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A golden pavilion nestled in the greens of Kitayama.

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During the Muromachi Period, the 3rd Ashikaga shogun, Yoshimitsu, made an abode in this temple called Kitayamadono. It was named as Rokuon-ji after the posthumous name of Yoshimitsu. He had also built Shokoku-ji Temple, and Rokuon-ji, his retirement home, was turned into a branch temple of Shokoku-ji.

Right after passing the gate, You will see a big bell that was created in Oshiki-cho scale (closer to A in western music notation) back in Kamakura Period. The common name, Kinkaku-ji, came from the pavilion by the pond that is covered with gold foil. Thin pieces made of sawara tree (kokera) are used for the roof, two or three layers of gold foil glued on the pavilion with lacquer, etc. show off Ashikaga Yoshimitsu’s prosperity even to this day.

In 1950, a fire burned it down, but it was reconstructed in 1955. When it had been disassembled and repaired in Meiji Period, detailed drawings and information were preserved, which made the almost perfect restoration possible.

Walking further from the bell tower, you will see Sekkatei which is said to have been built by the direction of Horin Josho who was the chief priest at Kinkaku-ji during Edo Period, and Fudo-Do built by Ukita Hideie in the late 1500s.reliquary hall.


  • The pavilion and the pond bring different beauty in each season.
  • The tour route is one way round. You are expected not to go back.
  • Next to the pavilion, there is clear water at Gingasen, which is said to have been used for tea ceremonies by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.
  • Rikushu no Matsu in the shape of a ship is said to be Ashikaga Yoshimitsu’s bonsai pine transplanted here.


  • Kinkaku-ji (Photo Credit: PIXTA)

    Kinkaku-ji (Photo Credit: PIXTA)

  • Kinkaku-ji (Photo Credit: PIXTA)

    Kinkaku-ji (Photo Credit: PIXTA)

  • Kinkaku-ji (Photo Credit: PIXTA)

    Kinkaku-ji (Photo Credit: PIXTA)


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Name in Japanese
Postal Code
1 Kinkakujicho, Kita-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
075-461-0013 (Rokuon-ji Temple office)
Open every day
Adult: 500 yen, Elementary or Middle school student: 300 yen
From JR Kyoto Station, ride Kyoto Municipal Bus, Route MN205 that passes Hankyu Kyoto Line’s Shijo Kawaramachi Station, Keihan Main Line’s Sanjo Station or JR Enmachi Station, get off at Kinkaku-ji Michi, and walk 5 min.
Official Website
Official Website (English)