Kinkakuji golden temple kyoto
Photo: David Klein/Unsplash Kinkakuji Temple

Kyoto’s golden Kinkakuji Temple is undergoing renovations until December 2020

The Golden Pavilion may be covered by scaffolding for now, but you can still admire its beauty via a free virtual tour

Kasey Furutani
Written by
Kasey Furutani

Japan’s Go to Travel campaign will last through to early winter 2021, so since summer this year is blazing hot, it seems like autumn is the peak time to travel, with milder temperatures that are perfect for strolling through gardens and temples. However, if you’re planning a trip to Kyoto, take note: one of its most famous landmarks is being renovated. 

Kinkakuji, also known as the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is by far one of the most beautiful places in Japan, and the maintenance work will allow the temple to stay pristine through Kyoto’s dramatic seasonal changes. Construction began on Tuesday September 1 and is expected to last until some time in December this year. According to The Japan Times, an official said, ‘Having so few tourists around, we thought it would be a good time to get all the necessary work done.’ At least that’s one silver lining to the lack of tourism due to Covid-19 coronavirus

Kinkakuji will stay open despite the renovations, and has more to offer besides its Golden Pavilion. Check out the traditional Japanese Zen architecture of the Somon Gate and the Kuri Building, or visit Ashiharajima, a soothing Japanese landscape garden. For those desperate to get a look, a large photo board of the Golden Pavilion has been installed in front of Kyōko-chi pond, one of the prime vantage points to photograph the glorious building. If you’re really itching to see Kinkakuji in its full glory, check out the official VR tour

Travelling to Kyoto? Check out these beautiful rock gardens instead. 

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