The Golden Pavillion
Rising above its reflecting pond like an apparition, the golden hall of Kyoto’s Kinkaku-ji, the famed “Golden Pavilion,” is a most impressive sight. The temple's garden is also a scenic delight and contains in its grounds a charming teahouse.
The building's first purpose was to serve the retiring Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1409) as a residence. The gold-leaf-adorned building was converted into a Zen temple shortly after his death. In an event that was later fictionalized by the renowned author Yukio Mishima, a 21-year-old monk burned Kinkaku-ji Temple down in 1950. The temple was rebuilt in 1955 and continues to function as a storehouse of sacred relics.