Kinkaku Ji, Kyoto, Japan

kinkaku ji
kinkaku ji
kinkaku ji
kinkaku ji


Kinkaku Ji


Located in Kinkakuji-cho, Kita-ku in Kyoto’s northwestern part, Kinkaku-ji is renowned for its scenic beauty with the Kinugasayama mountains on the west and just behind it is the Hidari Daimonjiyama.

Kitayama, the mountain range that spans Kyoto’s the northern side. But the surrounding area that borders Kinkaku-ji is at times called Hokuzan, an alternative way of pronouncing the characters used to write the word “Kitayama”. A name that has its roots in the Heian era, from 794 to 1185 AD, it was previously used to tell apart the larger part (“Kitayama”) which extends into Kyoto Prefecture’s north from that of the one closer to Kinkaku-ji which was smaller (“Hokuzan”).

Currently, the portion on the western side of Kinkaku-ji is called “Himuro” which translates to "ice chamber", a name believed to have been derived from the ice chambers from which the imperial court held office. During winter, ice was portioned into blocks and kept in chambers dug deep into the alcoves of Hidari Daimonjiyama and the other neighboring mountains in the vicinity, where it could be kept for use during the summer season.

Before, this region was considered to be an area ideal for hunting and a great place to build temples. The area where the Kinkaku-ji is located, however, appears to have been mostly farmlands and

rice paddies, and was inherited by Saionji Kintsune from the Office of Shinto Worship’s head.

He then proceeded to build the first buildings on the site, namely the temple for the Saion-ji family

and the Kitayamadai villa.