日本 (Japan)

Kinkakuji (金閣寺), Kyoto.


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While I had a great time watching the golden structure shimmer as the pond reflected the late afternoon sunlight on it, I couldn’t help but ponder over how ostentatious and expensive it is. Gold does not make one feel tranquil. To most people, gold holds much allure, and it incites greed, envy and pride. So what is this Zen temple doing with a golden pavilion (Kinkaku), where the top two stories are covered with pure gold leaf? Apparently it was originally built as a villa for the shogun (military dictator) at the end of the 14th century and it was converted into a temple only after his death.

Getting There

At Kyoto Station, take Kyoto City Bus number 101 or 205 for 220 yen, and you’ll find yourself at Kinkakuji in about 40 minutes.

Opening Hours: 09:00 ~ 17:00 Admission Fee: 400 Yen