Kyoto, Golden and Silver Pavilions

As the Olympic Games, Kyoto has gold and silver as great rewards. Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, was completed in 1397, originally as a villa of a powerful statesman, later converted into a Zen Buddhist temple. Covered with pure gold leaf, the pavilion is set in a magnificent Japanese strolling garden around a pond that contains 10 smaller islands.

But all that glitters is not gold, so we also have Kinkaku-ji, the Silver Pavilion. Completed in 1490 as a retirement villa for a shogun, it became a Zen temple after his death. The design was created to emulate Kinkaku-ji, using silver instead of gold, but this idea remained only as an initial plan. That’s why nowadays it looks like an unfinished building, a good example of wabi-sabi spirit (accepting and cherishing the imperfection).

Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion

Address: 1 Kinkakujichō, Kita-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 603-8361. Google Maps 👉 https://goo.gl/maps/6uit56VE5Sq

Access: Kinkakujimichi Bus Stop.

Opening hours: Every day, 9:00-17:00.

Price: 400 ¥.

Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavilion

Address: 2 Ginkakujichō, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 606-8402. Google Maps 👉 https://goo.gl/maps/HBRCvHLgpPD2

Access: Kinkakuji-michi Bus Stop.

Opening hours: Every day, 8:00-17:30.

Price: 500 ¥.

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