Kinkakuji Temple
Kinkakuji Temple
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
One of Kyoto's most famous attractions, this temple was originally built in 1397 as a residence for shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. The structure was completely covered in gold leaf, earning it the name Golden Pavilion.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Northern Kyoto
Hot springs and historic temples characterize the leafy landscapes of Northern Kyoto. Acres of tranquil residential streets are interrupted by some of Kyoto's most gorgeous architectural gems, including the majestic Golden Pavilion of Kinkakuji, the serene artistry of the Ryoanji Temple rock gardens, and the bold red paint across the structures of Enryakuji Temple. Once a religious core of the city, the district now boasts some of its most remote and peaceful hot springs, as well as a few of its best family-run mom-and-pop restaurants. A blend of extremely local at its outskirts, and highly peopled at its tourist centers, Northern Kyoto nonetheless retains a halcyon air in harmony with nature.
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See what travelers are saying
  • Mark H
    St. Albans, United Kingdom277 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must-go place to visit in Kyoto…
    A really interesting historical place to visit in Kyoto. Takes about 1-2 hrs to get around. Good taxi & public transport connections. Lots of interesting buildings & gardens to wander around. Take an umbrella (for sun & rain) as there is little cover.
    Written July 13, 2023
  • SFM9
    Rutherford, Australia263 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Golden Opportunity
    If you are in Kyoto take the bus to this beautiful spot! It was just a lovely walk and the temple was just perfect. We went during summer and it was definitely hot but worth it. Cost roughly $5 per person (AUD - Adult) I would plan 2 hours for this activity. Bring your walking shoes and camera ! There are little souvenir shops and vending machines as well.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 22, 2023
  • jjluke
    Calgary, Canada1,758 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning picturesque view. If there was a temple not to miss, this is it!
    This site has the most picturesque viewpoint and most beautiful temple during our visit to Japan. The entry fee is modest and the grounds strike a good balance of peaceful harmony amidst the crowds of visitors. Even the ticket is designed to be a collectable. We enjoyed our visit and this is one you should not miss during your visit to Kyoto. Highly recommended! If you found this review to be helpful, please give a thumbs up so I know where to focus my future efforts!
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 22, 2023
  • 141mrf
    Taipei, Taiwan49 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pictures don't get you the true stunning beauty to be experienced only when you personally stand in front of the Sharide
    Pictures don't get you the true stunning beauty to be experienced only when you personally stand in front of the Shariden Kinkaku. Tranquil while splendid. Silent but putting in you countless thoughts about how she proudly stand there seeing us gaping in envy about her aesthetics... This place is away from train or subway networks, but several bus routes take you there easily.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 27, 2023
  • Joanne D
    Durham, North Carolina65 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful, unique.
    I was hesitant to visit this temple because we only had 2 days in Kyoto and there are so many temples. But it’s very beautiful and striking. Lots of people stop and get a photo when you first view the temple. Walk around there are other spots to get a photo. The grounds are lovely too.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 21, 2023
  • Andy F
    Devizes, United Kingdom1,252 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very Photogenic
    Lovely place to visit. The sparkling gold-leaf of the pavilion building set agaist the trees and the carp-filled lake is beautiful & great for photographers. There's basically one way around the grounds that takes you past & through everything. Shops, toilets etc.
    Written September 29, 2023
  • loulou089
    446 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Top of the list.
    We got here really early at opening time. I think the ideal time would have been 10 am. Not many individuals but so many school children……..hundreds! They were all very well behaved though. So viewing without crowds is a problem . This temple is a must. Very majestic surrounded by a pond full of huge carp. So one goes with the flow and walks around the temple and it’s done in about an hour.
    Written October 24, 2023
  • Norm the Nomad
    Australia1,245 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic to see - but be prepared for the crowds.
    Another ‘must see’ when visiting Kyoto - Kinkaku-ji is an iconic, gold-leaf covered temple. Impressive, plus surrounding gardens. All built for a past Shogun who apparently decided to retire there. Very serene.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 25, 2023
  • Juande Moreno
    Province of Seville, Spain337 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Iconic place
    This temple stands up within the many marvelous ones Kyoto has. It’s the easiest one to recognize and remember. A bit far from the central part of town, but certainly worth taking the 50-minute long bus from the train station. Crowded but still pleasant to walk by
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 26, 2023
  • Peter K
    Ryde, Australia517 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting pavilion in beautiful surroundings
    Beautiful gardens lend themselves to a nice walk amongst the crowds an school kids. Walking is easy and the pavilion is pretty spectacular in the full sun. It is somewhere you should visit if only for the local cultural significance. Just remember to be polite and wait your turn.
    Written October 26, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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DreamerDisha
Bengaluru, India237 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
The place was overcrowded with tourists. Our guide told us about the history of the temple and how one of its patron had infact once burnt it down out of jealousy. It seemed all people wanted to take away from this place was an instagram photo and the crowd was quite distracting. Suggest go in the early morning time ; on a sunny day to see the gold reflection and preferably in blossom season.
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kerry_hulton
London, UK167 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
It cost about 400 Yen per person to go in, the golden temple is nice to look at and great for photos. It is a small place to walk round and it only took us about 10 minutes to view the temple and walk around the grounds. It is nice to look at but if you have to go out of your way I wouldn't recommend as it only takes 10 minutes of your time.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HPLIM
JOHOR BAHRU747 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
From Kyoto bus Station, we took the city bus to Kinkakuji Temple (金阁寺) or better known as the Golden Pagoda. Japan is full of temples and shrines. But this one looks a bit unique. The top two floors are completely covered with gold leaves. It is a Zen temple. Here you can take some mirror image of the temple as it was built on a pond. Visitors are not allowed to enter the golden pagoda. The temple’s garden is not very big. There are few other spots of interest including the Anmintaku Pond which is said to never dry up with some statues in it. Visitors often throw coins to seek for good luck and fortune. The Kinkakuji temple is a popular destination for tourists to take pictures. Many visitors come here to seek for good health and prosperity. It is also listed as a Unesco World Heritage. Entrance fee is ¥400.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hei_po_po
Singapore, Singapore93 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
Its part of a packaged tour for our day trip so transport was really easy.

When I got there, loads of people were taking photos at the same spots to get a good view of the reflection of the lake.

But the templ itself - nothing amazing. It looks like any newly constructed temple and you cannot even enter the temple. You are only allowed to walk on the pathway.

Well, I would give this a miss knowing that Kyoto has many other temples for viewing.
Written March 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Piotr S
Krakow, Poland236 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
One of the most famous views in Kyoto and in the whole Japan. Golden Pavillon built in the end of the XIV century and burnt a few times (and reconstructed in detail every time after burning). Localized on the island with no access for visitors (nevertheless). Although covered by gold, it perfectly fits the surrounding landscape. I saw it in spring and autumn and really would like to see it again in winter.
In the building near exit from the complex it is possible to drink traditional japanese tea with a small cake, both prepared by local monks.Worth to try.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Philip in Oxford
Oxford, UK431 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
The problem with the Golden Pavilion is that it is the Golden Pavilion. It’s downfall is its popularity.

Yes the building is impressive and beautiful and it’s in a lovely garden. The negatives are that it’s is so popular that the number of people just remove the Zen like experience you may be looking for.

The building itself is a recreation of the original as a schizophrenic monk burnt the temple down in 1950. It doesn’t detract from the experience as the place is about more than the temple. However you will be constantly surrounded with the Instagram crowd trying to get the photo to get the likes.

In addition the whole site has been renovated in preparation for the visitors from the Olympics and you are now much more controlled in your route and rather than wondering around the grounds you find yourself in a retail area and the exit before you start. The entrance fee isn’t that high however.

If you want the genuine experience then the Silver Pavilion is both original and provides a true Zen experience. However I think if you are in Kyoto you will probable end up doing both!
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GoGo2SlowGo
Denton, TX1,471 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
Kinkakuji, also known as the Golden Pavilion, is a Zen temple in Kyoto who’s top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. It was formerly known as Rokuonji. It was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. After his death it became a Zen temple.
Kinkakuji is an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond. It has burned down numerous times throughout its history including twice during the Onin War that destroyed much of Kyoto. We learned that is was burned down in 1950 when it was set on fire by a fanatical monk. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955 and looks beautiful. It became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.
We learned that when it was last rebuilt, it was true to the original except for a significant enhancement: both upper stories are covered in gold leaf, in accordance with Ashikaga's original intentions. In 1987, the temple was re-covered in gold leaf five times thicker than the original coating.
It is simply stunning and people were lined up all around the building trying to either take selfies or group shots. It's quite the photo stop.
If you look closely, there is a golden Chinese phoenix on the top of the pavilion. Try to get a closeup.
Written February 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Harald Gracholski
Cologne, Germany7,202 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
Kyoto for itself already is one of the world's wonders and the Kinkaki-ji temple one of the most marvellous sights within it. The entire experience is of course dulled down by the hordes of tourists, but who am I to judge. We didn't go there too early in the opening hours, which might actually work to some advantage sight-wise, but I can hardly imagine this place ever to be quiet and tranquil. All of the criticism in mind, is there a good reason for the pilgrimage. The pavillon is a wonderous sight to behold and the entire area meticulously kept, peaceful and in harmony with nature. This, by the way, is one of the aspects I cherish most in the Japanese.
Written June 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shamza21
Johannesburg, South Africa86 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
This temple is really beautiful to look at but:
- pictures make it look bigger than it is
- you are paying 400 yen to literally follow a really crowded pathway, try to find a gap to take a picture and then get herded along the path to the exit.

We spent more time in the entrance queue than around the temple itself.

If you are in the area, then you should do it but if you need to travel and plan to get there (we had to catch 2 buses to get here), then it is not worth the fuss.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

johnandlizb
Leamington Spa, UK992 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This is an amazing thing to view, especially on a sunny day when the sun reflects off the gold, as it was when we visited. The temple is stunning and the surroundings are very pretty and well kept. It is a very busy place and it is well organised as visitors are first directed to a good viewing spot where you can take photos so that people don't block paths later on.
Written March 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto

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