exchange / travel

the golden pavilion

To round off my first day in Kyoto I decided to visit Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺), a Buddhist temple that’s completely covered in gold leaf. Since it was overcast the building didn’t look that golden first, but luckily the clouds parted long enough for it to really shine! I could’ve stared at it forever, but sadly my time was cut short since the place closes at 5pm. The same actually applies to a lot of attractions in Kyoto, so definitely keep that in mind if you ever make a trip.

Your ticket into the Golden Pavilion. The entrance fee’s a bit steep at 400 yen, but I guess they have to maintain that gold leaf somehow…

Surprise surprise, this isn’t actually the first version of Kinkaku-ji! Around fifty years ago the original was burnt down by a young monk and had to be rebuilt. There’s no way of going inside, but today the temple houses precious buddhist relics.


The kouyou, or autumn leaves were just emerging during my visit but sadly I was too early to catch them during their peak. Anyway despite being my second visit, I felt like I was seeing Kinkaku-ji with fresh eyes this time around. I’ll definitely be back!