Complete Guide of Kyoto Kinkaku-ji Temple 金閣寺

  • このエントリーをはてなブックマークに追加
  • SumoMe

Finally my school final exam period started. It has been driving me crazy with all those reports and exam preparation. TT I want my time back to make videos and write more posts!!! (yelling)

Anyway, who says we can’t have fun while being busy?? i decided to put away everything and went on a trip to………The Golden Pavilion – Kinkaku-ji Temple 金閣寺!!

“Hey! It’s just 10 min walk from your home! Don’t say in a tone as if you’re taking a long journey, idiot!” (throwing rotten eggs…) 

Well, The Golden Pavilion is just 10 min walk from my house. That’s true. ^^” But I’m sure most of you understand the strange feeling that, the closer a place is to you, the lazier you feel to go there. Am I right? (applause~~)

But speaking of Kyoto, most of you would imagine The golden Temple. This post is going to show you the different angle of the temple. Enjoy!


2 Things you need to know about Kinkaku-ji Temple

Before I introduce the temple, you need to know 2 things about it.

1. the real name of “Kinkaku-ji Temple” 金閣寺 is actually “Rokuon-ji Temple” 鹿苑寺
2. “Kinkaku-ji” – the word “ji” (寺) already means temple, if you say “Kinkaku-ji Temple”, it means “Kinkaku temple Temple”.

Tell your Japanese teacher or friends these 2 things, they would be surprised by your Japanese knowledge. (hopefully lol)

OK Let’s go to the entrance of Kinkaku-ji first 😀

Entrance of Kinkaku-ji Temple 金閣寺

The entrance of the Kinkaku-ji Temple. 10 min walk from my home. Though it was my 4th time to visit, but it was my 1st time to take photos 🙂

No tripod No bicycle in Kinkaku-ji Temple

Bicycles and tripods are not allowed in Kinkaku-ji Temple because the space for walking is not that big and hell lot of tourists everyday. @@

What is Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Pavilion)?

Kinkaku-ji original name Rokuon-ji

The original name is Rokuon-ji. 鹿苑寺 ろくおんじ

Kinkaku (The Golden Pavilion) is a shariden, a Buddhist hall containing relics of Buddha. The pavilion is part of a temple that is formally named Rokuon-ji Temple, but commonly called Kinkaku-ji Temple, or Temple of the Golden Pavilion. – Quoted from the pamphlet of Kinkaku-ji Temple

The temple is originally called “Rokuon-ji” 鹿苑寺, but sometime in the past, people started to call it “Kinkaku-ji” because of the majestic golden pavilion.

As the explanation of the Kinkaku-ji history is kinda beyond my English level, I will leave the job to the pamphlet of Kinkaku-ji. (Sometimes we need to make smart decision. XD)

Read the following to get an idea how Kinkaku-ji was built. 🙂

The entrance of Kinkaku-ji

The sacred entrance of the Kinkaku-ji Temple.

This area was originally the site of a villa called Kitayama-dai and owned by a statesman, Saionji Kintsune. Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the 3rd shogun of the Muromachi period, took a liking to the are and acquired it from the Saionji family in 1397. He then built his own villa, which he named Kitayama-den.

The garden and buildings, centered on the Golden Pavilion, were said to represent the Pure Land of Buddha in this world. The villa also functioned as an official guesthouse, welcoming Emperor Gokomatsu (Father of Zen teacher, Ikkyu) and other members of the nobility. Trade with China prospered during the Muromachi period, and the villa reached its height or glory as the heart of what became known as Kitayama Culture.

After Yoshimatsu died, in keeping with his will, the villa was converted into a temple by the priest Muso-kokushi, who became the first abbot. The temple’s name, Rokuon-ji, was derived from the name Yoshimatsu was given for the next world. Rokuon-in-den.

In 1994, Rokuon-ji Temple was registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site.

-Quoted from the pamphlet of Kinkaku-ji Temple

So now, follow me to adventure on the unknown buddhism world!

Outer View

The entrance of the kinkaku-ji

The entrance of the Kinkaku-ji.

Nature of Kinkaku-ji

Nature everywhere in the villa.

Tree in Kinkaku-ji

I really love the nature in every temple or shrine in Japan. They seem to be organized well by people, which shows the Japanese attitude towards protecting cultural heritage.

Peace Bell in Kinkakuji 平和の鐘金閣寺

The Peace Bell in Kinkaku-jil. (平和の鐘) It is said that the King and the Queen of Bhutan stroke the bell for world peace during their visit in Japan few years ago.

Peace Bell fee in Kinkakuji 平和の鐘

Of course, world peace needs money. 1 strike 200 yen. (US $2 ) lol

Counter of Kinkakuji 金閣寺

It was Sunday, I assumed there were not less than 500 tourists there when I was taking this photo ><

Entrance fee of Kinkakuji

The entrance fee is 400 yen for Adult and 300 yen for kid. The ticket is called San-pai-ken (参拝券) and Kinkaku-ji ticket is an amulet.

No group photo in Kinkakuji

No group photo in Kinkaku-ji Temple.

Shariden (Kinkaku) 舎利殿(金閣)

Gold foil on lacquer covers the upper two levels of Kinkaku, and a shining phoenix stands on top of the shingled roof. The first level is built in the shinden style of the 11th-century imperial aristocracy: the second level is in buke style of the warrior aristocracy; and the top level is in the Chinese zenshu-butsuden style. Overall, Kinkaku is representative of Muromachi-period architecture.
– Quoted from the pamphlet of Kinkaku-ji Temple

The current temple is not original. Kinkaku-ji Temple was destroyed by fire in 1950. The current Kinkaku-ji was rebuilt within 5 years after the fire incident.

Amulet and pamphlet of Kinkakuji

These are the 2 things you will receive from the counter. Explanations are written in Japanese, Chinese, English, Korean languages.

Kinkaku-ji temple 金閣寺

Kinkaku-ji in summer. It was cloudy so the photo doesn’t look bright, but still we can enjoy the different Kinkaku-ji 😀

金閣寺 Kinkaku-ji

Kinkakuji behind the trees

Kinkaku-ji is shy. xD


Close up shot of Kinkakuji

Close up shot of Kinkaku-ji

Small pavilion of Kinkaku

The small pavilion of Kinkaku.


Other parts in Kinkaku-ji

Rikushu no matsu 陸舟の松

Rikushu no matsu (陸舟の松, lit. The Pine Tree Ship on Land”) was made 600 years ago by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.

Trash bin for entrance amulet Kinkakuji

The trash bin for entrance amulet ticket. If you don’t want to bring the amulet back home, you can throw it away here.

small stair in Kinkakuji

Where would this stair lead us to?

throwing coin and make a wish in kinkakuji

There is a place for you to throw a coin into the bowl in front of a buddha statue and make a wish.

Trevi fountain in Kinkakuji

I think the amount of coins is as same as my last visit. Did they clean up and rearrange the place? lol

fountain in Kinkakuji

A small fountain in Kinkakuji. Don’t you feel inner peace?

Ashikaga Yoshimatsu's favorite washbasin

Ashikaga Yoshimatsu’s favorite washbasin

Hidden kinkakuji

Hidden Kinkaku

The Sekka-tei Tea House

The Sekka-tei Tea House. Built during the Edo period. Kinkaku is especially beautiful when seen from here in the late afternoon sun. This view is reflected in the teahouse name, Sekkatei (Place of Evening Beauty).

Teahouse in Kinkakuji

Teahouse in Kinkaku-ji. 500 yen and you can experience Japanese Tea Ceremony in Kinkaku-ji. I won’t do it because there are too many tourists walking around. It’s hard to enjoy the peace of the environment.

Taiwanese Tour guide Kinkakuji

There was a tour from Taiwan explaining how to worship in Japanese temple. We learned quite alot from the tour guide too lol

Fudo-do in Kinkaku-ji

Fudo-do 不動堂. Temple of the Buddhist deity Fudo-myo-o.

how to get blessed in Japan temple

The Taiwanese guide told his members that stirring the smoke of the joss to their head will make them cleverer.

Omikuji vending machine in Kinkaku-ji

Omikuji vending machine in Kinkaku-ji. Omikuji are slips of paper which people get at Shinto shrines or Buddhist temple on which fortunes are written.

Omikuji vending machine in Kinkakuji

Don’t worry. Multiple language options available. lol

Taking shelter from rain in Kinkakuji

Suddenly it rained heavily. We took shelter from the rain in a Souvenir shop. The Macha ice cream was amazing!!

Raining kinkakuji

When would it stop?

Souvenir shop of Kinkakuji

The Souvenir shop we were taking shelter from rain at. Their Macha ice cream was incredibly yummy! Buy 1 if you visit next time 😀

Shen Lim
A Chinese Malaysian, Blogger, Vlogger on YouTube, Tour Guide in Japan. He believes 1 day his videos can bring Japan and Malaysia together. マレーシア華人、ブロガー、YouTubeクリエイター、日本にいるツアーガイドです。いつか自分の動画は日本とマレーシアを繋げる架け橋になると信じています。 Read more ABOUT him.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Akina





    1. Leong Shen Lim


      本当にあきなさんがコメントしてくれるからブログを更新するモチベーションが維持できています 😀 いつもあきなさんのコメントを楽しみにしていますよ ^^ これからもよろしくお願いします!

      現実逃避って言ったらそうですけどw 一休みと思っておきたいですねw笑 中国語のことわざでは「休むことは、もっと遠くまで歩くためだ」( 休息是为了走更长远的路, A little rest goes a long way)  がありますw

      金閣寺は人が多くて、侘び寂びが欠けていると思いますが、その再建技術と保存技術を見るととても驚くものですね。さすが日本だなと思いました 🙂

      記事の中にある説明もパンフレットから引用したものですがw ぜひ外国人のお友達に説明してあげてください^^

      1. Akina


        自分でふっておいて何ですが、なんだろ思い付かないので放置して下さい笑(๑ •́ ₃•̀๑)

        夕方には地元へ帰ったので、りんご飴を食べれなかったことが悔やまれます(´〰` )


        1. Leong Shen Lim


          祇園祭りに行きました!写真も少し撮りましたが、テスト期間でなかなかブログを更新する事ができなくて ><
          私16と17に行ったので、あきなさんとすれちがいですね ><

          1. Akina




          2. Leong Shen Lim



Leave a Reply