Summary of Recommended Tourist Attractions near Kinkakuji.

This article summarizes the main tourist attractions near Kinkakuji.
In this area, you will likely find some of the most famous attractions in Kyoto, such as the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji) and Kamigamo Shrine, which is the oldest shrine in Kyoto.
Be sure to check out this article and consider a trip to Kyoto.

Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)

Kyoto is home to what might be Japan’s most extravagant temple, and that’s Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion.
Its iconic golden exterior is truly a sight to behold, and it never fails to leave visitors in awe.

The best time to visit Kinkaku-ji is during the winter when the contrast between the gold and the snow adds an extra layer of beauty, which captivates many tourists.
Today, it has garnered international attention and is not only famous in Japan but around the world.

Kinkaku-ji was originally the villa of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the third shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate, and it was only converted into a Zen temple after his passing.
Interestingly, Kinkaku-ji is its nickname; its formal name is Rokuon-ji.

Unfortunately, Kinkaku-ji suffered a devastating arson incident in 1950, which inspired Yukio Mishima’s novel, “The Temple of the Golden Pavilion” (Kinkaku-ji in Japanese).

Information

  • Address: 1 Kinkaku-ji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, JapanMap:
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: Take a Kyoto City Bus to the Kinkaku-ji Michi Bus Stop
  • Phone Number: 075-461-0013
  • Closed on: None
  • Visiting Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Admission Fees:
    • Adults (High School and above):500 yen
    • Children (Elementary and Middle School): 300 yen
  • Official Website: Kinkaku-ji

Kamigamo Shrine

The Kamigamo Shrine is considered the oldest shrine in Kyoto, and its grounds are home to two national treasures and 41 important cultural properties.
Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Kamigamo Shrine is blessed with abundant natural beauty, situated upstream along the Kamo River.

It is one of the must-visit places when traveling to Kyoto. Between the first and second torii gates, there is a vast lawn, and in spring, it is adorned with beautiful cherry blossoms.

Kamo Shrine is considered the “birthplace of horseback riding” due to the tradition of conducting a horse-welcoming festival based on a divine revelation instructing, “Attach bells to horses and make them run” when the deities descended upon Mount Kamo.

Various horse-related rituals, including the annual “Kamo Horse Races” held on May 5th, are performed, highlighting the deep connection between the shrine and horses.

With its strong association with horses, the “Yuru miKuji” (a type of lottery) also features horse motifs. Adorning the back of the horse is the shrine’s emblem, the two-leaf aoi (hollyhock), and the pose of the horse carrying the “divine message” in its mouth is incredibly cute.

You can try decorating your home with this horse figurine as a charming ornament.

Information

  • Address: 339 Kamigamo Motoyama, Kita Ward, Kyoto
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: Within walking distance from the ‘Kamigamo Shrine-mae’ city bus stop.
  • Phone Number: 075-781-0011
  • Closed on: No fixed regular closing days
  • Visiting Hours: 5:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
    • Special visits to the main hall and Gonden are available from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (until 4:30 PM on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays).
  • Admission Fee:Free admission to the precincts, 500 yen for the main hall and Gonden.
  • Official Website: Kamigamo Shrine

Genko-an

Many tourists who visit Genkoan come to see the view from the two windows known as the “Window of Enlightenment” (the circular window on the left) and the “Window of Confusion” (the square window on the right).

Each of these windows holds a deep meaning.

The round shape of the “Window of Enlightenment” represents the expression of Zen and oneness.
Circles and rounds symbolize the vast universe, reflecting the purity of the mind and the state of enlightenment.

The square shape of the “Window of Confusion” represents the “Four Sufferings of Buddha,” which include the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness, and death.
It signifies the journey of a person from birth to the end of life, with all the challenges and hardships that come with it.

Both of these windows offer beautiful views, making it an excellent spot for photography.
Whether you want to leisurely enjoy the scenic beauty or capture photos to your heart’s content, have a wonderful time during your visit.

Information

  • Address: 47 Takagamine Kitatakagaminecho, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: A short walk from the “Genkoan-mae” bus stop.
  • Phone Number: 075-492-1858
  • Closed on: No fixed regular closing days (Occasionally closed for temple events)
  • Visiting Hours: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Admission Fee:
  • Adults (Junior high school age and above): 400 yen
    • During the autumn foliage season:
      • Adults (Junior high school age): 500 yen
      • Elementary school students: 200 yen
  • Official Website: Genko-an

Tōji-in Temple

The temple established by the absolute authority of Ashikaga Takauji in the Muromachi shogunate in 1341 is called “Tō-ji.”
Within this temple, there is a painting of Bodhidharma, created by the chief priest of Tō-ji, Seki Bokuō.

This Bodhidharma painting depicts Bodhidharma, who is often regarded as the founder of Zen Buddhism.
A particularly noteworthy feature is the pond and stream-style garden, designed by the renowned landscape architect known as “Musō Soseki.”

This luxurious landscape, with Mount Inari as borrowed scenery, is truly breathtaking and leaves a profound impression on those who view it.

In the Reikō-den, there are wooden statues of the 15th Ashikaga Shogun and the tower in the northern garden of the Hōjō is said to be the final resting place of Ashikaga Takauji.
Why not take your time to appreciate historical buildings and gardens, along with the Bodhidharma painting and more?

Information

  • Address: 63 Tōjiin Kitamachi, Kita Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access:
    • A 10-minute walk from the Keifuku Electric Railroad Kitano Line “Tōjiin Station”
    • Take a city bus from JR Sagano Line “Enmachi Station” and get off at “Ritsumeikan University Mae,” or from “JR Kyoto Station” and get off at “Kitano Shirakumemachi,” then a 15-minute walk.
  • Phone Number: 075-461-5786
  • Closed: None
  • Visiting Hours:
    • 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM (Last admission at 4:00 PM)
    • From December 30 to January 3, open until 3:00 PM (Last admission at 2:30 PM)
  • Admission Fee:
    • High school students and above: 500 yen
    • Elementary and middle school students: 300 yen
  • Official Website: Tōji-in Temple

Daitoku-ji Temple

Daitoku-ji is the head temple of the Rinzai Zen sect, and its mountain name is Ryūhōzan.
It was founded by Daito Kokushi Sōtō in the year 1325 during the Kamakura period.
Despite being partially destroyed during the Ōnin War in the Muromachi period, it was later restored by the renowned Zen monk Ikkyū, famous for his wit and wisdom.

The temple has strong ties to the world of tea, with figures like Murata Shukō, who pioneered the Wabi-cha style of tea, and other key contributors to the Higashiyama culture, who practiced Zen and learned about the tea ceremony from Ikkyū.

Consequently, Daitoku-ji has a deep connection with the world of tea, with famous tea masters like Sen no Rikyū and Takeno Jōō being associated with it.
It is also known as the final resting place of Sen no Rikyū, the famed tea master.

While much of the main hall and sub-temples are generally not open to the public, one of the main attractions is the Sanmon gate.
It’s worth noting that the construction of this gate led to a conflict between Sen no Rikyū and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, which resulted in a tragic end for Rikyū.

There are other notable places to visit within Daitoku-ji, including the Hōdō (Dharma Hall), the Suihōin garden, associated with Christian daimyōs, the famous Karesansui rock garden at Daisen-in, and the beautiful garden of Kotō-in.
Daitoku-ji offers a glimpse of Kyoto’s unique charm and is a prime destination for sightseeing.

Information

  • Address: 53 Shōen Daitokuji-chō, Kita Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
  • Map: Google Maps
  • Access: Just a short walk from Kyoto City Bus Stop “Daitokuji-mae”
  • Phone Number: 075-491-0019
  • Closed: Open every day
  • Operating Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Admission Fee: While the temple grounds are open for free, there may be an admission fee for visiting certain sub-temples within the complex.
  • Official Website: Daitoku-ji Temple

Conclusion

Did the charm of this area come across to you?
Kyoto offers many other spots where you can experience deep history and magnificent nature.
These are summarized in other articles, so please be sure to check them out.

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