Ginkakuji, also known as the Silver Pavilion, is a Zen temple located in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto. Built in the late 15th century by Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the temple is renowned for its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens.
The Silver Pavilion is named for the silver foil that was originally planned to cover the building’s exterior. However, due to financial constraints, the silver was never applied, and the temple remains unpainted to this day.
The temple’s main building, known as the Silver Pavilion
The temple’s main building, known as the Silver Pavilion, is a two-story structure that was designed to be a place for Yoshimasa to practice Zen meditation. The interior of the building features a tatami room with a small garden and a tea room where guests can enjoy a traditional tea ceremony.
The temple’s gardens are equally impressive, featuring a variety of moss-covered paths, sand gardens, and rock formations. One of the most famous features of the gardens is the Sea of Silver Sand, a large sand garden that represents the ocean.
Another highlight of the temple is the Path of Philosophy
Another highlight of the temple is the Path of Philosophy, a scenic walking path that connects Ginkakuji with the nearby Nanzenji Temple. The path is lined with cherry trees, making it a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing during the spring.
Visitors to Ginkakuji can also enjoy a variety of cultural activities, including Zen meditation, calligraphy, and traditional tea ceremonies. The temple also hosts several seasonal events throughout the year, including a traditional tea ceremony in the fall and a cherry blossom viewing event in the spring.
Ginkakuji is an important part of Kyoto’s cultural heritage
Ginkakuji is an important part of Kyoto’s cultural heritage and a must-see destination for anyone visiting the city. Its stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and tranquil atmosphere make it a true Zen masterpiece and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kyoto.