Golden Pavilion 金閣寺

by Masaki - Japan Licensed Guide
(55) Reviews

There was a residence in  Kyoto Kitayama district, owned by an aristocrat, Saionji Kintsune. 


Since the Kamakura samurai government was overthrown, it had been deserted.


Ashikaga shogunate, the third shogun of the Muromachi shogunate,  obtained it and turned it into his private villa.


Golden Pavilion 金閣寺

In the villa were many magnificent buildings.


Golden Pavilion was one of them, a three-layered structure, and the top two floors of the structure covered in gold leaf.


Golden Pavilion 金閣寺

The gorgeous buildings were called Kitayama Villa.


Golden Pavilion was the symbol of his power, wealth, and honor.


Yoshimitsu invited and entertained feudal lords in this villa.


It is said that he wanted to become an emperor.


He passed away before he realized his dream.


After his death, the structure became a Zen temple according to his will.


At that time Zen Buddhism enjoyed the height of its prosperity.


Sad to say, it was set on fire by a lunatic young monk and was burnt down in the 1950s.


Golden Pavilion 金閣寺

The present structure was rebuilt in 1955.


So, Golden Pavilion itself is a new building, not a national treasure, but the UNESCO registered it as the World Cultural Heritage Site in 1994.


The whole view of Golden Pavilion is worth being admired as a representative view of Japan.


In winter, the reflection of the snow-covered pagoda on the water is so beautiful a picture.



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25 Jun 2017


Licensed Guide
(55) Reviews

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