A unique temple, which is stunning, surrounded by a tranquil pond. The temple is vey captivating, the gold leaf coated temple against the lush green background. You will be amazed by the splendour of the golden reflection of the temple in the pond where it stands. Going to Kyoto and not seeing the Golden Pavilion would be like going to Paris and skipping the Eiffel tower. This is definitely worth a visit when in Kyoto. It is an easy walk around the gardens with great pictures at every turn. Make sure you take your time to enjoy it. The path set around the grounds is set up to get you right to the golden pavilion and then quickly lead you out of the grounds. You can’t go back at the end so make sure you take your time to enjoy the sights.
Kinkaku-ji is one of Kyoto’s leading temples. Its formal name is Rokuon-ji. It was built at the end of the 14th century originally as a villa for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the shogun at the time. After Yoshimitsu’s death, as indicated in his will, the building was converted into a temple of the Zen sect of Buddhism, which is famous for the practice of zazen, or religious meditation (a major method of Buddhist training, and method of meditation for establishing one’s foundation in Zen Buddhism). The shining Kinkaku (“Golden Pavilion”) is a symbol of Kyoto. This temple has been burnt down many times in the flames of war and other conflagrations, and more recently by arson, which incident has been made famous by Yukio Mishima’s novel, Kinkakuji (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion). However, it was restored in 1955, with major improvement work being done on it in 1987, so that all of the gold leaf has been replaced. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage, Kinkaku-ji is one of the historical buildings most representative of Japan.
The image of the temple richly adorned in gold leaf reflects beautifully in the water of Kyokochi, the mirror pond. On a clear sunny day, the temple literary shines! The gold sparkles in the reflection of the lake offering the most amazing view. We visited Kinkakuji late in the afternoon, when the sun was not far off setting. The temple lit up and was literally glowing, casting an impressive reflection on the lake. It is very relaxing and peace place and we TOTTALY loved it.