Kinkaku-ji is a temple located in the northern part of Kyoto city area, at the south base of Mt. Daimonji. The official name is “Rokuon-ji Temple”, and it is a temple of the Rinzai-mune Shokokuji school.
Speaking of Kinkakuji, there are many who think of a golden sparkling building built at the base of a pond. The official name of this golden building is called “Shariden” (Reliquary Hall), and the common name given from its appearance is “Kinkaku”. As the symbol of Kakanji refers to Shariden, that is, the Kinkaku, “Kinkakuji” has become established as a common name.
In 1994, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the “Cultural assets of the ancient capital Kyoto”. Currently, many tourists are visiting not only domestically but also overseas to see the beauty of its appearance. Also, the east and south sides of the precinct are flat and urban. The area of the grounds is about 130,000 square meters. Among them are the symbols “Shariden” and “Kyokochi pond” (mirror pond), the garden and the main hall “Hojo” (head priest’s living quarters), Sekkatei Teahouse and “Fudo-do” (hall dedicated to Fudo Myoo).
Kinkaku-ji Temple was completed in 1408 when the third Shogun Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu of the Muromachi Shogunate erected in 1397 during the Muromachi period. The three-tiered structure is characterized by the difference in the style of each floor. The first layer is called Hossuiin, the second layer is called Chouondo, and the third layer is called Kukkyoucho, which is a Buddhist temple style. The second and third layers are lacquered with pure gold foil, boasting a gold-colored beauty, and it is the largest symbol of Kinkakuji. In addition, the roof is sawara cypress “kokera-buki” (thin wooden shingles), and there is a phoenix made of gold and copper at the top of the roof.
However, in 1950, it was destroyed by the fire caused by the arson. The cultural assets such as the wooden statue of the national treasure Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, which was stored inside, were also destroyed. However, it was rebuilt in 1955, based on the drawings created at the time of the Meiji era repairs. Almost the same shape as before the fire was restored and has reached the present.
200,000 pieces of gold leaf (20 kilograms) were used
The official name of the Kinkakuji Temple is Rokuonji Temple, and the famous reliquary hall is Kinkaku in the building of gold leaf. This reliquary hall has presence to the extent that the whole temple is called the Kinkakuji Temple.
It was burned down by arson in 1950, and was rebuilt in 1955. At the time of reconstruction, 100,000 pieces of 10 cm square gold leaf was used (2 kilograms), and, at the time of the rebuilding, they were used 200,000 pieces (20 kilograms) at the time of subsequent restoration.
Registered into world heritage in 1994
The Kinkakuji Temple (Rokuonji Temple) is registered into world heritage in 1994.
It is said that it was registered since worth of the “garden” and the “pond” in the precincts in the Kinkakuji Temple was based on regulation of world heritage.
It is not selected as a Japanese national treasure
However, regrettably, even if it is world heritage, it is not selected as a Japanese national treasure.
The rebuilt age is postwar period, and the reason why Kinkaku-ji Temple is not registered into a national treasure is because it is caused by the fact that the history is short.
Special Historic Site and a Special Place of Scenic Beauty
The garden of Kinkaku-ji Temple is the Kaiyu style garden (a Japanese garden where circulating walking paths are provided for enjoying views of the garden) with a borrowed landscape of “Mt. Kinugasa”.
It is called Chisen-Kaiyu-shiki-teien (go around the pond style garden), and the garden becomes the arranged way around a pond.
The Kyokochi pond (mirror pond) in the center of the garden has an area of approximately 6,600 square meters. It is said that boating was enjoyed there before the Muromachi era.
It is a brilliant garden which has been designated both a Special Historic Site and a Special Place of Scenic Beauty.
The usual route to see was decided
The site of Kinkakuji Temple is large, and since the usual route to see was decided, so you cannot go only a place where you want to see.
The standard of the time required is about 50 minutes, when seeing in a hurry.
The first highlight is a reliquary hall, but, besides, there are some places to be able to enjoy. It takes around one and a half hours when you look leisurely like hitting a bell or having powdered green tea.
Information(Access, Price/Charge, Tel, Address, Official site, etc.)
|Address:||Kinkakujicho 1 Kyoto Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8361 Japan|
|Access:||JR Sanyo-honsen Line “Shinhakushima-eki” station (17 minutes walk)|
|Price:||400 yen (Adult)|
300 yen (Under 15 years old)
Free (Before Elementary school enrollment)
Please refer the official web page.