History of Kinkakuji
Kinkakuji Temple is a pagoda temple of the Shokokuji school of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, and its history can be traced back more than 600 years.
Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the third shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate, took over the Saionji family’s house and garden in Kitayama, Kyoto, and in 1397 began the construction of the Kitayama-dono, a mountain villa, and build the Shariden.
Yoshimitsu continued to live in the Shariden at Kinkakuji Temple until his death at the age of 51. The Shariden is the building in which the remains of the Buddha, or Buddha’s reliquary, are enshrined. After Yoshimitsu’s death, Kitayama-den ceased to serve as the shogun’s residence.
In 1994, Kinkakuji Temple was registered as a World Heritage Site as a “Cultural Asset of The Ancient Capital of Kyoto.” Today, it is a popular spot for tourists from overseas. The Kinkakuji Temple has become one of the most famous tourist attractions in Japan.
Places to See at Kinkakuji
Without telling, you may view the scenic view of the golden temple with well-maintained Japanese Gardens.
The temple’s structure is a three-level temple structure, the topmost level being Kukkouchou, followed by Choondou, then Hosuin. In the Buddhist religion, it is believed that the lower level washes away the unnecessary mind, with Chouondou tells you the truth. The top level has the meaning of “ultimate.”
Kinkakuji is famous for the main golden temple, however, it is the not only structure in the area. There is “Sekkatei” which are tea rooms at the area. This structure uses the parts of the older pagoda building used during the Edo period. From the tea room, it is possible to view the whole garden and the golden temple.
At the entrance is located “Soumon” which means the main gate. The Soumon has five lines indicating the highest level.
Time: 9am – 5pm Everyday
Address: 1 Kinkakuji-cho, Kitaku, Kyoto City, Kyoto-fu
Access: Bus City101 / City206 (From Kyoto Station to Kinkakuji-michi Stop.)
Price: Adult 400yen / Child 300yen