Path of Philosophy (Tetsugaku-no-Michi)
The Tetsugaku-no-Michi is one of the most pleasant walks in all of Kyoto. Lined with a great variety of flowering plants, bushes and...
One of Kyoto’s hidden pleasures, this temple was founded in 1680 to honour the priest Hōnen. It’s a lovely, secluded temple with...
Only open to the public in spring and autumn, Reikan-ji is one of Kyoto’s great lesser-visited attractions. During the spring opening,...
This elegant noodle shop is named after the thick white noodles that are served in broth with a selection of seven fresh vegetables....
2 Ginkaku-ji-chō, Sakyō-ku · interesting places nearby
Home to a sumptuous garden and elegant structures, Ginkaku-ji is one of Kyoto's premier sites. The temple started its life in 1482 as a retirement villa Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, who desired a place to retreat from the turmoil of a civil war. While the name Ginkaku-ji literally translates as 'Silver Pavilion', the shogun's ambition to cover the building with silver was never realised. After Yoshimasa's death, the villa was converted into a temple.
Walkways lead through the gardens, which include meticulously raked cones of white sand (said to be symbolic of a mountain and a lake), tall pines and a pond in front of the temple. A path also leads up the mountainside through the trees.
Note that Ginkaku-ji is one of the city's most popular sites, and it is almost always crowded, especially during spring and autumn. We strongly recommend visiting right after it opens or just before it closes.