Originally crafted in 1397, burned down in 1950 by a disillusioned monk and reconstructed again in 1955, Kinkaku-ji AKA “golden temple”, is literally covered with gold leaf. In proper lighting, the temple casts a perfect reflection onto a pint in front of it.
We arrived late afternoon (approximately an hour and a half before closing) and it was beyond packed. We were lucky enough to get the pictures we share with you. The reality of it is that there are hundreds (wouldn’t be surprised if there were thousands) of people crowding the walkways. The walk to the first scenic point (which is the temple) is about 5 minutes, the walk coming out with crowds, was near 45 minutes. The slow pace exiting was due to the many tourists visiting this one of a kind restored relic. It is apart of a World Heritage Site. Definitely one for the record books and top ten sites to visit when you’re in Japan.
Apart from the crowds, the “awe” factor is redeemed in the temple itself: gold like you’ve never seen before. It looks so fragile and so close yet, it has stood here longer than some visitors have been alive, Mary and I included in that broad statistic. After spending a few minutes being captivated by the beautiful gold covered pavilion, rain started to gently fall disrupting the ponds near perfect reflection of the temple. With rain and closing time near, we headed out the gate.
Fun fact to our travel experience: it took us longer getting out then the time we spent viewing the masterpiece.
Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Pavilion) in Kyoto
1 Kinkakujicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 603-8361, Japan
See the crowds at the Golden Temple for yourself in our vlog!