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Posted by on Mar 8, 2012 in Asia, Explore, Japan

Kinkaku-ji “Golden Pavilion” – Kyoto, Japan

Kinkaku-ji “Golden Pavilion” – Kyoto, Japan

The Golden Pavilion is one of 17 locations comprising the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto listed by UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Kinkakuji (金閣寺) is a Zen temple in Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Shiny, beautiful Gold Leaf – They don’t call it the Golden Pavilion for nothing.

The Golden Pavilion was originally a retirement villa owned by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. After his death in 1408, his will requested the villa be given to the Rinzai sect and be converted into a Zen temple.

The Temple is built overlooking a large pond with beautiful forestry surrounding. It has burned down numerous times throughout its history. Twice during the Onin civil War which destroyed most of Kyoto and Once in 1950 when a fanatic monk set it on fire. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955.

Each floor of the temple is built in a different architectural style; The first floor is of the Shinden style, the second floor is of the Bukke style, and the third floor is built in the style of a Chinese Zen hall. The temple is built to mirror the Kitayama culture which was developed by the wealthy aristocratic circles in Kyoto in the late 1300’s.

Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
Admission: 400 Yen
Direction:  City Bus #101 or #205 or Karasuma Subway Line to Kitaoji Station plus City Bus #101, #102, #204, or #205.

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