Complete Guide of Kyoto Kinkaku-ji Temple 金閣寺
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 😀
What is Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Pavilion)?
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. 🙂
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!
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.
Other parts in Kinkaku-ji