Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji), Kyoto - Stein Travel
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Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji)

One of Kyoto's most popular attractions is to the north of the city. The Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) is a three-storey pavilion covered in gold leaf, glittering in the waters of a calm pond. Kinkakuji was built in 1397 as a retirement home for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, who lived there in luxury until he died in 1408, after which the building was converted into a Zen temple. In 1950 a mad monk burnt the pavilion down, and it was not rebuilt until 1955. Today it is covered in gold leaf five times thicker than the original coating, and presents an awesome sight. A short walk from the pavilion is Ryoanji, Japan's most famous Zen rock garden, laid out in the 15th century. A veranda overlooks the garden in which 15 rocks are set among raked white pebbles.

Information & Facts

Address

1 Kinkaku-ji-cho Kita-ku, Kyoto

Admission

¥400 (adults), ¥300 (children)

Language

Japanese is the official language. Most Japanese people will have studied English at school, but few can speak it well or understand what is said to them.

Money

The currency is the Japanese Yen (JPY), which is equal to 100 sen. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger hotels and stores, but most Japanese operate with cash. Cash and travellers cheques can be exchanged in banks, post offices and currency exchange bureaux. Banks are usually open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm. Travellers cheques offer the best exchange rate and are best taken in US dollars. ATMs do not accept all credit and debit cards; only the international ATMs in post offices, airports and some major stores.

Opening Times

Daily 9am-5pm.

Time

Local time is GMT +9.

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