Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens. unesco world heritage site. Backpacking Kyoto Japan travel blog

 

If you like nature, landscapes, and Japanese gardens, there’s a good chance you won’t regret a visit to Ginkakuji Temple!

This is one of the top world heritage sites in Kyoto.

 

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens. unesco world heritage site. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

Ginkakuji Temple as part of a one day Kyoto itinerary

You can make a visit to the Ginkakuji Temple when you walk the Philosopher’s Path that includes temple visits as side trips:

  • Ginkakuji Temple (and tea room!)
  • Eikando Temple
  • Nanzenji Temple

You can start your day off by going from Kyoto station to Ginkakuji.

I also was in the area when I did the Daimonji-yama hike (the start of the trail is located right near Ginkakuji), and on that day I basically went from Fushimi Inari to Ginkakuji.

The Fushimi Inari shrine is another place in Kyoto that’s worth a visit with the thousands of torii gates that you can walk through!

 

How to spend 5 days in Kyoto

 

Japanese language tip: TEMPLE

The ji in Ginkakuji means temple.

But you wouldn’t use ji on its own to talk about a temple in general. In this case, ji is used when attached to the name of the temple.

When speaking generally of a temple, you would call it tera or otera.

 

 

Now…

A bit of what you can see with a visit to Ginkakuji Temple!

 

Starting the exploration of the temple grounds

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Entry - Kyoto station to Ginkakuji bus. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Entry walking path. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple near entry to sand garden. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple near entry to sand garden. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

Sand garden

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Sand garden with Japanese gardens. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Sand garden with Japanese gardens. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Sand garden with Japanese gardens. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Sand garden with Japanese gardens. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Sand garden with Japanese gardens. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Sand garden with Japanese gardens. Don't touch sand landscape. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Sand garden with Japanese gardens. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Sand garden with Japanese gardens. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Sand garden with Japanese gardens. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Sand garden with Japanese gardens. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Sand garden with Japanese gardens. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

Ginkakuji Temple aka Silver Pavilion

That doesn’t actually look very silver.

 

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens. unesco world heritage site. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens. unesco world heritage site. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens. unesco world heritage site. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens. unesco world heritage site. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens. unesco world heritage site. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

More walking around the temple grounds and Japanese gardens

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens nature trail. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens nature trail. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens nature trail. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens nature trail. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens nature trail. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens nature trail. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens nature trail summit with city views. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens nature trail. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

Tea room

Kyoto is known for its matcha green tea, so the Ginkakuji Temple grounds could be a perfect place to drink some!

It could also serve as a nice rest from your walk around the temple grounds.

You’ll come across this Ginkakuji “tea room” or “tea garden” towards the end of your visit.

There’s indoor seating and outdoor seating.

 

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple tea room for teahouse or tea garden setting. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple tea room for teahouse or tea garden setting. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple tea room for teahouse or tea garden setting. Matcha green tea set. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple tea room for teahouse or tea garden setting. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

Nearing the end of your temple visit

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. How much time. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

How much does entry to Ginkakuji Temple cost?!

A ticket for Ginkakuji will be around 500 yen (US$5).

 

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Entry ticket to unesco world heritage site. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple. Entry ticket to unesco world heritage site. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

Where to next after Ginkakuji Temple?!

How about the Philospher’s Path!

You can consider this somewhat of a culture walk, and one end of the Philosopher’s Path (aka Tetsugaku no michi) is located right near Ginkakuji.

 

Ginkakuji Temple to philosopher's path walk start. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

Ginkakuji Temple to philosopher's path walk start. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

From there, you can go for a leisurely walk and stop by small shrines and temples along the way.

This can include…

 

Honen-in Temple

Ginkakuji Temple to honen-in temple on philosopher's path. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

Eikando Temple

Ginkakuji Temple to eikando temple on philosopher's path. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

Nanzenji Temple

Ginkakuji Temple to nanzen-in temple on philosopher's path. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

 

Visit to Ginkakuji Temple with Japanese gardens. unesco world heritage site. Backpacking Kyoto Japan

 

HAPPY GINKAKUJI TEMPLE VISIT!

 

Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto with Ginkakuji Temple!

 

 



More quick tips for planning your trip to Japan

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The super fast train in Japan
In general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it. But here's how to calculate it to be sure.

See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.

NEW way of buying individual shinkansen train tickets online!
I will start by saying I have NOT bought train tickets online this way (yet!) to verify this! (But it's on my list for my next trip to Japan!)

There's an online train ticket booking method that's popular for other parts of Asia, and they are just now branching out to Japan.

You can now buy train tickets online here for popular shinkansen train routes. (And some bus routes too.)

I've used this booking site for taking the train from Thailand to Malaysia, and it worked out well, so I would expect it to work out well in Japan too!

The thing is, though, that you need to pick up the physical train tickets in person.

So it won't be enough to just buy the tickets online. I had to do this in Bangkok for my train ticket - and it was easy! So again, I would think it'd be easy for Japan train tickets too.

Search for popular routes in Japan here. For example, Tokyo to Kyoto.

If you end up buying train tickets online this way, I would love to hear how it goes! Whether that's good, or if it came with some challenges!

Natural disasters in Japan
Unfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.

My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon.

See how much insurance costs for your trip.

Best travel guides for Japan
If you're at step 1 in your planning process, have a look at this Discover Japan book.

For "books" that won't take up space in your suitcase, see the best PDF guides.

See more of the best books for Japan trip planning.

Create your Japan itinerary


That's it for now!