The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is a restored Zen Buddhist temple located in Kyoto, Japan. Known more popularly in Japanese as Kinkaku-ji, this striking three story building is famous for its shimmering golden exterior. It is because of this that Kinkaku-ji has become quite a popular tourist spot in Kyoto.
Golden Pavilion History
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion was initially built in 1397 as a retirement villa for the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. The villa was later on converted into a Zen temple by his son Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimochi. The original structure was burned twice and was eventually rebuilt. The present structure was built around 1955. Sometime around 1984, the overseers of the temple saw that the original Japanese lacquer coating of the temple was found to be a little decayed. It was given a new coating as well as gilding with pure gold leaf. The recoating was completed in 1987.
Golden Pavilion Features
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is a three story structure found in the grounds of the Rokuon-ji temple complex. The temple is situated picturesquely at the edge of a lake. Its positioning signified a typical Shinden style layout common in the Heian period which suggests a position in between heaven and earth. The pavilion extends partially over the edge of the lake which creates a reflection on the water surface, making it one of the most beautiful sights to see in Kyoto.
The pavilion is mainly made up of wood with three stories surrounded by balconies. The top two stories of the temple are covered completely with pure gold leaf coating. The Golden Pavilion is also a highly valuable Buddhist temple because it is a shariden, a term used for a building that houses valuable relics of Buddha.