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Kinkaku-ji Kyoto Japan
History of the great Kinkakuji Zen Temple:
“Kinkakuji” is the most popular Zen temple in Japan. The temple’s main pavilion has covering with gold leaves that shimmer in front of the pond – Kyoko-chi (Mirror Pond). The temple was originally built in 1397 as a villa for the Court noble Kintsune Saionji and improved by the second owner Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. “Rokuonji” is the former name of the temple which was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. He desired to convert the place as a Zen temple. Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu’s son Yoshimochi fulfilled his after desire after his demise in 1408. During Onin War the great temple met more destruction.
This golden temple is situated at the foot of the Kinugasa Hill and in the northwest of Kyoto. Devotees can make a short walk to the north from Hirano Shrine and Waratenjin Shrine. “Waratenjin Shrine” is famous for fulfilling the prayers of safe childbirth and easy pregnancy. “Hirano Shrine” is in the Kyoto city. This temple is popular for its trees and garden.
Key points about Kinkakuji Zen Temple
- Kinkakuji temple is kept open from 9 am to 5 pm every day and it is opened year around
- The entrance charge to Kinkakuji for adults is 400 yen and children up to junior high school 300 yen.
- UNESCO recognized Kinkakuji as one of the historical building of Japan and listed in World Cultural Heritage.
- The temple’s garden encompasses a charming Teahouse from where the people can taste a cup of Matcha tea and traditional sweet
- 30-50 minutes is usually the visiting time inside and outside the temple
- 3-storey Kinkakuji Pavilion’s upper two walls are covered with golden foil and there is bronze phoenix statue on the stone roof.
- This golden pavilion is located in Kyoto, the seventh largest city in Japan.
- In 1987 some parts of the temple were resurfaced with gold plates and some interior were remolded in 2003
- In the three-storey temple, the upper two stories have a covering of gold layers.
- The second-floor design represents a Zen style whereas the ground floor showcases the shinden-zukuri style.
- The total area of the temple ground is 1, 32,000 square meters and the Kyoko-chi Pond alone occupies 60,600 square meters, includes islands of various sizes such as Nakajima and Iwa-Jima.
- The golden temple’s reflection strikes the pond.
Best time to visit Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion Temple:
Weather is favorable in spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) seasons and they are the appropriate months to visit Kyoto. It is better to avoid June and August due to the heavy rainfall and hot sun. Japan’s vacation starts on the first week of May, so it would be a favorable time to visit all the places in Kyoto.
Popular Festivals in Japan:
- Yuki Matsuri, Snow Festival (Sapporo) – Snow sculpture – February
- Hakata Dontaku Matsuri (Fukuoka) – Hakata Dontaku Port Festival – 3rd and 4th of May
- Kanda Matsuri (Tokyo) – Festival Kanda Matsuri Shrine- May Mid
- Gion Matsuri (Kyoto) – Shrine Festival – Entire July
- Tenjin Matsuri (Osaka)- Land and river procession – 24th to 25th July
- Nebuta Matsuri (Aomori) – Lantern floats depicting human figures dance – 2nd to 7th of August
- Tanabata Matsuri (Sendai, Miyagi)- Chinese legendary festival – 6th to 8th August
- Awa Odori (Tokushima)- Traditional Dancing Festival-12th to 15th August
- Kochi Yosakoi Matsuri (Kochi) – Old folk songs based dance- August Mid
- Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri (Kishiwada, Osaka) – Hoping and dancing on the wooden floats- September Mid
Favorite sighting spots in Kyoto
This is the most famous Zen temple in Japan. This tiny rock garden contains 15 rocks and white gravel, a pond. The Karesansui rock garden is a national special landscape and this temple is listed under 17 world cultural heritage sites of Kyoto.
Ninomaru-Goten building and one of its three gardens are primary attractions of Nijo-jo-castle. Ninomaru-Goten mansion is a national treasure. Ninomaru Teien garden possesses a history of national landscape and it comes under 17 World cultural heritage sites of Kyoto.
This is a popular theater where the tourists enjoy the 7 kinds of Japanese traditional arts and entertainment in a single setting. The 7 types of entertainments are Japanese Harp, Puppet Play, Tea Ceremony, Kyoto-style Dance, Flower Arrangement, Comic Play, and Court Music.
This temple is famous in Kyoto and more than 4 million people visit the place annually. Hondo is the key attraction of the temple; The main hall has been existing on a steep slope which has a stage in front of it. 139 pillars help to support the structure of the temple, the workers had not used any nail while building the temple. Honda is considered as a national treasure.
Kyoto Station Building, Kyoto Gosho, Ginkaku-Ji temple, Handy Craft Center, Heian-Jingu shrine, Sanjusangen-do temple, Arashiyama and Sagano district, To-Ji temple, Nanzen-Ji temple are the other amazing visiting spots in Kyoto.
Places to Board & Lodge:
The tourists can see many hotels, guest houses, star hotels in and around Kinkakuji temple. It is better to get a clear guidance before start your trip to such a traditional shrine.