Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Kyoto Sights

Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion)

  • 1 Kinkaku-ji-cho Map It
  • Kita-ku
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 09/20/2013

Fodor's Review

Possibly the world's most ostentatious retirement cottage, the magnificent gold-sheathed Kinkaku-ji was built by Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga (1358–1409). He ordered it built in 1393 in anticipation of the time when he would quit politics—the following year, in fact—to manage the affairs of state through the new shogun, his 10-year-old son. On Yoshimitsu's death, his son followed his father's wishes and converted the villa into a temple.

The current temple was reconstructed in the 1950s after a monk set fire to the standing structure. (His internal conflict is the focus of Yukio Mishima's 1956 famous novel Temple of the Golden Pavilion, published the year after construction had finished.) The top two stories are coated with gold leaf, as per Yoshimitsu's original vision, a spectacular sight when reflected in the pond's still waters. To get here, take Bus 12, 59, 101, 102, 204, or 205 to Kinkaku-ji-mae.

Sight Information


1 Kinkaku-ji-cho, Kyōto, 603-8361, Japan

Map It

Sight Details:

  • ¥400
  • Daily 9–5

Updated 09/20/2013


Map View

Map of

What's Nearby

  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in Kyoto

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss



No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.