Historic Sites and Monuments of Kyoto: Rokuonji Temple and its Golden Pavilion

Golden Pavilion of Kinkakuji aka Rokuonji in Kyoto, Japan

Note: All images can be reproduced online for non-institutional purposes, provided a link back to this page is present. Above: The Golden Pavilion, or Kinkakuji, in Rokuonji Buddhist Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Rokuonji Buddhist Temple contains what is perhaps the most prominently photographed image in the guidebooks on Japan: the Golden Pavilion, also known as Kinkakuji. The pavilion is indeed covered in gold leaf, but the present edifice is a reconstruction of the building on site that was destroyed by fire in 1955. It’s quite lovely. There is a peaceful garden with water of a very beautiful colour around the Golden Pavilion; look closely to see the bird:

Kinkakuji aka Rokuonji in Kyoto, Japan

The next image shows a stone pagoda, the older symbol of Buddhism, on a peaceful bit of moss surrounded by jade water:

Pagoda on pond island in Rokuonji in Kyoto, Japan

Other views in Rokuonji Temple include these rooftops poking out among the hills…

Building roofs in Rokuonji Temple in Kyoto, Japan

…and this incense stand at the back of the grounds…

Incense stand at Rokuonji in Kyoto, Japan

…as well as this gushing spring of water…

Spring in Rokuonji in Kyoto, Japan

Of course, much religion comes down, in the end, to generating economic activity that allows the clergy and religious to live and pay for their monuments. The next display shows the traditional Japanese penchant for throwing money; the goal is to get one’s coin in the hole or the bowl:

Stone Buddha carvings and donated coins at Rokuonji in Kyoto Japan

Rokuonji is a great site worth visiting, but it “did” less for me than Ryoanji, whose rock garden and abbot’s house pre-date the modern reconstruction of the Golden temple by a few hundred years. In its favour, the colour of hte water in the garden is truly beautiful, and the garden is probably underrated, always playing second fiddle to the Golden Pavilion. All in all, Rokuonji will certainly repay the visitor’s attention.