With its top two stories completely coated in pure gold leaf, Kinkaku-ji gleams in the sunlight and reflects off the pond at its edge. This Zen Buddhist temple started as a villa for a powerful statesman in the 14th century, before its conversion to a temple by the family of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. After a high-profile arson in 1950, the temple was rebuilt in its current form with ostentatious gold leaf coating to echo the extravagance of aristocratic culture in Yoshimitsu’s time. Look out for the different historical architectural styles represented by each floor of the temple. Plan to visit Kinkaku-ji and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Kyoto attractions using our Kyoto online holiday planner.
Tours To Kinkaku-ji
Kyoto Highlights 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $125
Duration: 10 hours
Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $149
Duration: 11 hours
Kyoto Morning Tour - Golden Pavilion and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Kyoto BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $68
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
The temple of the golden pavilion is one of the most popular temple in Japan. Not only the Golden Pavilion, but also the Japanese Garden around the temple are stunning beautiful too. It's highly... more »
Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺, literally translated "Temple of the Golden Pavilion" due to it’s brilliant appearance.), officially named Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺), is a Zen Buddhist temple. The ambiance in the garden... more »
Packed of people when we came, however it was a very nice place. The temple looked surreal, and you can buy some gifts and Souvenirs outside of the temple. Avoid going around midday tho, too many people makes it hard to take some good decent photos. Easy to get here by bus. Very fast services in Kyoto and constant so you don’t have to wait very long. We came in summer and it was really hot. Definitely will return, maybe a different season tho.
It's a victim of its own popularity. There's just way too many of us tourists to make it a pleasant experience. Pro tip, go early, or late, when the sun is low on the sky, so that pictures will have a good glimmer. Evening sun reflects of the lake for a nice shimmer as well.
Plan your trip to Kyoto
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Kyoto
Side trips from Kyoto
See all ›
Hidden gems in Kyoto
See all ›
Nearby attractions in Kyoto
Plans to Kinkaku-ji by other users
15 days in South Korea & Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 5 days in Kyoto BY A USER FROM CANADA May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 32 days in Japan & South Korea BY A USER FROM MEXICO January, popular sights Preferences: January Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 17 days in Japan BY A USER FROM CROATIA May, slow & easy, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Slow & easy 22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM TURKEY March, popular sights Preferences: March Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 18 days in Japan BY A USER FROM TURKEY March, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems Preferences: March, culture, outdoors, historic sites Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium