The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Kyoto, Japan

golden pavilion Kyoto Japan
The most famous view of the most famous temple: The Golden Pavilion.

Probably the most famous temple in Japan, the gilded Golden Pavilion of Kyoto (Kinkaju-ji in Japanese,) was intentionally burned to the ground in 1950 by a deranged monk. (This incident provided the story line of The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, the most famous novel of one of Japan's greatest novelists, Yukio Mishima.) The temple was rebuilt in 1955, and recovered with gold leaf in 1987.

If it's not immediately apparent from this photo, the temple and its surroundings were intentionally designed to provide an elegant aesthetic. There is no one better than the Japanese and meshing the buildings with their manicured surroundings to create a truly inspirational scene.

The historic monuments of Kyoto are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in Japan.

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12 thoughts on “The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Kyoto, Japan”

    • Yup, me and about 500 people got one sort of like it today. Mine was the one without a Japanese person holding up two fingers. (And that had a framing foreground. And, I was also the guy who came back around then the sun peeked out just for about two minutes and hit the pavillon. The first time through, the lighting was completely flat and the sky pure overcast gray.) I got another two I sort of liked from the walk around the grounds, too. What I’d really like to do — and one of these days I will — is get permission to get in very early morning to some of these tourist sites and get to shoot uninterrupted with the right light. A guy once told me to get the real good landscape shot, you had to be willing to go back to a place 25 times to get the light just right. One day I’ll have the opportunity, and the patience, for that.

    • Thanks, Janet. Gary’s sort of right, though. They don’t offer you a lot of choices where to shoot from. It’s almost as if the Japanese who built this hundreds of years ago were intentionally trying to create a beautiful picture.

  1. That is one beautiful photo Tom—- I am leaving for Israel on Wed– goin to Eilat, Petra Jordan etc– baclk on 20 Oct


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