Kinkaku-ji, the famed “Golden Pavilion,” is Kyoto’s most iconic sight. It’s well with a visit, just try to pick a time when the crowds aren’t there.
Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺, Temple of the Golden Pavilion) © Mal B
Rising above its reflecting pond like an apparition, the golden hall of Kinkaku-ji is Kyoto’s most impressive sight, especially if you’re there on the four or five days per year when it’s covered in snow. The only problem is, as you might guess, that it’s almost always packed with visitors. For these reason, we recommend going just after it opens, just after it closes and, if possible on a Monday morning. Whatever you do, avoid the place on holidays, when it will simply be too busy to enjoy.
1 Kinkaku-ji-cho, Kita-ku
Junior high and elementary school students: 300
Non-smoking area: Yes
In front of Kinkaku-ji-mae Bus Stop, Kyoto City Bus 205 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.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- 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.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- 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. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass - here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)