Origine of Ginkaku-ji Temple
Originally built in 1482 by the eighth Shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate government, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, who spent his retirement days here, the temple is a Zen Buddhist temple belonging to the Shokokuji faction of Rinzaisyu sect of Buddhism, and is formally called Higashiyama- Jisyoji, named after his posthumous title. It is the place where Higashiyama Culture started after Kyoto was burnt down by an 11-year-long war between the two rival clans. The temple consists of 10 buildings, a garden, a pond, two wells and a lookout station, all of which forming a perfect combination of the splendid man-made structures and the beautiful natural surroundings. The temple is designated as the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
Full of joys
After getting off the bus, go back a little bit and walk on the uphill road leading to the "Somon" gate, go through it and walk on the "Sando" approach, on both side of which are hedges made of stones and bamboo and camellia trees, toward "Nakamon" middle gate, the main entrance to the magnificent courtyard. Once inside the temple precincts, walk on the paths in accordance with the directions. You will see all sorts components making up the beauty of Japanese gardens and structures standing among them. The main building, Ginkaku-ji Temple itself is, needless to say, will be your main focus of attention. The place attracts visitors all the year round, but the snow-capped temple in winter, in particular, will be a joy to your eyes.
You can enjoy more
After you get out of the temple compound, walk along the "Tetsugaku-no-michi" (Path of Philosophy) for about 30 minute. The one-kilometer path with cherry trees on both sides goes along a clean, small river where you can see many fish and it is a pleasure for those who want to enjoy a leisurely walk. You will then get to Nanzen-ji Temple, the head temple of the Nanzen-ji faction of Rinzaisyu sect of Buddhism, and famous for its splendid gate and spacious precincts.