Kyoto Tourist Attractions: How to enjoy Kinkakuji Temple



Kyoto attracts tourists from all over the world with its rich history and culture. One of the most popular tourist attractions is Kinkakuji Temple. Officially known as Rokuonji Temple, this temple was built in the 14th century and has attracted visitors with its beautiful appearance.

The main attraction of Kinkakuji is its magnificent gilded building. The reflection of Kinkakuji on the surface of Kagamiko Pond is breathtaking, and combined with the seasonal scenery, the temple looks different each time you visit. Especially special are Kinkakuji Temple in winter when it is covered with snow and Kinkakuji Temple in spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

The beautiful garden surrounding Kinkakuji Temple also offers visitors a chance to enjoy the traditional Japanese garden design. A leisurely stroll around the pond and spending some quiet time is one of the attractions. The garden is also dotted with tea ceremony rooms and various stone monuments, which allow visitors to feel the history and culture of the temple.

Thus, Kinkakuji Temple is a place where its beautiful architecture and harmony of nature are in perfect harmony, and it leaves a deep impression on visitors. When you visit Kyoto, please visit Kinkakuji Temple and enjoy its charm to the fullest.

History and culture of tourist attractions

Kinkakuji Temple, officially known as Rokuonji Temple, is a symbol of Kyoto’s rich history and culture. The temple was built in 1397 by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the third shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate. Originally built as Yoshimitsu’s villa, it was later remodeled as a Zen temple.

The most famous feature of Kinkaku-ji Temple is its ornate gold leaf covering. This gold leaf symbolizes the Pure Land world and represents the paradise of the Pure Land. The building itself is a three-story structure, with each layer having a different architectural style. The first floor is in the palace style, the second floor is in the samurai style, and the third floor is in the Zen Buddhist style, all fused into one building.

The Kinkakuji is also surrounded by a beautiful garden, where visitors can enjoy the traditional Japanese techniques of garden design. This garden is called a kaiyu-style garden with a pond, and visitors can walk around Kyokko Pond and enjoy the scenery of the four seasons. The autumn leaves in fall and the snowy landscape in winter are especially attractive to visitors.

Kinkakuji Temple is also important for its historical background: in 1950, it was completely destroyed by arson, but was restored in 1955. A great deal of skill and time went into the restoration process, and as a result, the temple retains its present beautiful appearance.

Furthermore, Kinkakuji embodies the spirit of Zen. The temple’s interior is quiet and tranquil, and visitors can feel a sense of inner peace. Visitors can enjoy matcha (powdered green tea) in the tea ceremony room in the garden and experience Japanese tea ceremony culture.

Places to visit

When visiting Kinkakuji Temple, it is important to consider the time of year to visit, as each season offers its own beauty. The best times to visit are spring and fall. In spring, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, turning the area around Kinkakuji pink. In the fall, the beautifully colored autumn leaves add to the contrast between the golden hues of Kinkakuji Temple and the autumn colors of the leaves.

Main Highlights

  1. the Golden Pavilion
  • Kinkakuji’s symbol, the Golden Pavilion, is a gorgeous building entirely covered in gold leaf. The reflection of the Kinkaku Pavilion in Kagamiko Pond is breathtaking and fascinates visitors. 2.
  1. Kagamiko Pond
  • Kagamiko Pond, which surrounds Kinkakuji Temple, is the centerpiece of the garden. Walking around the pond, visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the four seasons. In particular, the reflection of the Golden Pavilion in the pond is not to be missed.
  1. tea ceremony room
  • Traditional teahouses are scattered throughout the garden. Here, visitors can enjoy matcha (powdered green tea) in a quiet environment and get a taste of Japanese tea ceremony culture.

Points of Attention at Sightseeing Spots

When visiting Kinkakuji Temple, you can enjoy sightseeing comfortably by observing a few precautions.

  • Avoid crowds: Kinkakuji is a popular tourist destination and can be very crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. We recommend visiting early in the morning or on weekdays.
  • Photography: Photography is permitted inside Kinkakuji, but please be considerate of other tourists. In particular, the use of tripods and drones is prohibited.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes for visiting the temple, as you will often be walking in the garden.
  • Observe silence: Kinkakuji Temple is a place that embodies the spirit of Zen. Maintain a quiet environment and be considerate of other visitors and worshippers.

In this way, Kinkakuji Temple offers many attractions for visitors. Enjoy the seasonal beauty of the scenery, the historic architecture, and the quiet Zen atmosphere of Kyoto.


Access to Kinkakuji Temple is very convenient, and there are many ways to get there from Kyoto Station. Below are the accesses from Kyoto Station to Kinkakuji Temple.

Access from Kyoto Station

City buses are the most convenient way to access Kinkakuji Temple. The main accesses from Kyoto Station are as follows

City Bus Route 101

From the Kyoto Station bus stop, take city bus line 101 and get off at the “Kinkakuji-michi” stop. The bus ride takes about 40 minutes. From the bus stop to Kinkakuji Temple is about a 5-minute walk.

City Bus Route 205

From the Kyoto Station bus stop, take City Bus No. 205 and get off at the Kinkakuji-michi stop. The bus ride takes about 40 minutes. From the bus stop to Kinkakuji Temple is about a 5-minute walk.

City buses run frequently, departing approximately every 10-15 minutes. It is recommended that you leave a little extra time as the buses can be crowded during the tourist season and on weekends.

Other Transportation


It takes about 20 minutes from Kyoto Station to Kinkakuji Temple by cab. Cabs are also convenient if you have a lot of luggage or if public transportation is crowded.

Bicycle rental

Bicycle rental is also widely used in Kyoto City. One option is to rent a bicycle near Kyoto Station and ride it to Kinkakuji Temple. The trip takes about 30-40 minutes. Bicycle transportation is recommended as it allows you to enjoy the scenery of Kyoto while sightseeing.

Either way, access to Kinkakuji is easy and comfortable. Please use public transportation, cab, or bicycle to visit Kinkakuji Temple while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Kyoto.

Opening Hours and Admission Fees

When visiting Kinkakuji Temple, it is advisable to check information about opening hours and admission fees in advance to enjoy a smooth sightseeing tour. Below are the details of Kinkakuji Temple’s business hours and admission fees.

Business Hours

The regular business hours of Kinkakuji Temple are as follows:

  • Hours of operation: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Closed: No (the temple is open all year round)

Opening hours are not extended depending on the season, but it is recommended to check the official website for the latest information on special events and occasions.

Admission Fees

Admission fees for Kinkakuji Temple are as follows

  • Adults (high school students and older): 400 yen
  • Children (elementary and junior high school students): 300 yen

Admission fees help maintain and protect the temple grounds. Tickets to Kinkakuji may come with a good luck charm or postcard, which is a good souvenir of your visit.

Special Events and Occasions

Various special events and activities may be held at Kinkakuji throughout the year. By participating in these events, you can experience Japanese culture and history in depth. Special events may change the regular operating hours and admission fees, so we recommend that you check the official website before visiting.


Kinkakuji Temple (Rokuonji Temple), built in the 14th century by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist attractions. Its gorgeous gold-leaf covered building attracts visitors with its beautiful seasonal scenery. The nearest station to Kinkakuji Temple is the Kinkakuji-michi bus stop on the Kyoto Municipal Bus, about 40 minutes by bus from Kyoto Station.
Thus, Kinkakuji Temple is a place where beautiful architecture and nature are in harmony, and a great spot to experience Kyoto’s rich history and culture. When you visit, be sure to experience the full charm of Kinkakuji Temple.