Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
Truth be told The Kinkaku-ji temple or the Golden Pavilion is one of the most beautiful temples in the Kyoto area. And yes, your pictures will be just like a postcard. The photos don’t lie, it looks exactly how the photos appear. It is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Kyoto. In other words a must see.
Back in 2008 when I visited Japan for the first time, I told myself that the first thing to do was to visit that Golden Pavilion, I have seen many pictures of it, too many of them. It was all over the guide books, travel magazine, internet, TV. I even read Mishima’s book about the monk that found it too beautiful, which resulted in him burning it down. It felt as if it was a sign from god or someone and that it was my duty to visit that Pavilion. When I arrived, walked through the pathway and made that turn, There it was! Seeing it at first sight is really breathtaking.
Even if it is my second time, I still get that same feeling. The Golden Pavilion has a beautiful water body reflecting the golden temple’s image. Yes, you should expect a crowd, there will be lots of people adoring the temple. What might be entertaining are the guards trying to dissolve any traffic and funneling visitors into a one way system.
But it’s worth it. Just look at the picture! Entrance towards the temples complex. Area where youll buy your entrance ticket, School kids joining our visit. One must not forget that this is a Zen Buddist temple. Going to Kyoto and not seeing the Golden Pavillion would be like going to Paris and skipping the Eiffel tower. For some reason it feels like im advertising the watch. I think that me too I would burn it down, It looks to perfect to be true! btw you guys should go read Yukio Mishima‘s 1956 book The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. The head priest’s former living quarters (hojo) Beautiful weather, I bet you even on an overcast day, the beautiful temple of the golden pavilion is still breathtaking. The roof which is capped with a golden phoenix. Ive heard that only that is in real Gold and the rest not, so many theories I cant be bothered reading to be honest. To me its GOLD! ^^ A quick note, Entrance inside the Pavilion is forbidden, only a selected amount can enter which means you must be super important like the Emperor for example. However the closest you can get is about 5 meters, so that should be alright to accept. As you make your way past the Pavilion, you get to see the beautiful gardens of the complex, Another best friend for your camera :) As you can see, the place was pretty much busy, too much traffic. A view of the Pavilion from a far, the surroundings are so nice to see. Continuing through the garden takes you to the Sekkatei Teahouse, added to Kinkakuji during the Edo Period. but unfortunately no more tea time as the place is not in use anymore. Near the exit youll find this Fudo Hall, a small temple hall which houses a statue of Fudo Myoo, one of the Five Wisdom Kings and protector of Buddhism.
Kinkaku-ji is located north of Kyoto. The best way is to take the Bus no 101 or 250 which cost 220 Yen, if you can spend more than Taxi should be fine. Alternatively you can take the Karasuma Subway Line to Kitaoji Station and from then on walk or take the bus (101, 204 or 205).
Closed: No closing days
Admission: 400 Yen
Fabrice is a blogger, full time university student, web enthusiast and founder of Fateful Encounters.. This blog is his final haven when everything seems nuisances; urging him to assess and to share his thoughts and his own findings to the world, or at least to his fellow neighbors in the blog sphere.
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