Japan -03/31- 04/08/2017

Kinkaku-ji, Golden Pavilion -4/7/2017

Today, we are visiting Kinkaku-Ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) a Zen Buddhist temple in the northern part of Kyoto. It is Kyoto's most famous temple and attracting a large number of visitors annually. 

Kinkaku-Ji, formally known as Rokuonji, the temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will it became a Zen temple after his death in 1408. Kinkaku-Ji was the inspiration for the similarly named Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), built by Yoshimitsu's grandson, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, on the other side of the city a few decades later.


Map of Kinkaju-Ji domaine.

Kinkaju-Ji is designated as a National Special Historic Site and a National Special Landscape, and it is one of 17 locations making up the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.



The entrance




Peaceful landscape.



To get to Kinkaju-Ji temple you have to go through the garden.  I am sure it is beautiful when all trees are in bloom. 

Unfortunately for us, it was a rainy day but it still does not take away the Zen feeling of the place.





You can see Kinkaju-Ji temple in the back ground.



The top two floors of Kinkaju-Ji temple are completely covered in gold leaf.

Kinkaju-Ji temple was built to echo the extravagant Kitayama culture that developed in the wealthy aristocratic circles of Kyoto during Yoshimitsu's times. Each floor represents a different style of architecture.   

The first floor is built in the Shinden style used for palace buildings during the Heian Period, and with its natural wood pillars and white plaster walls contrasts yet complements the gilded upper stories of the pavilion. Statues of the Shaka Buddha (historical Buddha) and Yoshimitsu are stored in the first floor. Although it is not possible to enter the pavilion, the statues can be viewed from across the pond if you look closely, as the front windows of the first floor are usually kept open.

The second floor is built in the Bukke style used in samurai residences, and has its exterior completely covered in gold leaf. Inside is a seated Kannon Bodhisattva surrounded by statues of the Four Heavenly Kings; however, the statues are not shown to the public. Finally, the third and uppermost floor is built in the style of a Chinese Zen Hall, is gilded inside and out, and is capped with a golden phoenix

Kinkaju-Ji temple is an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond, and is the only building left of Yoshimitsu's former retirement complex. It has burned down numerous times throughout its history including twice during the Onin War, a civil war that destroyed much of Kyoto; and once again more recently in 1950 when it was set on fire by a fanatic monk. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955.




Perfect water reflection of the temple.





After viewing Kinkaju-Ji temple from across the pond, you will pass by the head priest's former living quarters (hojo) which are known for their painted sliding doors (fusuma). 



However it is not not open to the public but you can admire the exterior.


The path once again passes by Kinkaju-Ji from behind then leads through the temple's gardens which have retained their original design from Yoshimitsu's days.


We are now on the other side of the pond so you can get closer to Kinkaju-Ji temple.



Hoa and I stading the closest we can get to the temple


Massive trees that must be here a long time ago...



Statues in the garden that people throw coins at for luck




You can see that a lot of people are tossing coins... hopely it will bring them luck.


More coins toss...


The temple's gardens which have retained their original design from Yoshimitsu's days.


The gardens hold a few other spots of interest including Anmintaku Pond that is said to never dry up,



Interesting tree trunk and I am guessing the tree is needing extra support.



Path insdie the garden




Typical Japanese house from the Edo period.



This place looks really peaceful and zen.

Continuing through the garden takes you to the Sekkatei Teahouse, right at the exit.



Very interesting roof with layers upon layers of branches! 

Next... Tea house



Our house


Photo Gallery

 Mon  petit coin