Monday, January 9, 2012

Kinkaku-ji Templeー Kyoto

"Kinkaku-ji" is one of the most beautiful and famous temple in Kyoto.
It is designated world heritage in 1994.
This temple refrects its beauty on the pond(Kyouko-chi).

About 700 years ago,Yoshimitsu-Ashikaga(1358-1408),a general of Muromachi era,rebuilt this luxurious temple to show his power to the world.
(Originally this building was another person's property,and Yoshimitsu obtained it from him.)
Please look at the top of the Temple,you can see a phoenix bird.
This bird is said to represent General Yoshimitsu himself. He wanted to rank himself as a top.

This temple is three-story building.
1st floor was constructed in the aristocratic style.
And 2st floor was constructed in the samurai style.
And the top phoenix represents General Yoshimitsu.
This ranking is very significant to him.
This shows that Yoshimitsu wanted to show his power to the aristocrat people and Samurai people,and wanted to govern them.
He wanted to show them,"I am top.Obey me."

Yoshimitsu wanted to carry on commerce with China.
He often invite Chinese trade mission people and entertained them here.
He imported weavings,books, and raw silks from China.

How to access
This is a brief map.
The fare is about 420 yen from Arashiyama to Kinkakuji-michi.(one-way)

In Arashiyama,There is 3 diffrent tram line.
① JR Arashiyama
② Keifuku Arashiyama (nickname "Randen")
③ Hankyu-Arashiyama

And Keifuku-Arashiyama line(Randen) is important to go to Kinkaku-ji Temple.

This is "Keifuku-Arashiyama" station. You have to find this station at Arashiyama.
I recommend "Keifuku-line",because in April,you can see beautiful cherry blossoms from this train.

This purple train is "Keifuku-line",another name is "Randen".
And you have to transfer at "Katabira-no-tsuji",and head to "Ryouan-ji" station.
You get off at "Ryouan-ji" station.
"Ryouan-ji" is also a wonderful Temple.Beautiful garden is famous.
And "Kinkaku-ji" is not so far from "Ryouan-ji".
After you enjoyed Ryouan-ji, you can walk to Kinkaku-ji from Ryouan-ji.
(And of course you can take bus from "Ryouan-ji mae" bus stop,to go to Kinkaku-ji.)
There were many tourists from abroad.
This is also Yoshimitsu's big residence.
He entertained trade mission people from China here.

If you have time,it is good to visit this temple with a long and distinguished history.

There are very good Kyoto-sweets shop near Kinkakuji bus stop (return).
You can't miss it.
The shop name is "Nichiei-ken".
This shop has no web site,so please see this site below.


  1. Kinkaku-ji is on my list. It's interesting you described the access from Arashiyama. For the moment the transport seems very complicated to me due to the many companies, lines, and stations, were subway and trains mingle. But I hope to manage when I will be there.

    Is that train the same with "the romantic train"?

  2. @Traveling Halk,
    No.This is another line.
    Romantic train station(Torokko Arashiyama station) is located just right next to JR Saga-Arashiyama station.

    This Keifuku line is located not so far from JR Saga-Arashiyama station.

    So "JR Saga-Arashiyama station" is important,your basic point,I think.

    You choose "JR Sagano line" from Kyoto,and get off at "JR Saga-Arashiyama station" in early morning.And soon you'll see romantic train station(right next to JR Saga-Arashiyama station).
    And you enjoy "the romantic train"(Torokko-ressha),and enjoy strolling around Arashiyama,having a lunch.

    After you enjoyed Arashiyama,you have to find "Keifuku-Arashiyama" station(Randen),and head to "Kitano-Hakubaicho" (to go to Kinkakuji.)

    This is the best course,I think.

  3. Thank you so much for the details, Kumiko. But, being based in Kyoto, isn't it easier to go to Kinkaku-ji from there?

  4. @Traveling Hawk,
    It is possible.For example,you take municipal bus from Kyoto,and you can head directly to Kinkaku-ji.
    But heavy congestion in the bus is expected in April,because Kinkakuji is very popular place,and it takes about 40minutes from Kyoto to Kinkaku-ji by bus.You have to endure it.

    And I changed my map.
    You had better get off at "Ryouan-ji"(Keifuku-line).
    "Ryouan-ji" is also wonderful and famous Temple,worth visiting.
    And "Kinkaku-ji" is not long way from "Ryouan-ji".
    The priest will tell you the way to Kinkaku-ji.

  5. I love your posts. I get to visit these places through your pictures and posts. I love the purple train!

    1. @Freida,
      Thank you,Freida!
      I'm happy if you enjoy my pics and my blog.

      Yes,I love the purple train,too.
      In April,we can enjoy cherry blossoms from this train.They're so beautiful.(YouTube)
      This is called "cherry blossoms tunnel".

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  8. Hi, can you give me an estimate on how many minutes walk is it from Ryoaunji station to Kinkakuji temple? Your route description is very helpful, thanks!

  9. hi. your guide is very easy to understand, will try this route when I visit Kyoto end of this month :)

  10. This temple is wonderful. Omamori of kinkaku-ji can be found on