Ginkaku-ji temple, the famed “Silver Pavilion”, has magnificient halls and gardens. It’s predictably popular so best visited in off-peak times
Ginkaku-Ji Temple sand garden © bribri
Ginkaku-ji Temple (“The Silver Pavilion”) is on everyone’s checklist of sights to see while in Kyoto, both foreigners and Japanese alike. We understand why: it’s about as beautiful as any temple in the city. But, if you visit between 10am and 4pm, especially on a weekend or holiday, it is almost impossible to enjoy the place. You’ll merely have to shuffle through the grounds with hundreds of other camera-toting and generally miserable tourists. So, go right when the place opens or just before it closes, ideally on a Monday. And whatever you do, be sure to climb the trail at the back of the garden that leads to a fantastic viewpoint over the entire temple compound and the rest of the city.
2 Ginkaku-ji-cho, Sakyo-ku
Junior high and elementary school students: 300
Non-smoking area: Yes
10min walk from Ginkaku-ji-michi Bus Stop, Kyoto City Bus 5 or 17 from Kyoto Station
Official Website (Japanese)
Where Is This Place Located?See these places on our Kyoto Google map:
- Open the Kyoto map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
See my complete list of hand-picked recommendations for Northern Higashiyama, including things to do, places to eat and places to stay.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, get your Japan Rail Pass
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)