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“Beautiful Japanese garden!”
Review of Ginkaku-ji Temple

Ginkaku-ji Temple
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$18.01*
and up
Kyoto Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Loop Bus
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$585.31*
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Private Full Day Charter including Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto from Osaka
Ranked #11 of 1,135 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: 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.
Reviewed May 9, 2013

The temple is pretty and forms a lovely "prop" for photographs, but it is the garden that is the real attraction. All Japanese gardens are enchanting, but this one is exceptional. The Zen sand garden is stunning and the steep backdrop of the wet garden with the ponds, waterfalls, bridges and moss covered slopes, makes this an experience not to be missed.

Thank Jeanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,361 - 1,365 of 3,688 reviews

Reviewed May 7, 2013

There are so many temples in Kyoto- trying to narrow down which ones to see is a real challenge. Whilst not necessarily in my top 5 temples, I would still go and visit the silver Pavilion if you have time and plan on walking along the Philosopher's Path. The walk up the street to arrive at the temple is lovely with lots of tourist shops. You then walk pass extremely tall flowering hedges to get to the entrance. What makes this temple special is its sand sculptures, the interesting almost arabian styled window-frames and the lovely moss covered gardens that you pass as you walk past the sand garden and ponds up the hill where you will find lovely views of Kyoto. I couldnt believe all the moss and the green tranquility of the garden. I had to touch it and had to stop myself from lying down on the spongey garden beds that looked so inviting.
Please note that this temple is not silver and you cant enter the pavilion building- just the gardens. At one point there is a small shrine like building that I can only assume was a monk's living quarters. The gardens also contains a small tearoom.
This temple was very busy and appears to be a popular choice on the tour bus route but notwitstanding this, I was able to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the gardens.
To get to the pavilion, we caught the train then had to walk about 15 minutes to arrive at the pavillion. What we hadn't appreciated was that this entire area is full of temples and sights so you can easily fill a whole day wandering around stumbling across beautiful things to see.

1  Thank CathCPerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

I left a bit disappointed and do not understand why is this temple so highly rated. Perhaps because I had first visited Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavillion). It is not even made of silver, and a bit far from other attractions. I would still go (not bad), but as a first attraction to see.

Thank kiwiandorange
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2013

Silver Pavilion had a special quality. I love Japanese gardens as a rule, but this one excelled for me. Perhaps it was the huge, central, sand sculpture that set up a magic of the place. Going uphill also gave more dimension to the garden scene. At the end of our walk we paused to meditate near a man building a new sand sculpture in a courtyard - very sweet quiet time. Loved the gift shop by the way - the meditation did NOT quell my drive to buy cool Japanese arts and crafts.

Thank Anne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2013

What I like about Ginkakuji is that it is my end destination of my "Nanzenji+Philosopher's Path+Ginkakuji" day tour. A package like this will make your visits in Kyoto significant and stand out. From Nanzenji, walk along Philosopher's Path to reach Ginkakuji. At Ginkakuji, the zen stone gardens is one of the best I ever seen in Kyoto. there is a walk along a sloped moss garden. This walk early in the morning or during a overcast day give me a very mysterious and cool feel. After the you are finished with ginkakuji, exit the shrine and there is a Kyoto sight seeing bus that will take you to Gion and Kyoto Station for 220 yen. Please note that this temple has a entrance fee of 500 yen per head and the last entry time is 430pm and the shrine will close at 5pm. To fully appreciate Ginkakuji, time your walk from Philosopher's path properly so that you will be able to be at Ginkakuji latest 4pm and you can at least spend 1 hour inside. The downside on Ginkakuji is that Unlike Kinkakuji, the pavilion is not Silver unlike Kinkakuji which is covered in gold colour. The landscape is not as beautiful as Kinkakuji. However, I will prefer Kinkakuji anytime because of its proximity from philosopher's path, zen stone garden and moss garden.

1  Thank Slasher1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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