All That Glitters at Kinkaku-ji

We went to a decent number of temples in Japan, and none were as shiny as Kinkaku-ji. This is perhaps not surprising since its popular name (金閣寺) translates as “temple of the golden pavilion.”



We visited Kinkaku-ji on one of the days I was trying to take it easy on my injured knee, and therefore I walked around it slowly and tried to find places to sit. It was difficult to find a sitting spot within few of the pavilion, unfortunately, especially given the crowds.



But I was still able to enjoy my time there in spite of all that. Kinkaku-ji is a Zen Buddhist temple that was transformed from a private villa into a temple site in 1397. It has burned down at least twice in its long history, and the present pavilion dates to 1955. It is covered in gold leaf to give it that shiny golden appearance.



Kinkaku-ji is beautiful. At least, I thought so. There was some disagreement in our party over whether it looked really cool or just ostentatious and gaudy.



The path goes around the pagoda and allows you to view it from many different angles.



The landscaping of the temple in general is also gorgeous, of course.


There is more to see than just the golden pavilion, as well, such as the White Snake Pagoda below.



Though, if you’re like me, you’ll be absolutely captivated by the pavilion itself.



There is a snack stand near the temple entrance with plenty of benches if you want to rest and have a bite to eat. Matcha soft cream, perhaps?



After I got home, I assembled a little model of the pavilion that I got, to add it to my decorations permanently.



Do you like the look of Kinkaku-ji?

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