The Golden Pavilion, or Kinkaku-ji, is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto, and a major highlight of any visit to the city.
The three-story pagoda gleams with gold leaf, though it is a 1955 replica of the original 1397 temple, which was destroyed by fire in 1950.
The beautiful temple hovers over a lake, surrounded by twisted pines and forests. The image of its reflection captured in the mirror-like water is a Kyoto symbol, and a must-have photo opportunity.
The classic stone and water gardens are another highlight for a stroll.
Review by pola, April 2013
Doing what: Kyoto Full-Day Sightseeing Tour including Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple
Kyoto has a lot of very interesting and beautiful places to see. This full day tour may not cover all of them but it includes most of the must-see places. Lunch is included which is just ok. Our tour guide for the afternoon tour, Yuki, was very knowledgeable and fluent in English. My only complaint is that we were all in a rush especially the morning tour, and it seemed that we didn't have enough time to take in the beauty of the places we've been to. One family who was part of our tour group was left behind in the Golden Pavilion and had to take the taxi to rejoin the group in the Imperial Palace. The pacing of the afternoon tour was better, we even had time to buy some souvenirs in the shops near the Kyomizu Temple.
Review by Beverley R, Australia, April 2013
Doing what: Kyoto Morning Tour - Kyoto Imperial Palace, Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle
Tour guides are almost as important as tour itineraries, and we were very lucky on this tour to have 'Casey' as guide. His commentary on the three wonderful sites we visited was not just informative but enlivened with a gentle humour and the addition of fascinating snippets of historical and contemporary detail.
The organisation of the tour was efficient, and overall it provided an excellent introduction to Kyoto and its treasures and pleasures.
Review by Agnelo C D, April 2013
Doing what: Kyoto and Nara Day Trip from Kyoto including Nijo Castle
Kyoto and Nara are beautiful places, worth a visit. Nara , a peaceful park full of Deers and lovely gardens too. Lunch was also well served and delicious. We even had enough time to have a coffee and sweets. Well organised and excellent guide.
The Golden Pavilion is in northwest Kyoto. The best way to get to the Golden Pavilion is either in an organized tour or by bus from Kyoto Station.