Itself inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, Kinkakuji Temple or the Golden Pavilion is actually part of Rokuonji Temple. Originally a country villa built during the Kamakura period, Kinkakuji is popular for its main building made of gold. It overlooks a pond that reflects the gold beautifully on the water.
Last year when I went to Kyoto, Kinkakuji was part of my itinerary hoping that the February winter snow will show itself on the golden structure. But because of one unfortunate incident in Takayama, we arrived late in Kyoto and had to postpone a trip to Kinkakuji. So when I was back in Japan in autumn, during the late part of November this year, 2015, I decided to come and take a look. This time, the temple building is covered with fallen leaves from maple trees that also abound the area. The gold structure is astounding to see in autumn but I imagined it will also look beautiful in any season.
The public is forbidden to go inside the golden pavilion. It’s one of those places that you tend to appreciate from afar. I satisfied myself in staring at the beauty of the building while taking photographs of the surrounding area. Some maple leaves were on their peak so I busied myself taking photos. I left Kinkakuji after throwing in some coins on some small rocks which were Buddhist’s good luck statues.
Entrance to Kinkakuji is at 400 yen and it’s open from 9:00 to 17:00. Kinkakuji Temple is further up north. It is better paired with a day trip to nearby Ryoanji Temple or Ninnaji Temple. Consequently, it can be reached by Kyoto City bus 205 from Kyoto station which stops at Kinkakuji Mae bus stop.