Kinkakuji, aka the “Golden Pavilion,” is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. As the name suggests, the top 2 floors of this dazzling structure are gilded in gold leaf. Originally used as a retirement villa for the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, it was turned into a temple after his death in the 15th century, in accordance with his will. Over the centuries, the structure has been replaced many times after fires destroyed it. Kinkakuji temple is the last remaining bastion of what was once an entire private retirement community for Yoshimitsu. Today, it serves as a reminder of the opulence and grandeur of Kyoto's Kitayama culture.
Japan's World Heritage Sites 16 Photos