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Kyoto: Ginkakuji (Temple)

Located at 2 Ginkakuji-cho, Sakyu-ku, Kyoto City in Kyoto Prefecture, Ginkakuji (Temple) is one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kyoto City.
Silver Pavilion

Famously called Silver Pavilion, Ginkakuji is a Zen temple located near the eastern mountains of Kyoto. It was built in 1482 originally to serve as the retirement villa of Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the eight Muromachi Shogunate. It was modeled after Kinkakuji (Temple)  or the Golden Pavilion which was his grandfather's retirement villa. Like Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji was also converted into a Zen temple after the death of Ashikaga Yoshimasa in 1490.
Ashikaga Yoshimasa

Ashikaga Yoshimasa was known as a lover of art. During his stay in Ginkakuji, he made it the center of contemporary culture known as Higashiyama Culture. This kind of culture developed and refined how the Japanese do tea ceremony, flower arrangement, noh theater, poetry, garden design, and architecture. 
The Silver Pavilion as seen from across the pond

The unique pile of sand that resembles Mt. Fuji

Ginkakuji
Follow this scenic path to explore the temple grounds



Check out the small pond with all those coins

Talking about art, architecture, and garden designs, you can see all of these in the temple at present. The most famous structure in Ginkakuji is the picturesque pavilion. Near the pavilion is the pond which once reflected on the lacquer finish of the temple creating the illusion of its silver appearance. Aside from the temple's famous pavilion, Ginkakuji also has a beautiful garden that was supposedly designed by the great landscape artist Soami. The garden is famous for the unique pile of sand which is said to symbolize Mount Fuji. Aside from that, one would also notice that some parts of the temple grounds are covered by a variety of mosses which on the other hand creates the illusion of a green sea. 
The Kuri
The Hojo/ Hondo

The moss covered garden


Ginkakuji was extensively restored in 2008. During the restoration, it was decided that the temple won't be covered by a silver foil as originally planned by Yoshimasa but will be maintained as is like when Yoshimasa last saw it. 
Pathway leading up to the viewing area


The pavilion as seen from the pathway up the hill


The entrance to the temple grounds


Entrance fee Y500 for adults, Y300 for kids

I got to visit Ginkakuji (Temple) during my fourth day in Kyoto City. Although I was with my wife and daughter that time, it was only I who went in and explored the temple complex. What I like about Ginkakuji is the walkway that leads up to a hill/observatory. Upon following it, one would have several vantage points of the temple complex. I also love how the moss covered the forest around the temple which made it look like green snow or a green sea. Before I left, I made sure to get a goshuin for my collection.
Ginkakuji goshuin

Overall, Ginkakuji is a perfect destination for those who love art. The aesthetic beauty of the temple and its surroundings is truly a must see.

Getting there:

From Kyoto Station, ride bus number 5,7 or 100 which goes directly to the temple. The one-way trip takes around 35-40 minutes and costs 230 yen. If you want a memorable way of reaching it, you can walk and follow the Philosopher's Path from Nanzenji it's perfect during spring. 

Rating:
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Comments

  1. Wow this article really made me eager to visit this place 😍

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    1. hank you Nohaila. =) Please do visit Ginkakuji when you are in Kyoto.

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  2. Beautiful! You inspire me to travel!

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    1. Thank you so much. Please do visit Kyoto City when you do.

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  3. Kyoto city looks absolutely gorgeous! The trees and the grass are the prettiest of green. It seems like it'd be a very peaceful place to visit.

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    1. It truly is . Kyoto will always be one of my top Japan destinations. Please do visit the city when you are in Japan.

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  4. Looks peaceful and serene place, wish I could visit there. Thanks for these beautiful captures.

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    1. Thank you also for visiting my blog. Please do visit Ginkakuji when you are in Kyoto.

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  5. Such a lovely adventure. Thank you for sharing this one.

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    1. Thank you also for visiting The Backpack Adventures

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  6. I like reading about places that are new to me. Thank you for the info!

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    1. Thanks Jolie. I hope my blog inspired you to travel to Kyoto.

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  7. Oh my goodness!! What a beautiful and peaceful place. I really hope I can visit it one day.

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    1. I will be praying that you get to see Ginkakuji someday.

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  8. JAPAN! Beautiful as ever.. I've never been there, but I love the pictures I am seeing from Japan. You pictures looks so beautiful. It really makes me want to go there now..

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    1. Hello Madel. I agree. Japan is really a very beautiful place. I wish you could visit Ginkakuji someday.

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  9. The Silver Pavillion looks like something out of a movie - so cool. I’d love to visit somewhere like this!

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    1. I'm happy that I made the Silver Pavilion look cool for you. Please do visit it someday.

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  10. Such a lovely place. Japan is one of the places I wanted to visit someday. thank you for sharing this awesome post.

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    1. Thank you. I'm happy that my blog abut the Silver Pavilion inspired you to visit Japan. =)

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  11. Oh I simply enjoy temples, and by far Japan has a lot of temples that are calling for me, and I can't wait to finally be able to go to Japan to see them, It still simply amazes me just how preserved everything is , and the sheer magnitude of nature around the temple, you presented it really well, including the price options, and how to get there, I might just try to time my visit with spring so I can experience the walking path :D

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    1. Your comment made my day. It inspired me to improve and share more quality articles for my readers. I'll be praying that you get to visit Ginkakuji soon. May you have a great day.

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  12. Aside from the temples I always enjoy the scenic paths and the gardens on trips like these 😊

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    1. Hello Maria! That's great! Then Ginkakuji is the place for you. You'd surely love visiting this place as it is surrounded by scenic paths and gardens.

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  13. This is a beautiful place, full of nature and greenery. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Ginkakuji is just one of these beautiful places. You should check out my blog about Daigoji and Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.

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  14. I would love to check out Kyoto one day. It looks amazing there!

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    1. I'm happy that my article about Ginkakuji inspired you.

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  15. wow this post is very nice. Ginkakuji temple seems very nice. All should have a visit there. I'll travel there as early as possible.

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    1. Hello Anmita! Yes it is! You should include Ginkakuji in your itinerary.

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  16. Nice article. I have liked Ginkakuji a lot through your article. its artistic.

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    1. Thanks for the great feedback Shoumya. I hope I inspired you to travel to Ginkakuji.

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  17. This looks like such a peaceful place. Maybe someday I will be able to travel there.

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    1. Be positive. =) You would surely be able to visit Ginkakuji someday.

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  18. It's one of the place from my bucket list. Kyoto city is beautiful and I am drooling over your pictures and such detailed information.

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    1. I remember so well when I wrote Ginkakuji in my bucket list two years ago. It was quite incredible that I got to visit it this year. =)

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  19. Even the pathways and entrances look beautiful. Such a calm place to be

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    1. In my opinion, this place is one of the best calmest places to stroll in Kyoto City.

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  20. This is an awesome post! How often you visit temples? How many temples have you visited?

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    1. Hi Blair! When I was in Kyoto, I made sure to visit at least one temple per day. However, since we were on an adventure, I made sure to visit as many as I could. =)

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  21. I really wanna visit Kyoto! Awesome post thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for visiting my blog. I do hope you visit Ginkakuji in the future.

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  22. This is beautiful! unfortunately I am on a budget...but I can plan this 6 months later maybe! thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm excited for you. Ginkakuji is just one of the many temples and shrines in Kyoto City that you might want to visit. Enjoy your trip.

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