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Day 2 of our 3-day Kyoto trip had been fabulous so far. We started the day walking through thousands tori gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine in eastern Kyoto, then headed to Arashiyama in western Kyoto. After we accomplished six fun things in just half day in Arashiyama, the sun was still shining. It was only about 3pm. Sitting at Togetsu Cafe for an afternoon coffee break, we decided that we should take advantage of the good weather and head to the famous Kinkakuji golden pavilion.
How to get to Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion
Kinkakuji is located in northern Kyoto, a bit far from city center. Kyoto City Bus #101 or #205 will get you there directly from Kyoto Station in about 40 minutes for 230 yen. Alternatively, a faster and more reliable way is to take the Karasuma Subway Line to Kitaoji Station (15 minutes, 260 yen), and from there either take a taxi (about 1000-1200 yen) or bus (230 yen, bus #101, 102, 204 or 205) and you will reach Kinkakuji in 10 minutes. To save time, we took a taxi directly from Arashiyama.
The stunning KInkakuji Golden Pavilion
Kinkakuji is located on the grounds of Rokuon-ji temple complex. With history dating back to 1397, it is a popular zen Buddhist temple. The current pavilion structure was rebuilt in 1955, with its top two stories covered with pure gold leaf. The temple is open from 9am to 5pm with admission closing at 4pm. Entrance fee is 400 yen per person.
Kinkakuji is one of the seventeen historical monuments of ancient Kyoto which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The three-story high golden pavilion is a stunning structure built overlooking a large pond. We were lucky to get there just in time before the sun sets down. This impressive structure is even more stunning when the sun shines directly on it!
The Kinkakuji golden pavilion is set in a magnificent Japanese garden which was landscaped into a strolling go-around style.
We spent about 45 minutes at Kinkakuji golden pavilion. At the end of the visit, there was a snack area selling soft ice cream. I decided to join my daughter and had a green tea ice cream to end this perfect day!