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Ginkaku-ji Temple

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Address: 2 Ginkakuji-cho Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8402, Kyoto Prefecture
Name/address in local language
Phone Number: +81 75-771-5725
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Built in 1482 by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, this Zen temple was...

Built in 1482 by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, this Zen temple was supposed to have been finished in a coat of silver. Although this step never occurred, the temple is still known by the name Silver Pavilion.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,964 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 666
  • 449
    Very good
  • 136
  • 22
  • 7
Zen Garden heaven

Superb garden setting and the most amazingly serene and zen raked sand and rock gardens. For me, it was worth visiting just for this.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
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2,964 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,280: English reviews
Level Contributor
87 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Superb garden setting and the most amazingly serene and zen raked sand and rock gardens. For me, it was worth visiting just for this.

Thank MelbourneMelody
Vancouver, B.C.
Level Contributor
423 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 575 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Walked the Philosopher's Path up to the Silver Pavilion only to discover this extraordinarily serene Zen garden environment. In the late 1400's, a Shogun built this retirement villa for himself on the grounds of today's temple. One can only imagine his intention to the daily experience of exploring the tranquil gardens of both sand and moss. Truly one of the... More 

Thank Dalecorp
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Average temple painted in white and not really silver in colour. Best time to visit could be during Autumn. You may give it a miss.

Thank Donald K
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
85 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

An ancient monument preserved to perfection. The best part of Ginkakuji are winding paths surrounding the main buildings. It offers breath taking views of the monastery and of Kyoto at varying heights and angles. Its design exemplifies the essence of Zen.

1 Thank Epicurius_at_large
Derby, UK
Level Contributor
389 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 499 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Spent five days in Kyoto and soon realised that when the guide books said that some temples are "busy" then they really mean crowded. There are some nice places to take photos here if you're patient enough to wait your turn to stand in the right spot but the place is really just a tourist attraction out to milk as... More 

Thank kmr1809
El Paso, Texas
Level Contributor
138 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Nothing special about the pavilion itself. It is known for the garden. You can't get a good sense of the Sea of Silver Sand close up. It is best viewed from above. Take the path up the hill behind the garden. The path is clearly marked and not difficult to climb. Highly recommended if you like gardens.

Thank Michelle2012
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We did the philosphers walk up here. Nice moss garden and this one has the big zen garden with the stone mountain. Loads of school kids here but they went through quickly. Can be walked through in 30 - 60 minutes since this is one temple and garden. We ended here and took a taxi down to temples in Gion... More 

Thank Maura D
Level Contributor
152 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

the story behind the name is a beautiful one. the garden and the small slope/hill and well manicured and kept Japanese garden are beautiful. if you enjoy Japanese landscape, it is interesting.

Thank CodyKow
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

The temples were quite nice here but the main attraction was the gardens. Favourite I have been to in japan (not seen too many though) very beautiful spot. Definitely check it out if you are taking the philosophers walk

Thank Charo S
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
57 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Ginkaku-ji is not as eye catching as Kinkagu-ji, but in combination with its tranquil gardens, the place is definitely more peaceful than its busier brother. It is also well visited, so get there early or very late to avoid crowds.

Thank kirkland77

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?