Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion), Kyoto

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 38 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • So peaceful !!!!
    So peaceful !!!!
    by jlanza29
  • Beautiful rock gardens
    Beautiful rock gardens
    by jlanza29
  • Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)
    by jlanza29
  • jlanza29's Profile Photo

    Silver Pavilion ...World Heritage Site

    by jlanza29 Written May 2, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Beautiful rock gardens
    4 more images

    Ginkaku-ji (Temple of the Silver Pavilion) is the more common name for Jisho-ji Temple, a temple belonging to the Buddhist Shokoku School of the Rinzai Zen sect.

    Ginkaku-ji Temple (The Silver Pavilion) is an elegant temple set in beautiful grounds at the foot of Kyoto's eastern mountains. Its grounds are an outstanding example of Japanese landscape architecture. Whether one is sitting on the landing beside the unique sand garden with its 2-metre silver cone, or walking the trail and catching glimpses of the Pavilion from different vantage points, one is constantly aware of the lovely details which move the heart. Originally designed as a retirement villa for the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa in the Muromachi Period (1392 - 1573), Ginkaku-ji Temple was modeled on its sister temple Kinkaku-ji Temple (the Golden Pavilion). Yet Ginkaku-ji Temple was never gilded in silver, and the main temple building remains an unpainted brown--and in its way, exemplifies the Japanese idea that something plain can be beautiful.

    Yoshimasa spent much of his retirement here pursuing the arts, including the tea ceremony. The Togu-do building contains within it a tea ceremony room which is thought to have been the prototype for all future tea ceremony rooms. Behind the building is a fresh-water stream where Yoshimasa collected water for his tea. Looking back over the grounds from the Togu-do, one cannot help but admire the refined aesthetic which this retired shogun pursued in his final years.

    A few times per year Ginkaku-ji Temple is illuminated in the evening, and all of its elements take on an added, surreal beauty. It must be seen to be believed.

    Admission was 500 yens and we spent about an hour here and walked the trails ... one of the most beautiful views of Kyoto can be seen from here ... also enjoy the walk up to the temple ..lined with souvenir shops and little places to eat ..... A World Heritage Site a must do in Kyoto

    Was this review helpful?

  • SallyM's Profile Photo

    Silver Pavilion

    by SallyM Written May 2, 2011
    Ginkaku-ji
    2 more images

    The Ginkakuji Temple, or Silver Pavilion, is a world cultural heritage site and an ideal place to start or end a stroll along the 'Philosopher's Walk.

    The temple was originally the mountain retreat of shogun Yoshimasa, who originally planned to cover the pavilion in silver, as a tribute to his grandfather, who covered Kinkaku-ji in gold leaf. However, he was unable to do so as a result of the Onin War.

    The gardens are designed to appear beautiful in every season.

    Admission is 500 yen.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo

    Ginkakuji Temple

    by Rabbityama Written Jul 15, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ginkakuji's zen garden
    3 more images

    The temple was built as a retirement villa for Ashikaga Yoshimasa in 1482. It is called the Silver Temple (Ginkakuji), because the original plan was to cover the outside of the temple in silver in the same way that Kinkakuji is covered in gold but this never happened, so it has a more natural look with the wood exposed. After Yoshimasa's death, just eight years later in 1490, Ginkakuji became a Zen temple.

    While it is natural to wonder how the temple would look in the original silver design, it is well worth the visit as it is! Instead of contrasting Kinkakuji in color, it contrasts it with its subtle beauty (as opposed to the flashy, flamboyance of Kinkakuji). Although there are usually crowds, the zen sand garden together with the temple create a more serene and calm feeling.

    Sometimes even when the lower part of the temple is crowded, the pathway that extends up into the wooded area is quite empty. At peak hours it will probably also have many people. In recognition of its value, Ginkakuji has been designated as one of Kyoto's World Heritage Sites.

    Entrance is 500 yen.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • xaver's Profile Photo

    The silver Pavillon

    by xaver Written Oct 11, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ginkakuji
    2 more images

    After the experience of the golden pavillon(where I found a lot of students), I decided to visit this temple just 30 minuts before it closed.
    It revealed to be a great idea as only a few tourists were there and I could enjoy the walk about the beautiful japanese gardens and small lakes around the pavillon.
    Also this temple originally was a villa built with the inetntion to spend there his retired life by Ashikaga.
    To be honest I enjoyed this temple much more than the golden one even if when I visited there was some reconstructing works.The pavillon itself might not be as impressive as the golden one, but the japanese gardens all around the place, were really special.
    Opening time: 8:30 to 17:00 (9:00 to 16:30 from December to February)
    Ticket price: 500 yen

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    This one is silver not gold

    by muratkorman Updated Sep 13, 2009
    2 more images

    Ginkakuji is a Zen temple located at Higashiyama. The temple was known as Tozan Jishoji. Ashikaga Yoshimasa built his retirement villa on grounds of today's temple in 1482. A few years later Silver Pavillion was constructed after modelling from Golden Pavillion. However plans of covering the pavillion in silver were never realized. After Yoshimasa's death in 1490, the villa was converted into a Zen temple. There was still reconstruction works on going at the time of our visit. The works will be completed by spring 2010. Admission fee is 500 JPY. It is open daily from 8:30 to 17:00.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    Ginkaku-ji: The Silver Temple Being Restored

    by AKtravelers Updated Aug 16, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The dry garden at Genkaku-ji
    4 more images

    One of the top sights in Kyoto is the UNESCO World Heritage Sight and Japanese National Treasure Ginkaku-ji-- the Silver Temple. While it's neither silver nor a temple, it's a beautiful example of 15th century Japanese style, even if the silver pavillion is being refurbished as it was the last time I was there. Ginkaku-ji ha a beautiful dry garden (made of white sand), a peaceful pond and a shaded path that winds through a moss-covered, shaded landscape complete with streams and tiny waterfalls.
    Apparently, it was built in 1482 by a guy who wanted some peace! Dismayed with the politics of the court, Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa dropped out to his parcel of land northeast of the city to build his dream home. Not a bad idea, as history looks upon him as a fairly incompetent ruler, so it was probably best for everyone concerned hat he devote time to archetecture, landscaping, tea ceremonies and poetry. Don't you wish George Bush had retreated to Crawford to do the same thing in 2004?!
    On a hot summer day, we found the cool paths and views over the city to be delightful. We paused for several portraits of Julia and Janet with fans. Hopefully, Julia will remember this visit fondly.
    Afterwards, we took the bus back to town, learning how to do it on the fly!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • bladedragon's Profile Photo

    Ginkaku-ji (Jisho-ji)

    by bladedragon Updated Jun 29, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sand formation depicting Mt. Fuji at Ginkaku-ji
    2 more images

    The temple was built by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa for his retirement villa in 1460.
    After his death, Yoshimasa would arrange for this property to become a Buddhist temple.
    This temple is closely associated with Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion Temple) built by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, his grandfather.
    The official name of this temple is Jisho-ji (Temple of Shining Mercy), but it is popularly known as Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion Temple) because of the initial plans to cover its exterior in silver foil.
    But during Onin war, the construction was halted and it was delayed for so long even until Yoshimasa's death, the silver overlaying was not realized.

    Admission fee is ¥ 500.

    Ginkakuji is also a good starting or end point for a walk along the Path of Philosophy to/from Nanzenji.

    Was this review helpful?

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    Observe the colors of Fall Season

    by joiwatani Updated Dec 17, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    The colors of the Japanese maples at Ginkakuji Temple is very beautiful. It is so exhilirating to just stop and breath the fresh cold air up in the mountains and hills of Kyoto.

    The leaves are in colors of bright oranges, reds, purples, red orange, yellow, yellow green and green.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    Check out the local crafts store

    by joiwatani Updated Dec 17, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    There are so many arts and crafts made by the Japanese. They are usually on display and are on sale at the local stores which are line up on the streets at the Ginkakuji Temple. There's one particular store that caught my eye because they have the most beautiful crafts I have seen so far at the local stores. These are hanging crafts- made of silk stuffed with cotton! These are shaped in maple leaves colored orange, purples and reds. Some are shaped in other things like birds, pumpkins, fruits, etc.

    There's one that I wanted to buy but it is way too big and too expensive. I bought some small coin purses made of silk. It's cheap but poorly made. I also bought some purses for jewelries.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • tigerjapan's Profile Photo

    A Must-See of Kyoto

    by tigerjapan Written Dec 4, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ginkakuji Temple is a Zen temple established in 1482 by Ashikaga Yoshimasa. Ashikaga was the 8th Muromachi Shongunate and the grandson of Ashikaga Toshimitsu (who built Kinkakuji). He built Ginkakuji (Higashiyama den or Higashiyama Jishoji) villa as a place to spend his retired life. Here at Higashiyama den Yoshimasa started a lot of the Higashiyama culture and you can still see the blending of Higashiyama culture and Zen culture when you visit the temple.

    The grounds surrounding the Kannonden & Tougudo halls are truly breathtaking. Each season the grounds take on a new sense of wonder and you'll be amazed by the beauty and simplicity of design. This is a temple not to be missed!

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    Watch the kois at the Ginkakuji Temple's pond

    by joiwatani Updated Nov 16, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Ginkakuji Temple's pond
    1 more image

    Some of the temples (Matching Temple, Kinkakuji Temple & Toji Temple) have ponds in them. There are also small bridges that connect one pond to the other or some large stepping stones . If you look closely to the pond, they have kois "gold fish" in them. These are believed to bring good luck and wealth.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    Look of the city from the hills of the Temple

    by joiwatani Written Nov 16, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    %cbKyoto City at the top of the hill at Ginkakuji
    4 more images

    The city of Kyoto can be seen at the top of the hill. It's sometimes hidden among the branches of the trees (they blocked the view of Kyoto City) on some parts of the path going down the hill but there are some good view decks where you can take some good shots of the City of Kyoto on top of the hill.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    Stop, look and listen at the Ginkakuji Temple

    by joiwatani Updated Nov 16, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    %cbThe front of the Ginkakuji Temple%c*
    4 more images

    Stop1 Don't rush! What the heck! You are on vacation! That's what I did when I went to Kyoto. I probably stop every few steps. Not that I am gasping for breath. It's just that I wanted to enjoy the scenery! I look at everything- mesmerize how wonderful the people in the old days how the built such a wonderful temple in the hills of Kyoto!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    Visit the Ginkakuji Temple

    by joiwatani Written Nov 16, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    %cbThe Sand in the middle of the temple's grounds
    4 more images

    There are so many temples in Kyoto. If you like walking and hiking, you will probably like going to this temple. The walk is breathtakin. You willeasily forget how much steps you had taken. It's easy to get distracted by the great view of the garden. The well-taken cared of bonsai trees, the well-raked sand, the variety of foliage inside the temple's court, the gorgeous colorful Japanese maple trees, the tall and swaying bamboos, the crackling stream going down as the water touches the mound of rocks below the hill, the silent pond...

    It's very refreshing to go to this place. As if your soul goes to heaven and you forget how chaotic this world is!

    Every step that you take, you should take a deep breath and enjoy the moment as it won't last long...

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • bebejepang's Profile Photo

    Ginkakuji (silver temple)

    by bebejepang Updated Aug 7, 2008
    Ginkakuji

    It is different from Kinkakuji. Gin means silver, while kin means gold. I hope the temple with cover by silver, but I found only a wooden temple. I don't know why the temple was named Ginkakuji (siler temple).

    I think this temple is not special, just usual temple. You can visit it IF you HAVE TIME.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Kyoto

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

61 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)
4.0 out of 5 stars
2 Opinions
0.4 miles away
Show Prices
2.5 out of 5 stars
3 Opinions
0.9 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
132 Opinions
1.2 miles away
Show Prices

View all Kyoto hotels