Lily Crossley-Baxter
a year ago
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Appearing on the cover of almost every guidebook to Japan, the glimmering gold pagoda of Kinkakuji is a must-see spot (and yes, it is better in person). This means it gets more than a little busy, so making it your first stop is a good idea if you’re keen to have a little more space. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the gold-leaf covered temple is backed by the Kitayama mountains, the North-west of the city. A grand pavilion surrounded by gardens, the grounds were once home to a statesman’s villa, before Yoshimitsu, an Ashikaga shogun transformed the site into a heaven-like garden surrounding the central pavilion. Following his death in 1408, it became a Zen Temple under the Rinza sect of Buddhism and has the official name of Rokuon-ji. Famously, the temple was burned down in 1950 by a young monk and the current structure was rebuilt over the following five years. Today, visitors can follow a designated path through the grounds with multiple viewing points across the pond and from the garden. There is a teahouse offering matcha and wagashi (small sweets to accompany tea) which is particularly lovely in winter. There are also small gift shops and a shrine in the grounds. Note that you cannot return along the path, so be sure to take your time as you go. Hours: 9am - 5pm, no regular closed days. [Images: 1. JordyMeow/Pixabay, 2. LCB, 3.LCB]
  • Details
  • 1 Kinkakujichō, Kita-ku, Kyoto, 603-8361, Japan
  • Entry
    Standard 400.00 JPY
    Kids 300.00 JPY Under 15
  • Website
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    Physical 1
    Culture 4
    Fun 4
    Education 1
  • Tags
    Family friendly
    Tourist must-do

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