Ginkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto

4.3
Originally built as 15th-century shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa's retirement villa, Ginkaku-ji Temple stands as a testament to developing Higashiyama culture, of which the shogun was a patron. Admire the so-called Silver Pavilion's unfinished aspect, typical of the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which emphasizes transience. The building has survived intact through earthquakes and fires that required the reconstruction of other structures on site. While you cannot enter the pavilion, circumnavigate the temple's grounds, including a moss garden and dry sand garden, to appreciate its careful layout. Ginkaku-ji Temple is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our custom trip planner, Kyoto Edition.
Create an itinerary including Ginkaku-ji Temple
map
Ginkaku-ji Temple Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
3,726 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • The silver Temple is located in a beautifully landscaped Japanese garden. There is a walking path around the temple. It was beautiful with trees in autumn colours.
    View original
  • This was my first sightseeing trip in Kyoto on my own before my trip started . the temple is very easy to get to by bus from the central bus station . Well worth the trip and was not included on my tr...  more »
  • I went early in the morning and it was busy but not excessively so. There is a fee to get in but the gardens are beautifully maintained so I didn't mind paying to visit at all. The colours of the gard...  more »
Google
  • Given that the temple itself is inaccessible, you will find yourself spending most of your time in the garden and on the trail that meanders in and out of the nearby hill, the latter of which offers multiple photo opportunities of the temple and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, the path can get quite congested, which breaks the otherwise tranquil nature of the site.
  • Amazing, a little crowded which definitely brought down the serenity, but highly recommended. Much nicer than the Golden temple.
  • Better than Kingakuji, even Kiyomizudera. Kiyomizudera is now under construction and crowded, but Ginkakuji has peaceful and calm atmosphere.
  • The Silver Pavilion, unlike the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), is not covered in silver. The structure is less impressive, but the gardens are worth a visit. There is a dry sand garden with a large conical sand sculpture, as well as a ponds and a moss garden. You can follow the path up the hill for an aerial view of the temple. It can get crowded, so expect a slower pace.
  • Another touristy temple - crowded and commercial. Garden is well cared for but sterile. You won't find peace here.

Plan your trip to Kyoto

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Kyoto

Kyoto spoils visitors for choice when it comes to good accommodations, offering everything from traditional ryokans to luxury Western-style hotels. In a city used to receiving foreign travelers, you'll find that most establishments know exactly what to offer tourists and how to help newcomers to the area. To avoid paying premium prices during the cherry blossom season, consider staying in Osaka, located just a 30-minute train ride away. If you must stay in Kyoto itself, keep in mind that centrally located hotels charge more than those in the outer neighborhoods.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Kyoto by other users

12 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, teens, popular PREFERENCES: November, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Japan BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Japan BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC April, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Japan & South Korea BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Japan BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, romantic, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, romantic, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Japan BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Japan BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 16 days in Japan BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Japan BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Japan SEE PLAN January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in Japan BY A USER FROM LEBANON November, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans