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 $128
Duration: 10 hours
Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Trip - Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Kyoto BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $152
Duration: 11 hours
Kyoto Morning Tour - Golden Pavilion and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Kyoto BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $69
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
One of the most famous views in Kyoto and in the whole Japan. Golden Pavillon built in the end of the XIV century and burnt a few times (and reconstructed in detail every time after burning... more »
Well, I think this picture says it all! It is one of the UNESCO! I went with my husband in October. Weather was fabulous. Entrance fee was about 4 dollars.Totlly worth it! Besides this temple, there..... 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.
Places to stay near Kinkaku-ji
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.
See all ›
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 Japan BY A USER FROM SERBIA March, popular sights PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Tokyo, Kyoto & Osaka BY A USER FROM MEXICO April, culture, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Japan BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 26 days in Asia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 29 days in Asia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium