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Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

Magnificent Example of Japanese Architecture
Built in the 14th century as a villa for a powerful shogun, Kinkaku-ji temple, commonly referred to as the Golden Pavilion, is easy bus ride from the main bus terminal in Kyoto. The temple is one of the most popular buildings in Japan, so expect a lot of fellow gawkers, but it beautifully exemplifies several different Japanese architecture styles and the top two levels are completely covered in gold leaf. The extensive gardens are beautifully manicured and serene despite the abundance of visitors using selfie sticks.
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Golden Temple, Kyoto
The Golden Temple in Western Kyoto is one of the most frequently visited sites in the city. It is beautiful and I'm glad I had the chance to see it again (I was here before as a young child) but I prefer the smaller, less touristy temples where one can sit and contemplate the simple beauty of Sakura falling into a pond or a tiny, freshly raked rock garden.
Golden Temple, Kyoto Kyoto  Japan

The Golden Pavillion at Kinkaku-ji Temple. The iconic image of Kyoto.
The Golden Pavilion is the must-see attraction in the one city that truly gives a foreign visitor deep appreciation for Japanese culture and tradition. You will feel it here whether or not you were looking for it. View the full album!
The Golden Pavillion at Kinkaku-ji Temple. The iconic image of Kyoto. Kyoto  Japan

Drinking Matcha at Kinkakuji
One of my favorite memories of Japan is Kyoto in the fall. Sipping matcha (powdered green tea) and eating sweet red bean paste desserts beneath ruby umbrellas and auburn foliage next to Kyoto's Golden Pavilion is one of those moments when the Japan you imagine comes to life.
Drinking Matcha at Kinkakuji Kyoto  Japan

Seeing The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
It was mid-afternoon and at almost freezing temperature, we started roaming Kyoto. I have always read about Kinkaku-ji so my sister and our friends decided to visit the temple which is one of the most popular buildings in Japan attracting a large number of visitors annually. This attracted me as the top two floors are actually covered with pure gold leaf.
Seeing The Temple of the Golden Pavilion Kyoto  Japan

Hand rinsing at a temple
Temples in Japan have these ladles everywhere for rinsing your hands and mouth before entering the temple. I found this one inside at a little stream, so I figured a second round of rinsing wouldn't hurt.
Hand rinsing at a temple Kyoto  Japan

The Best Architecture in Kyoto
Kyoto is a city of incredible history and awesome architecture. If I could recommend only one sight in Kyoto, I would choose Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto's Golden Pavilion is a masterpiece. It's coated in gold leaf and surrounded by a reflecting pond and green forest. I recommend stopping by the tea garden on the path from Kinkaku-ji. To get to Kinkaku-ji, catch a bus from Kyoto Station. It's about a 50-minute ride.
The Best Architecture in Kyoto  Kyoto  Japan

Breathe Deeply at Ginkakuji Temple
Ginkakuji Temple can be reached from the Philosopher's Path. It includes the Silver Pavilion (which isn't silver), a circular path, a moss garden and dry sand garden. I liked the zen "Moon Viewing Platform," a flawless cone of sand.
Breathe Deeply at Ginkakuji Temple Kyoto  Japan

1 Kinkakujichō, Kita-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 603-8361, Japan
+81 75-461-0013
Sun - Sat 9am - 5pm