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“10 minutes & it's over - skip it” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kinkakuji Temple

Kinkakuji Temple
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Private Highlights of Kyoto Tour
Ranked #2 of 1,012 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Level Contributor
55 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“10 minutes & it's over - skip it”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2013

If you're on a scheduled tour & this is included, okay - it's a pretty gold-leafed building on a lake.
If you're looking for a substantial site to spend time at, this isn't it.
If you have limited time in Kyoto, there are better (and closer)places to go. I have no idea why this is ranked higher than other sites in every book travel site. meh.

My husband and I do our own itineraries. We had 2 full days to see they key sights of Kyoto. We went here to see something special and spend some time walking around the site, and after paying our 500yen (400?) and walking leisurely for 7 minutes, the whole thing was OVER. Here's how it goes:

Pay fee, get ticket. Take a few steps & get put into a photo corral area with everyone else (TONS of people). Look at golden pavilion, take a few pics. Then you're allowed to leave corral and walk for half a minute 3/4 around to back of building. It's not open so you cant go in it. Windows aren't open so you can't see in it. You see a gold-leafed plain outside. Climb a low hill, about ten steps, look at a pond with fountain, walk 5 more steps, there' s a rustic wooden building that you're told is a tea house of yore. Take 7 steps down, there's a trinket hut (mobbed) , the bathrooms and modern tea cafe w ice ream. Take 10 steps & you're in a village of trinket souvenir huts made to look like part of the "theme park". But it's not ... You unknowingly have walked OUT of the attraction now (no sign or gate to indicate this) but you'll know it if you turn on your heel to hit that bathroom that's 5 feet behind you and find an old official lady telling you there is absolutely NO re-entry to the park. Huh?? That's all there was to it.

In short, if you're going to spend the time & energy to get to this place on your own (not as part of a tour), unless youREALLY have to see a 2-story gold leafed building, I'd skip it.

Well worth the effort instead: Nijo castle w/squeaky floors and climbing Fushimi

Visited June 2013
Thank LemonCake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Jabail, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Wow, fantastic and beautiful. You must go visit.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2013

The Golden Pavilion was beautiful when we visited. The gardens were very green and lush. As every thing in Japan was, this place was also so clean. Be sure to bring your camera because there will be a lot of wonderful photos to take. I felt at peace here and hope to go back some day.

Visited July 2012
Thank SandyJ86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
358 reviews
201 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“Must see”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2013

A must see if you are in Kyoto, lovely structure. The whole compound is not huge, able to complete it in less than 20 minutes.

Visited June 2013
Thank jellybellymelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heidelberg, Germany
Level Contributor
71 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2013 via mobile

If you love gardens, serenity, architecture then you eill love this place. Its a bit of a bus ride. About 25 mins from our hotel Royal Park. Best on a sunny day for pictures. We went on a Saturday and it was very busy although the Japanese have a way of being tranquil even in crowds. We have lived in Asia almost 2 yrs and thoroughly love the Japanese culture. There is nothing much to eat inside or out. The restaurant or two around were pricey or tour bus stops. Bring snacks. Going during the week if you can and maybe afternoon when less tours go through. Still worth it though.

1 Thank mommoves
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Level Contributor
108 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“A must”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2013

Although it was raining when I went there it is a must see in Kyoto. The gardens around are beautiful and it is in a very beautiful location

Visited June 2013
Thank Laurent D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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