Japan travel guide: Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion


Japan travel guide: Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion

Japan travel guide: Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion

One site you absolutely can't miss if you visit northern Kyoto is the Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion, a gorgeous Zen temple constructed in 1393 for Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga. Perhaps the most stunning parts of this three-story structure are the top two floors, which are covered in gold leaf.

Surrounded by a pond and a garden, the Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion is a place of natural beauty that also — like most attractions in Japan — has a rich history.

"[Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga] lived here in luxury as Kyoto's people suffered the effects of severe famine, earthquakes and plague — as many as 1,000 people died each day during this period," notes japan-guide.com "After his death, his son converted the building into a Zen temple of the Rinzai school named Rokuonji, in accordance with Ashikaga's wishes. This was an established tradition and many of Kyoto's temples are former retirement villas."

After walking through the inside of the Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion, visitors can check out the souvenir shop outside the temple and have matcha tea and sweets in a tea garden located on the premises. There are also a number of statues to admire — some of which are said to bring good luck if you throw coins at them.

If you're interested in visiting the Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion — as well as dozens of other incredible attractions in Kyoto, Tokyo, Hakone, Nara and other beautiful Japan travel destinations — you may want to consider signing up for Japan Deluxe Tour's fully escorted Golden Route of Japan package. It includes five nights of hotel accommodations, 10 meals, round-trip airfare transfers and more to make your trip to Japan easy and stress-free.

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