This famous 3-story pavilion is located in the garden of a Zen temple called Rokuonji. The building was burned to the ground in 1950 by an insane monk, an incident fashioned into the novel Kinkakuji by Yukio Mishima. When the structure was rebuilt in 1955, it was decided to restore the original gilding (which had largely peeled off the building by the time of the arson.)

  I was told by the head priest that the room on the top has a floor made of polished black lacquer that reflects the gilded ceiling, and that only the emperor is allowed to visit it.


temple of the Golden Pavilion


promotional video of Kinkakuji from JR Tōkai