The Legend Of Kyoto Golden Pavilion Temple
Golden Pavilion Temple(Kinkaku-ji) is the informal name of Deer Garden Temple(Rokuon-ji), As the important part of the old Kyoto city, It’s designated as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
It was not a fine day when I visited Golden Pavilion Temple, And it’s still not the right red leaves season, But it still looks so beautiful.
Golden Pavilion Temple was originally built in 1397 by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. I knew this Ashikaga Yoshimitsu when I was a little child from a famous cartoon about Ikkyū, an iconic Japanese Zen Buddhist priest and poet.
Rokuon-ji (Deer Garden) was taken from the first two characters of Yoshimitsu’s posthumous name. His son converted the building into a Zen temple according to Ashikaga Yoshimitsu’s will after he was dead.
The Golden Pavilion is a three-story building on the grounds of the temple. The top two stories of the pavilion are covered with pure gold leaf. That’s the reason why the Deer Garden Temple also called Golden Pavilion Temple. The pavilion is the holy place housing relics of the Buddha.
Golden Pavilion Temple was also the center of the so-called “Kitayama culture,” which was central in importing various aspects of Ming-dynasty Chinese culture into Japanese society.
In 1950, the pavilion was burned down by a monk, who then attempted suicide on the Daimon-ji hill behind the building. The statue of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu was burned. The present structure rebuilt from 1955, and the roof was restored in 2003.
If you are interesting in this event, you can also read a fictionalized novel named The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, written by Mishima Yukio in 1956.
Kyoto Golden Pavilion Temple Travel Guide:
1 Kinkakuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto City
How to get there
Golden Pavilion Temple (Kinkaku-ji) is best reached by bus. There are 2 stops at proximity, Kinkakuji-mae and Kinkakuji-michi, deserved by bus 12, 50, 59, 204 and 205).
The temple is open everyday from 9:00am to 17:00pm
General: 400 yen ; Elementary and Junior High School Students: 300 yen
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Tags: Golden Pavilion Temple(Kinkaku-ji), Japan Travel, Kyoto, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Travel Guide