Ginkakuji Temple

A grand mansion built by a shogun in the Muromachi period

Also known as Ginkakuji Temple, its official name is Jishoji Temple.
It was built by Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the 8th barbarian general of the Muromachi Shogunate, as his villa “Higashiyama-den” after he handed over the shogunate to his son.
He lived an elegant life of seclusion, enjoying calligraphy, painting, and the tea ceremony.

Higashiyama-den was built in 1482,
After the death of Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the temple was converted to a Zen temple and renamed Jishoji Temple.

The Ginkaku (Kannon-den) is a national treasure,
The garden is designated as a national special historic site and a special place of scenic beauty.
Jishoji Temple is listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list of “Cultural Properties of Ancient Kyoto.

Together with Kinkaku (Golden Pavilion) and Hounkaku (located in Nishi Honganji Temple), Ginkakuji is known as one of the “Three Pavilions of Kyoto.

National Treasure Ginkaku (Kannon-den)

Higashiyama-den, built over a period of eight years from 1482, was lined with large buildings such as a meeting hall and a regular palace.
The only surviving buildings from that period are Ginkaku and Togudo.

The Ginkaku (Silver Pavilion) is a two-story wooden pavilion with a bronze phoenix at the top of the roof, similar to the Kinkaku (Rokuonji Shariden).
Until around the latter half of the 18th century, the phoenix was replaced by a jewel.

It was not until the Edo period (1603-1867) that the Jishoji Kannon-den Temple became known as the Ginkaku (silver pavilion),
While Kinkaku is literally a building covered with gold leaf, Ginkaku is not covered with silver leaf, and there is no evidence that it was ever covered with silver leaf.

The windows on the second floor are fire-light windows with curved and tapered vertical frames from top to bottom.

National Treasure Tougudo

Togudo was built by Ashikaga Yoshimasa to house the Buddhist image (nemochibutsu) that he worshipped on a daily basis.

A standing image of Amida Nyorai is enshrined in the Buddhist room.
The sliding doors in the Buddhist room, which are now covered with blank paper, originally had a painting of ten priests by Kano Masanobu.

Ginkakuji Garden

Ginkaku-ji's garden is a pond garden centering on Kinkyo-ike Pond, and is designated as a Special Historic Site and a Special Place of Scenic Beauty by the Japanese government.

It is said to have been modeled after the Saiho-ji Temple garden, commonly known as "moss temple," but it was renovated during the Edo period (1603-1868), and much of its original appearance has been lost.

Impressive are the Muketsudai, with white sand heaped up in the shape of a conical pedestal, and the Ginsadanada, with white sand heaped up in the shape of steps and ripples expressed on a flat surface.
These two sand piles are also said to have been formed in the late Edo period (1603-1867).

Precincts of Jishoji Temple (Ginkakuji Temple)

The 50-meter approach from the main gate (rebuilt in 1800) to the entrance connecting the garden is surrounded on both sides by bamboo fences, known as Ginkakuji fences.

The Hojo (main hall) was rebuilt in 1624. Inside are fusuma paintings by Buson Yosa and Taiga Ike.
From the observation deck, visitors can look out over the temple grounds.


Ginkakuji Temple
Official Site
2 Ginkakuji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Telephone number
Hours of operation

March - November 8:30-17:00
December - February: 9:00 - 16:30


Open all year round

Admission fee

Admission fee
Adults (high school students and older): 500 yen
Elementary/junior high school students: 300 yen

Parking lot
No dedicated parking lot

There is a municipal parking lot on the side, but there is a possibility of not being able to park due to the limited number of spaces.
How to get there

30 minutes by city bus from JR Kyoto Station
Get off at “Ginkakuji-michi” bus stop.

Kyoto Kifune, Kurama, Ohara Kyoto City
Shrines, Temples, Churches Historic sites, Cultural properties, Buildings Temples


Kyoto City