Destination / Travel

Golden Pavilion- The Epitome of Richness of Yoshimitsu Period

As the historic places and temples attracted us more, the next day we planned to visit Golden Pavilion which is a Zen temple. The temple is located in Koyot District and the temple is easily accessible from the Kyoto station.

We reached the temple around 10 am and stunned by the beauty of the temple. It was standing majestically overlooking the banks of the pond. The visitors were not allowed to entre the temple and our guide briefed about the structure.

Roof of the Temple

Roof of the Temple | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

The roof of the temple is covered completely of gold which glittered under the sun. The Japanese architecture and craftsmen ships were showcased in the temple.The temple was once the rest room villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. Later he donated it to become the Zen temple after his death, his grandson built another structure called silver Pavilion inspired by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu on the other side of the city.

Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

Overlooking the pond this structure is visited by many of tourists daily.  The structure of Kinkakuji or the Golden Pavilion shows the luxury, richness, wealth extravaganza of Koyot during Yoshimitsu’s rule. Each floor is built on different styles of Japanese architecture. The first floor of the structure was built on Shinden style. The Shinden style of archetecutre was used to build palaces. Statues of Shaka Buddha and Yoshimitsu are places in the first floor.

The Lower Pond

The Lower Pond | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

Visitors were not allowed to enter the first floor still the statues are visible across the pond through the windows which were kept open always.  The second floor is constructed Bukke style which can be seen in samurai residences. The complete exterior in this style is covered by gold leaf. Our guide said that the second floor houses statues of 4 kings and the Kannon Bodhisattva. I could imagined the richness and holiness of the statues.

Finally the third floor was constructed in Chinese Zen Hall which glides inside and out and it is capped on the golden phoenix. After exploring the Kinkakuji from the distance we headed towards the quarters of head priest. The quarters are decorated with painted sliding doors or fusuma and we are leaded towards the garden. We exited from the temple area through the Sekkatei Teahouse and purchased many things and sweets. Had tea from the tea garden and returned back to our hotel praising the Japanese architecture.

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