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The Golden Pavilion

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

Kyoto, Japan

Marvel at the gilded brilliance of Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, named for the beautiful gold leaf that adorns it.

The garden here is as spectacular as the architecture and setting. Mount Kinugasa serves as a backdrop. The temple was originally built as a villa by the Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga in 1397, but it was turned into a Buddhist temple after his death. Though destroyed by a number of fires, the temple was reconstructed again and again.

The latest disaster occurred in 1950, when an apprentice monk set fire to the temple to show his dissatisfaction with society. In 1987 the pavilion walls were completely renovated using 200,000 pieces of gold foil.

The surrounding landscape represents a classic example of a 14th-century stroll garden. Rocks symbolizing mountains and oceans are arranged in and around the pond, located in the center. 

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