In Kyoto, Japan, situated across the Kyoko-Chi pond is the Golden Pavilion, one of the most enchanting sights one can come across in a lifetime. Locally known as Kinkaku-ji which means the ‘golden pavilion’, this is a Zen temple of the Rinzai-shu Buddhist. The top two floors of the temple are covered in gold leaf, which shimmers in the daytime and its reflection in the serene pond accentuates its beauty. The garden amidst which the Golden pavilion is situated is known as Rokuon-ji, the Deer garden Temple. The Golden pavilion is a designated National Special Historic Site, a National Special Landscape and is a World Cultural Heritage Site in Kyoto.
|Golden Pavilion Information|
|Denomination||Zen, Rinzai sect, Shōkoku-ji school|
|Founding Priest||Musō Soseki|
|Address||1 Kinkakuji-chō, Kita-ku, Kyōto, Kyoto Prefecture|
In 1397, the third shogun of the Ashikaga Shogunate, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, retired to this secluded place and built his villa, the Golden Pavilion. After his death, as per his wishes the Golden Pavilion was consecrated as a Zen Buddhist temple dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy, Kannon. The abbot’s chamber came under the control of Emperor Gomino. During the Onin wars (1467-1477), all the buildings except the Kinkaku-ji were destroyed and later rebuilt. In 1950 a fanatic monk set fire to the Golden pavilion and the building was reduced to ashes. The present golden pavilion was again rebuilt in 1955.
The Golden pavilion is a three storey temple amidst the lush greenery of the Rokuon-ji temple complex. The Golden Pavilion is actually a repository of the Buddha’s ashes and is hence known as the Shariden.
The beautiful and elegant strolling garden amidst which the Golden pavilion is situated illustrates the harmony between heaven and earth and harks back to the days of the Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. They have retained their ancient glory managing to escape all destruction that befell the Golden Pavilion.