Last year when I went to Kyoto, Kinkakuji was part of my itinerary hoping that the February winter snow will show itself on the golden structure. But because there was no weather forecast about snowing anytime in the northern part of Kyoto when we were there, add to that the unfortunate incident of the Kyoto bus leaving seconds before we reached Takayama station, which was the reason why we can’t make it back to Kyoto earlier, we decided to skip Kinkakuji. So when I was back in Japan, during the late part of November this year, 2015, I decided to come take a look.
Kinkakuji or the Golden Pavilion is actually part of Rokuonji Temple, itself inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. Originally a country villa built during the Kamakura period, Kinkakuji overlooks the pond, this time covered with fallen leaves from maple trees that also abound the area. This structure is covered with gold leaf that is truly astounding to see in any season. I went there when some of the autumn leaves were on their peak.
Entrance to Kinkakuji is at 400 yen and it’s open from 9:00 to 17:00. I used the Kyoto City bus 205 from Kyoto station which stops at Kinkakuji Mae bus stop.