Sunday, June 10, 2012

Golden Pavilion, Kinkakuji

The most popular temple by tourists visiting Kyoto is Golden Pavilion.  It is a Shariden, a Buddhist hall containing relics of Buddha.  The pavilion is the part of a temple that is formally named Rokuonji-temple. 

This Rokuonji Temple is inscribed on the World Heritage List as a Historic Monument of Ancient Kyoto. 

Through the first gate, there is the approach covered by green nature toward the temple.  Here is the temple bell.  You can ring the bell if you want.. though you have to pay JPY300.  Ring the bell is greeting to the Buddha.

When you pay the admission fee at the ticket booth, the good luck paper charm is given instead of ticket. Do not lose this and take to your home!  Through the main gate, we could see the golden pavilion.  Let's admire the reflection of the temple on the pond.

Originally built in the Kamaukura period as an aristocrat's country estate, and taken possession of in 1397 by retired shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, who turned it into a supremely refined and elegant country villa called Kitayam-dono, Rokuonji's birth as a Buddhist temple occurred in 1422, when, following Yoshimitsu's death, it was converted into a Zen temple. The pavilion was actually burned in 1950 by a young monk, and the reproduction was completed in 1955, and re-covering by gold foil was completed 1987.  The total cost at that time was about $7 million! (JPY740,000,000)


Gold foil on lacquer covers the upper two level of Kinkaku, and shining phoenix stands on top of the shingled roof. The first level is built in the style of 11th century imperial aristocracy, the second level is the style of warrior aristocracy, and the top level is in the Chinese Zen style.  

The temple site is large and you can also admire the garden and buildings.


The Sekka-tei Tea house.

The hall dedicated to Fudo Myoo.

The admission fee for this temple is JPY400 (for adult).

Experience Japan!