around Kinkakuji Temple

Gontaro Kinkakuji store

Gontaro Kinkakuji store serves a variety of udon and soba noodles in an elegant Japanese-style restaurant with private rooms.
A la carte dishes such as rice bowls and tempura, and Japanese sweets are also available.
English menu available.

Address: 26 Hiranomiyashiki-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto, 603-8365, Japan
Hours: 11:00am - 8:30pm
Phone number: +81 75-463-1039
Rating: 4.1

Kinkakuji Branch - Kyoto GONTARO|株式会社権太呂食品

京都の老舗 創業明治43年。毎朝、羅臼昆布でとる究極の出汁(だし)を活かしたうどん・そばが絶品。京都権太呂オンラインショッピング


A Western-style restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere and Japanese flair where you can enjoy veal cutlets, pizza, and hamburgers.

Address: 30-5 Kinugasa-baba-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto, 603-8362, Japan
Hours: 11:30am-3:00pm, 5:30pm-8:00pm
Phone number: +81 75-465-9102
Rating: 4.5

Japanese Cuisine NOW Joy Kinkakuji store

A restaurant where you can enjoy a wide range of menus from Japanese to Western cuisine

Address: Japan, 39 Kinugasa Tenjinmorimachi, Kita-ku, Kyoto, 603-8375, Japan
Hours of operation: 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Phone number: +81 75-464-2185
Rating: 3.8

Ki Shin

Innovative French cuisine served in a machiya (japanese old style house), perfect for anniversaries!

Address: 37 Kinugasa-nishi Goshonouchi-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 603-8377, Japan
Hours: 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Phone number: +81 75-432-7734
Rating: 4.6

Kyoto Soba Restaurant Hanamaki-ya

Hanamakiya is a long-established soba (buckwheat noodle) restaurant that has been in business for more than 100 years.
The soba noodles are made with the finest buckwheat flour and handmade by artisans, and have a firm and smooth texture!

Address: 17-2, Kinugasa Goshonouchi-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto, 603-8378, Japan
Phone: +81 75-464-4499
Business hours: Monday - Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Friday - Sunday: 11:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed: Thursday
Rating: 4.5

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