Ginkakuji Temple (銀閣寺)

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Despite being known as the "Silver Pavilion", Ginkakuji Temple (銀閣寺) is not actually made of silver but of wood instead. Rumour has it that Ginkakuji was originally meant to be covered in silver foil—hence the name—but construction fell through and the name just stuck.

Albeit less crowded than it's golden counterpart, I do feel that we rushed our time at the temple because I had planned to go hiking up Mt. Daimonji (大文字山) afterwards (which we eventually did) and it was already about 2:00pm when we arrived. That being said, Ginkakuji isn't very big and I don't think you would need to spend more than an hour there. We paid ¥500 for entry and we were only there for about 20 minutes all up.

When you first enter the temple, you will be greeted by a beautiful raked sand garden and the Togudo Hall (東求堂), the only other building in the temple, before walking by a pond and an array of trees in various shades of green red, orange and yellow. Like most temples and other tourist attractions, there is usually one main designated route to walk through each location and Ginkakuji is no exception. Luckily, it wasn't too busy when we visited, but when the pathway only fits about 2 people side-by-side, it was difficult for us to simply walk ahead, pass by or avoid loiterers.

And after you pass through all the trees, you will eventually reach the pavilion surrounded by a beautiful moss garden. Ginkakuji was not a very memorable temple to me, per se, but the tranquility of it was so peaceful and calm made that made it a delight worth visiting.

Ginkakuji Temple (銀閣寺)
2 Ginkakuji-cho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto 606-8402
606-8402 京都市 左京区 銀閣寺町2

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