Kinkakuji Temple

Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto

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.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Plan your visit
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.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
17,039 reviews
Excellent
10,069
Very good
5,112
Average
1,535
Poor
249
Terrible
74

slesa130
London, UK61 contributions
Jan 2020
A little bit of a bus journey outside the city center but really straightforward to find. There were huge tour buses of tourists when we visited so I would recommend to go either before or after the peak day periods to avoid the crowds. The fee of 400 yen is reasonable for the short walk around the lake and golden pavilion but there is not much else to do there.
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

izyphotos
Mascot, Australia705 contributions
Mar 2021
Kinkakuji is perhaps the most well-known temple in Japan. The pavilion itself is a three-story structure, the top two floors of which are entirely covered in gold leaf and shimmers in front of a pond. Visitors are not allowed to enter the actual building, but can view the pavillion from various angles as they follow the path around from the entrance. I recommend to get there early. We took bus 12 and arrived just before opening at 9am. Due to Covid, there were less visitors so there were plenty of photo opportunities without the crowds. With such a calm, sunny day, the reflection on the water was spectacular. This was a highlight for our trip and a must to see when in Kyoto.
Written January 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alison B
101 contributions
Jan 2020
This temple is quite stunning, especially when the sun is out. There is a small entrance fee (as with a lot of temples in Kyoto). Once you enter, you are ushered to the area on the left where you can take pictures of the temple reflecting in the lake water. We got there as soon as it opened, so there were only a handful of people, which was nice. It was overcast and raining so we did not get a lot of glimpses of the temple shinning in the sun, but it was still a gorgeous temple with immaculately kept garden grounds. After you view the temple, there is a path that leads you around the back end and up a hill side before popping you out on the side of the main entrance path.

I don't think I would have enjoyed this as much if there had been a large crowd, which I'm sure is the case during the busy season/cherry blossom season. But for when we were there and what it was I am glad we took the time to see it.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Urrbraelady
Burnside, Australia77 contributions
Nov 2019 • Family
While crowded on the weekend this temple is not to be missed if visiting this area. The set-up manages the crowds well and there are many opportunities, with a little patience and courtesy, to take stunning pictures around the temple and the grounds. There are many vendors and opportunities to buy souvenirs as well as many refreshment vending machines onsite. We took the train from Kyoto main station and then a short bus ride - all well signposted from the station.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

kerry_hulton
North West England, UK126 contributions
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.

DreamerDisha
Bengaluru, India241 contributions
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.

Harald Gracholski
Cologne, Germany6,804 contributions
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.

hei_po_po
Singapore, Singapore93 contributions
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.

HPLIM
JOHOR BAHRU750 contributions
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.

Piotr S
Krakow, Poland243 contributions
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.

Showing results 1-10 of 8,808
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Kinkakuji Temple

Kinkakuji Temple is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Kinkakuji Temple tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 92 Kinkakuji Temple tours on Tripadvisor