Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Kinkaku-ji: The Golden Pavillion in Kyoto

Today I have visited the kinkaku-ji, or it is also called as Rokuon-ji, the golden pavilion in Kyoto city, Japan. Kikaku-ji is a reliquary hall (Japan: 舎利殿 - shariden) containing relics of the master. The pavilion is part of the temple namely Rokuon-ji, but most of the people call it Kinkaku-ji as the main building  in the complex is kinkaku-ki.

Kikaku-ji: The golden Pavilion

Originally, the temple was the site of villa which the name is Kitayama-dai which is owned by statesman namely Saionji Kintsune. The 3rd Muromachi's shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, took liking to the area and acquired it from Kitsune family in 1397. The the villa was built and get a name, Kitayama-den.

In the center of the complex are garden and buildings while the rest of area also remain interesting places like other gardens, otera (shrine) and some hills. The place also maintained as the official guesthouse, welcoming Emperror Gokomatsu, father of Zen teacher, Ikkyu) and other members of the nobility. The villa achieved the glorious era during the Muromachi period which make trading with China. Its know as the Kitayama culture.

After the die of Yoshimitsu, the villa was converted into temple by priest Muso-kokushi, the first abbot. The temple's name, Rokuon-ji was derived from the name of Yoshimitsu which is given for the text era, Rokuon-in-den.
Twice I have been there, and it still looks beautiful, the golden pavilion

The United Nation for Education, Scientific and Cultural  Organization (UNESCO) acknowledges the Kinkaku-ji as a world cultural heritage in 1994.

Map of Kinkaku-ji
The following is simple map of Kinkaku-ji as shown from here. Kinkaku-ji is on the left. It is written as 金閣寺 (kinkaku-ji).

For access to Kinkaku-ji, you can visit the following url:

The following map was obtained from the link above. The Kinkaku-ji was located about 13 km from the Meishin Expressway, Kyoto Higashi or Minami Interchange.

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