In 1397 construction started on the Golden Pavilion as part
of a new residence for the retired shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.
On Yoshimitsu's death, his son followed his father's wishes and
converted the villa into a Zen temple named Rokuon-ji. The architecture
is of the Shinden style of the Heian period,.
The Golden Pavilion functions as shariden, housing sacred relics
of the Buddha and is covered in gold leaf. The present building
dates from 1955 as the pavilion was burnt by a fanatic monk in
In 1950 a student monk burned Kinkaku-ji, to the ground and
was rebuilt in 1955 based on the original design, except that
now all three stories of this magnificent building were covered
with gold leaf, in accordance with the shogun's original intention.
Kinkakuji can be accessed by direct bus number 101 or 205 from