Thursday, July 2, 2015


Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) is a Zen Buddhist temple whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. The temple was the retirement villa of the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, only becoming a Zen temple after his death in 1408. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955  after a fanatic monk set fire to the structure.

Each floor of the structure is built in a different style. The first floor represents the Heian Period. The second floor reflects the Bukke style associated with the homes of samurai. The third floor is built in the style of a Chinese Zen hall with a golden phoenix fixed to the top.

One of the most interesting sites at the temple was a 600 year old pine tree that has been trained to grow into a slanted shape that resembles a boat.